The Cry for More Horsepower in NASCAR: What Drivers, Insiders Are Saying

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More Horsepower in NASCAR: What the Insiders SayIcon Sportswire - Getty Images

Just about everyone involved in NASCAR Cup Series racing these days has an opinion about whether more horsepower will help create a better on-track product. Many drivers and owners want the current limit of 670 horsepower increased by as much as 200 horsepower.

Others aren’t as certain that’s a good idea.

Among the horsepower-related comments to the media from Phoenix and Bristol, some to FOX Sports, others on drivers' weekly podcasts:

David Probst: NASCAR’s Chief Racing Director: “If you add horsepower, you add the cost... then you see if it’s better. There’s no guarantee you get there and it would be any better. There’s some evidence that shows as we add horsepower, they run further apart. There’s also some evidence that shows it’s better. And there’s some evidence that shows no, might not be better. So that’s a heck of a gamble to take with the entire industry. This is a case of there being no data that definitively says it will be better. Granted, there are a lot of people in this garage that I respect, that think it will. But it purely is that. There’s no way anybody knows.”


David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development: “We’re in alignment with NASCAR and we’re in alignment with fans in that we’d like to see better racing, and we’re open to about anything on the path to that. If the consensus is that we need to put the power back up, we’re on board. There’s always a give-and-take, and the things we’re seeing is historical reliability with our powerplants. That doesn’t happen by accident. It's a function of the decrease in duty cycle that happens with the reduction of horsepower, RPMs — all of that is contributed to having a bulletproof piece.”

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Kyle Busch is all about bringing a little more horsepower to the NASCAR table.Icon Sportswire - Getty Images

Kyle Busch, the 2015 and 2019 Cup Series champion and the sport’s winningest (63) active Cup driver: “We need these things to be faster going into the corner; utilizing the brakes more; utilizing the tires more and having the opportunity to overdrive the cars more to burn the tires up to see guys struggle over a run.”

Chase Elliott, the 2020 Cup Series champion and six-time Most Popular Driver: “It would make a really big difference for sure. In the grand scheme of what the races might look like, any time you introduce off-throttle time is a good thing. I know from what little knowledge I have on engines is the way that we run these engines with a tapered spacer is we are making them about as inefficient as we could possibly make them.”

Brad Keselowski, the 2012 Cup Series champion and part-owner of Roush-Fenway-Keselowski Racing: “There’s definitely no guarantee (it will make racing better). The more things you have that makes this difficult to do, the more you’re going to see separation. Drivers always want to have some level of separation because we have big egos. We think we can do it better than everybody else.

“NASCAR is generally on the opposite side of it. It wants less separation because you can have a tighter field and there’s some thought that that’s better. This sport can do a lot of things when it wants to. Ultimately, it just has to decide if it wants to do it. If you want to do it, it's simple; if you don't want to do it, it’s really hard.”