DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. The Sprint Cup Series will not be the only thing making its debut next weekend at Kentucky Speedway.
The track will also host the first test of cars designed with electronic fuel injection.
During an open test day Thursday, originally scheduled so Cup teams would have extra time on a track they have not previously competed, teams will also be allowed to test cars with fuel injection.
NASCAR officials expect each of the four manufacturers to have at least one car with EFI on the track. They will all likely be driven by drivers not competing in Saturdays Cup race.
NASCAR has established very specific rules for the manufacturers and race teams in order to keep a level playing field," said engineer Pat Baer, who works with Dodge Motorsports. "NASCAR has established common suppliers and each manufacturer will be using the identical EFI components, such as fuel injectors.
We expect very little change from the vantage point of our fans, but the manufacturers and teams will continue to look for engine power increases with the new fuel-delivery system.
NASCAR has traditionally used carburetors in all of its series.
NASCAR officials have had concerns about their ability to police fuel injection systems, which is why carburetors have remained. But the new system, officials have said, would be cheat-proof.
The change also allows manufacturers provide a product on the track that more closely relates to what is sold on the showroom floor.
The first race featuring all fuel injection cars is expected to be the 2012 Daytona 500.
Teams do not expect to see a major difference in horsepower between the two fueling systems.
Initially, the EFI engines will make about the same horsepower as the carburetor engines, perhaps a few horsepower less, Baer said.
The current Holley 830 carburetors built within NASCAR rules and specifications are very good and have been optimized over many years of development.
It will take a little more time for EFI systems to increase power.
Additional tests are planned before the end of the season, possibly at Phoenix, Talladega and perhaps at least one other track.