I’m one of you. Long before my first article or big name interview and for as long as I can remember, I’ve been a stock car fan. So for that reason, my name doesn’t matter and neither does my photo. It’s more like we’re just sitting here in the grandstand before the race, talking about Dodges and NASCAR. Hey, you want a cold one? --JC
The Dodge Calvary is A-Comin’
f’n you listen real hard, you can hear it. Unfortunately, we done heard this noise last year about this time. It’s the sound of our Dodge boys having a hard time finding their butts with both hands. As we’re writing this, there are NO – repeat, NO - Dodges in the top 12 that will start the Chase in two races. The closest we have is Kahne and Newman sitting there in striking distance at 14th and 15th respectively. But we’re not gonna bitch for the sake of bitchin’ like the Ex always did. We’re just pointing this out cuz there’s another sound we should all be listenin’ for. That would be the sound of help a-coming and it sounds mighty fine!
The minty fresh, new Dodge motor is being gussied up as we speak and we got word from our spies it’s moving right along. Now, they ain’t about to give anybody (much less me) the keys to the candy store but there are some things we do know. Like some of the goals of the new motor known as the R6 P8. (That means the sixth version of their racing block and the eighth version of the heads that go on ‘em.)
You may be thinking, ‘Cowboy, there is only one goal to a new motor – MORE POWER!!!’ Yeah, they rank more power as a major goal but it ain’t the only one. If you go back to the time when Dodge come back into NASCAR, they drove in with a new motor, made just for NASCAR racing. In fact, that baby was the first motor to come outta Detroit that was made just for NASCAR racin’. It was sumptin’ special with all kinds of new ideas. But it had one BIG-ASS problem early on - literally. The R5 was overweight.
Let’s talk on that a minute. Yeah, all the cars gotta weigh 3400 lbs. But any racer worth his Goodyears wants a lighter car so they can add the weight where it will do the most good. Well, the R5 motor was packing some extra pounds. (Not like Tiny down at the bowling alley, who I’m sure weighs more than my truck.) It had enough extra weight that it affected the chassis set-ups of the car. That’s cuz motors sit above the centerline of the wheels and up front and can disrupt the balance of the car front to back and left to right. (Balance is the word I hear the most when the guys complain about the new car.) That extra weight meant all new chassis set ups had to be figured out and that’s harder than Chinese Algebra. Naturally, they weren’t talking about just how much overweight it was but since then, what I heard the most was about 60 lbs too much. And they did manage to shave it off over the next year.
So now we have another goal of the new motor; slim that puppy down to hunting weight. And how do you do that? You start shaving an ounce here and another two or three from there and before you know it, it’ll weigh less than me.
Now this next part is pure speculation. When the new Tie-Oda NASCAR motor come out, folks up in Detroit got a major case of pucker. That’s cuz you could see in a one-eyed look that baby was like those chicks in the Olympics – not an extra ounce of fat anywhere! I mean, those heads looked more like the suspension bridge over Paint Creek than a place for bouncing 16 valves. Well, the next motor outta Detroit was the Chivvy RO7 and damned if it didn’t look just like the Tie-Oda. So if you take that pattern of motor evolution and apply it to the new Dodge motor, mix in my limited math skills, you could be looking at a motor that weighs over a hundred lbs LESS than the original Dodge motors when they first come out. Man, that’s a bunch! Remember, those numbers are all mine and I’m just making as educated a guess as I can based on what some of the guys have told me.
But there’s even more to the new P6. We hear they been working the water and oil passages to get oil and water where it’s most needed even better. The old motor was cool – literally – cuz it ran within five degrees of water temperature anywhere in the block. Computers done designed that into the block and heads. And when it comes to the all important oiling system, we hear they got some new tricks there, too. It’ll have a new look with valve covers that are more like a lid than a cover. But keep cool, they still are Ram Red and look mean and nasty. Suffice to say it will help the Dodge cause.
We’re waiting to hear when the new motor will hit the track for some testing. Then they can throw ‘em in the cars and go hunt down some Chivvys and Fords. We’ll keep you posted
IN OTHER NEWS…
I guess we can stop buying Texaco gas and oil. They done told Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates to take them stickers off of their Dodges at the end of this year. That’s another hit for Ganassi as he already lost one of his sponsors and had to shut down a team. Texaco joins Citgo on our list of gas stations we drive-by when we’re running on empty. In fact, we done just that last week in Conover, NC, when we drove by the Texaco to fill up at the Pure station. That leaves Shell and Sunoco as the only gas companies in NASCAR. Maybe Texaco is having some problems selling all that $4.00 a gallon gas and can’t go racing no more. And ain’t Texaco partnered up with Exxon? Add them to the list. I guess they just don’t get it.