How Much Is A NASCAR Engine?
Depending on the car and the manufacturer, the engine under the hood varies.
On average, a typical NASCAR engine costs around $100,000. However, during some racing events, teams use more than one engine. For example, a car competing in the Daytona 500 may use up to three engines throughout the event. One engine is used for Duel qualifying races, one for the Clash at Daytona, and one for the Daytona 500 race. Therefore, a team may spend around $300,000 on engines for a car in a span of one week. In addition, teams that choose to utilize electronic fuel injection systems for their engines may spend an additional $10,000 a week. Due to the high costs, many smaller teams cannot afford to use a new engine for each race and are forced to use the same engine for several competitions in a row.
Why the High Cost?
A NASCAR engine is the most expensive part of the car and requires the most attention. Many of the top racing teams in the league build and customize their own engines which can take more than 100 hours to complete. In a given year, the leading NASCAR teams, such as Hendrick Motorsports, produce more than 600 engines for their cars. This large scale production helps to support the team’s many drivers so that they can use a new engine for each race.
While NASCAR engines typically fall within a given price range, the engines are unique to each car based on the manufacturer and parts used in production. Some of the top producers of NASCAR engines include Toyota Racing Development, Earnhardt Childress Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, and Roush Yates Racing. While many of the larger teams produce their engines in-house, other teams choose to outsource the production of their engines or even lease engines from the primary manufacturers.
When building an engine, teams may utilize different designs to make their engines unique. One design aspect that differs among NASCAR engines is the valve timing. Some engines use a traditional single camshaft while others use a more modern design of twin camshafts. The big difference between them is the single camshaft is responsible for both intake and exhaust valves while with the twin camshafts, one is responsible for intake while the other is in charge of exhaust. In addition, the single camshaft makes it difficult for a car to reach its maximum performance while experiencing both high and low revolutions per minute.
As technology evolves, there has been a push for hybrid engines in NASCAR. The engines will include the traditional aspects of the engine along with an electric component. Manufacturers believe that the engines will sound the same as the current engines and do not think the horsepower will be reduced due to the structural change. Ultimately, this shift in focus will impact the current production price and cost of NASCAR engines.