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TRD pulls three Bowyer motors after parts review

Apr 27, 2013, 7:10 PM EDT

Toyota Owners 400 - Practice Getty Images

Toyota Racing Development has recalled three of its engines that were earmarked for Michael Waltrip Racing pilot Clint Bowyer following a parts review. According to Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press, TRD pulled Bowyer’s engine for tonight’s race at Richmond International Raceway, as well as his primary and backup motors for next weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Per Fryer, the parts review found at least one connecting rod in each of the three engines that made Toyota squeamish, especially in the wake of the major sanctions levied against Matt Kenseth and his Joe Gibbs Racing squad this week.

“We took every connecting rod in our inventory and removed anything that was too close for comfort,” TRD vice president David Wilson said to the AP.

“They are using an abundance of caution right now,” MWR team co-owner Rob Kauffman added in Fryer’s piece. “They know — David knows — this cannot happen again.”

One of the rods in Kenseth’s race-winning engine from last weekend at Kansas Speedway did not meet the minimum weight requirement. As a result, Kenseth was docked 50 championship points, while crew chief Jason Ratcliff was hit with a $200,000 fine and a six-week suspension. In addition, Gibbs had his owner’s license suspended for the next six weeks. Toyota also lost five points in the manufacturer’s championship.

JGR has appealed the penalties, and TRD, which makes the engines for the Gibbs and MWR camps, claimed responsibility.

  1. spellingcops - Apr 27, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Why the hell would you have connecting rods that weigh different amounts?! I could see if all of em were below weight, but just one, I don’t get it.

  2. techmeister1 - Apr 28, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Connecting rods can vary in weight by a couple grams. We’re talking the weight of an empty #10 business envelope. Engine balanced is based on the total reciprocating mass. Total rod weight by design is suppose to be within NASCARs specs. There was no cheating involved but TRD doesn’t want to be too close to the minimum. There is no performance advantage at all to one or even a couple rods that are a few grams light as the total reciprocating mass is the same.

    JGR got screwed over by NASCAR big time for a minor error by a supplier to TRG that machined the rods too close to the minimum. It’s possible their scales say the rods are dead on in weight. A couple grams in weight is about what a handful of air weighs… For all we know NASCAR’s scale could be off a couple grams. These scales are to be used in specific room conditions and temperature when you’re looking for a couple grams.

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