Numerous changes have been enacted by NASCAR over the last two years to improve competition, but more changes are on the way. That was the message of Brian France when he appeared on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Tuesday.
After introducing a new car in 2013, revising its qualifying procedures, placing greater emphasis on winning and modifying the Chase for the Sprint Cup format this past offseason, the next change of note will be a reduction of a horsepower, NASCAR's chairman and CEO told hosts Dave Moody and Angie Skinner.
"We're going to make that happen," France said. "That's part of the overall rules packages that we design that hopefully control costs, hopefully make racing better. The engines are an integral part of that."
A reduction of horsepower would only apply to the Sprint Cup Series, and NASCAR has not determined how to implement the change.
One option would be to mandate smaller motors. Another could see the reduction of the amount of airflow into the engine -- similar to restrictor plates that are required at Daytona and Talladega or tapered spacers, which are used in all Truck and Nationwide Series races.
"We have to be in step with the car manufacturers and where they're going with technology and different things," France said. "It all has to come together. That's the next significant part of the rules package besides continually looking at aero options and chassis things."
Any changes would likely occur prior to the 2015 season, though France would not commit to a timetable. In a teleconference Tuesday the heads of the motor sports divisions for Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota expressed support for decreasing the amount of horsepower produced.
"The key is we keep the racing exciting, and then we make every resource we apply to the engines and the engine builds go as far possible, said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president for Chevrolet performance vehicles and motorsports. "That's really the key."
France also conveyed his excitement over the way the 2014 season has begun. Six different drivers have won the opening six races including the sport's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., winning the Daytona 500. He credited NASCAR's emphasis on winning for the increase in competition,
"We're off, in my view, to as strong a start with each race as we've had in recent memory," France said. "The new format is letting the drivers loosen up a little bit and they don't have to be as conservative. You're seeing better racing out of all of that."