New Ford Engine Cooling Off Competition Too

Charlotte, NC (March 8, 2011) – Last year at this time, the Ford teams racing the Blue Oval in NASCAR competition were just plain blue. Now, thanks to a new engine program, the Ford crowd is racing a blue streak in 2011. Ford has won two of the first three events this season. If you include the two wins Carl Edwards scored at Phoenix and Homestead to close out last year, Fords have captured four of the last five Cup races contested. That can’t be sitting well at all with the Chevy, Toyota and Dodge crowds.

The new Ford FR-9 engine configuration has completely turned around the Ford NASCAR program. Introduced into Sprint Cup competition gradually throughout the 2010 campaign, the new engine was the first-ever produced by Ford corporate specifically designed for NASCAR competition.

The FR-9 was also the first major NASCAR engine reconfiguration for Ford stock car competition since 1991. That model, as the stats show, had become less and less competitive in recent years winning just a combined six races in 2009 and 2010. In short, the old 351 Ford heavy engine block – one of the greatest NASCAR engines ever – was not the ticket anymore.

The new FR-9 block is much lighter and has significantly improved cooling capacity than the previous 351 model. That cooling enhancement has also provided an aero bonus for the Fords who could close off the front grill with more tape and run farther and faster in the two-car tandems at Daytona. Better engine cooling has also helped the Fords at Phoenix and Vegas the last two weeks where front downforce is king.

Additional enhancements to the new FR-9 racing engine (right) include valve train improvements and an overall design that makes the powerplant easier to produce and work on.

Greg Biffle was the first to put the Ford FR-9 in NASCAR Sprint Cup victory lane turning the trick at Pocono last August. Another Biffle victory at Kansas later in the year set the stage for Edwards to win the final two races last season.

Edwards – Sunday’s winner at Las Vegas – also ran second to surprise victor Trevor Bayne in the season-opener at Daytona and had the best car at Phoenix last weekend only to get knuckled by Kyle Busch early and finish 28th.

With three wins, a second and a pole in his last five races, Edwards – and Ford – are definitely back in the hunt. We think you’ll be hearing a lot more about the new Ford FR-9 engine as proven winners Edwards, Matt Kenseth (Sunday’s pole sitter at Vegas), Biffle along with newcomers A.J. Allmendinger, David Ragan and Marcos Ambrose (fourth Sunday at Vegas) take big swings at Victory Lane this season.

All thanks to a new stump puller – the Ford FR-9.

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