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NASCAR changing post-race engine teardown procedures

   By Mike Mulhern

   FORT WORTH, Texas
   NASCAR inspectors will no longer perform post-race engine teardowns at the race track, the sanctioning body announced Wednesday. Instead the engines of the top two finishers, plus another random finisher, will be taken back to NASCAR's R&D Center in Concord for more detailed and controlled inspections.
    NASCAR has been taking race engines back to Concord for some two years now, quietly, for further analysis, but now NASCAR is officially moving much of its post-race inspections away from the track.
   Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said the move would save teams money, though it was not clear quite how, except in extra time spent at the track.
   "This will provide our officials and teams with the means to analyze the engines in a more controlled setting," Pemberton added.
  "We have been moving towards doing this…and as the stakes continue to rise in our sport, we believe it's the most effective way of doing things."
    Pemberton said the usual post-race height-and-weight checks, and the shock and gear inspections, would still take place at the track.
    Pemberton also said the post-race engine inspections at the R&D Center will be open for observation by rival teams, just as formerly at the track.
    Any violations uncovered, NASCAR said, would be "handled just as….before," apparently meaning any announcement and penalties would come Tuesday afternoon following the race.
   NASCAR used to make cursory announcements of any "problems" or "issues" in post-race inspection, and announce a delay in further explanation until a more thorough inspection in Concord.
   It is unclear if any specific incident this season might have led NASCAR to this move, which clearly takes much of the media out of the immediate post-race picture obviously.


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