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FR9 Racing Engine

I was looking at the “new” Ford purpose-built NASCAR racing engine called the FR9…It’s a design that uses technology that’s between 50 and 20 years old…A 355 cubic inch pushrod, two valves per cylinder, carbureted engine…Ford has not sold a carbureted passenger vehicle in the last 20-25 years!

NASCAR needs to move into the 21st century…Pretending a vehicle labeled a Ford Fusion, RWD, powered by the above engine, is a “stock car” makes the term “NASCAR” a joke…

Maybe they should try out those jet engines? Seem to be good for excitement!

I’m sure they’re using that for a reason. Not sure what that reason would be.

Note that that engine design has little concern for emissions or fuel efficiency.
It also does not need the flexibility of a street engine; it spends most of its life revved up to the edge of destruction.

There’s restrictor plates and lots of other rules to limit the power of this engine below its potential as it is,
so adding valves will only lead to restriction somewhere else.

A carburetor can feed just as much fuel and air into an engine as fuel injection.

NASCAR decided a l-o-n-g time ago (1970s perhaps) that producing an exciting race was far more important than running anything even close to “stock”. Who cares what engine they are running if they are all basically the same?

If someone were to start a racing venue with unlimited specs, the people with the most money would always win. Not much fun to watch…

It’s long been my opinion that NASCAR should no longer be considered “stockcar” racing. I also believe they’re way, way overregulated. Much of the ragulation is focused on keeping speeds down, and much is also promulgated to not allow any one car an “unfair advantage”. What it has created is cars that are all almost exactly the same, none of which bears any relationship whatsoever to anything stock, and almost no new technology.

However, I recognize the other side. Yesterday a driver lost control and slammed into a maintenance truck towing jet fuel. The car was totally destroyed and the truck blew into a ball of intense flame. Both walked away. Drivers today are walkinbg away from accidents that would have killed them immediately 40 years ago. Perhaps the overregulation isn;t such a bad thing after all.

Personally, I prefer European closed-circuit road racing. Ferrarri racing Corvette racing Porsche racing Aston etc. To me that’s more exciting racing.

There is nothing about a NASCAR racer that is like a “stock” car. The frames are tubular welded, motors and transmissions are nothing like what you buy off a dealer lot. They just paint the front to look similar to a real car. How they make the headlights look real is true art.

NASCAR doesn’t have any pollution standards to be concerned about. And the motor generally is running at a high and higher RPM’s so not a issue how it idles or takes off from a stoplight smoothly. I wonder if there is any kind of computer engine management systems in these racers at all? The ignition systems are probably pretty much old technology too.

They don’t even paint the front. That artwork is all stickers.

NASCAR is something that I’ve given up on the last few years. It’s become too staged for my tastes and is almost an infomercial. It seems no driver or crew chief can utter a sentence without mentioning their sponsors.
Even Tony Stewart made the comment a couple of years ago that NASCAR was becoming more and more like the WWE.

The thing I would wonder about with the use of fuel injection would be what happens when a wreck occurs and high pressure gasoline is released in a cloud from a broken fuel line.
As to performance, several magazines I subscribe to have done tests comparing FI to carburetion and the carbed motors generally have a bit more on the very top end as compared to FI. That’s not to say it would be true in every case though.

I just pretty much stick to drag racing and the Australian Super Cars series. At least with the latter they’re actually stock cars with wipers, brake lights, and treaded tires for racing in the rain.

“FI to carburetion and the carbed motors generally have a bit more on the very top end as compared to FI.”

But would that not be a function of injector capacity, line pressure, and pulsewidth (programming)?

NASCAR has gone FI this year, and it was a source of problems for some of the drivers at Daytona, but I’m sure they will work the bugs out.

“NASCAR has gone FI this year, and it was a source of problems for some of the drivers at Daytona, but I’m sure they will work the bugs out.”

One of the great advantages if FI is that fuel feed is shut down immediately in case of a crash, reducing a fuel fire risk dramatically.

All of the photos of an FR9 show it with what looks like a Holly on top of it…If everybody’s happy with the status quo, then everybody is happy…The fans in the stands don’t care as long as it goes 200 mph…

Mountainbike, those magazines are stashed with hundreds of others in my attic and I don’t remember the details but I vaguely remember the HP differences as being something like 5, give or take, in favor of the carbed version.
The reason given was that the carburetor would simply flow more air into the engine at WOT than a fuel injection throttle body on the same engine.

No doubt with enough tweaking they could swing things the other way. We’ve got a local guy here who has hit close to 260 MPH at Bonneville on an E85 fueled current generation Mustang with the 5.4 so it’s plenty doable.

Yes,please make it interesting again-reduce engine size and loosen up on a few restrictions.Its almost like “nails on blackboard” when someone says stockcar ,and who produces Toyotas engine?-Kevin

A couple things to mention here.

  1. If you want to get into semantics the OHV design only really predates the OHC design by about a decade.

  2. As others have mentioned NASCAR uses fuel injection now. The reason they stuck with carburetion so long was that it was easier to police and regulate, and it was cost effective as well.

  3. The FR9 actually saw competition two seasons ago. Some teams ran the engine in some races towards the end of the 2010 season, All Ford teams used it in all races in the 2011 season. The FR9’s main selling point it’s improved cooling, it’s not all that more powerful then the engine it replaces, but it’s cooling system is substantially improved. This allows the teams to put more tape on the radiator openings (which improves aerodynamics) without the engine overheating.

  4. "Pretending a vehicle labeled a Ford Fusion, RWD, powered by the above engine, is a “stock car” makes the term “NASCAR” a joke… "

No more a joke than calling an Impala or Camry a stockcar. Fun fact: The last GM car that ran in NASCAR (excluding the trucks) that could be had from the factory with V8 engine and rear wheel drive was the old G Body Monte Carlo, it’s last year was 1988. Ford fields the Mustang in the Nationwide Series, it’s a RWD car with a V8 in both race and street car forms. Dodge uses the Charger and Challenger in Cup and Nationwide respectively. But if you want true “stock” car racing, go to a SCCA race.

  1. NASCAR doesn’t need to keep up with the F1’s and Indycar’s of the world. Their rules make the racing more competitive than any racing series in the world, when was the last time you say 70 lead changes in an F1 race? Hell, when was the last time you saw 70 lead changes in an entire F1 season? The playing field in NASCAR is much more level than it is in most other forms of auto racing. By limiting technology, it mores emphasis on the driver and teams to work with what they have, it keeps costs down (somewhat) and keeps the competition close.

From my observations, at any NASCAR race, there are only 10 or 12 truly competitive cars…The rest are backmarkers who fill out the field…On the chance the leaders are taken out by a big wreck (always a fan favorite) THEN the slower cars can sometimes score a few points…

I like watching the races on the smaller tracks, under 1.5 miles around…No restrictor plates limiting power, lower axle ratios, where driver SKILL determines the winner more than the car he is driving…

Interesting about taping up the radiator opening to reduce drag and gain a little speed…The P-51 fighter aircraft used that principal to great advantage over its contemporaries, it allowed the pilot to control the airflow through the engine cooling radiator, greatly reducing drag at high speeds…

The level of NASCAR regulation does make the cars themselves much more closely matched, almost all exactly the same, and does make it a driver’s race. However it does have the effect of limiting technology advances. Personally, I’d like to see the regs loosened considerably. I can understand, however, that many people prefer the focus to be on the drivers, who in fact develop fan bases and become celebrities.

What technology advances do you foresee coming from this type of racing today? Back when horsepower, speed, handling and empirically derived aerodynamics were all that mattered, sure, but today it’s more of an electronic gadget, fuel economy and styling exercise. What racing venue would choose to start with a 2.0L engine and optimize it? Who’s gonna watch a bunch of dinky cars that sound like angry insects do laps at excruciatingly slow speeds around the track? :wink:

I wish I were a good enough psychic to foresee technology advances…
Perhaps tires? Maybe suspension technologies? Entirely different negine designs? Turbines?

NASCAR has certainly been a leader in the development of safety technologies, including things that we’d never dreamed of 40 years ago. What drivers can walk away from today is absolutely amazing. I’d like to see the opportunities for other technologies to develop. Who knows what would eveolve from the process.