Unser Jr Harding

Unser Jr HardingAl Unser Jr. calls his new role as a driver coach and executive consultant at Harding Racing "a dream come true."

Speaking with Bob Jenkins at the Race Chasers of Indiana luncheon on Saturday, the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner told the audience that the his job with the team – which is housed at Ed Carpenter Racing's former Main Street shop in Speedway – comes with a perk he's never had before.

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"We moved in there a couple weeks ago. I actually have a real office, first time in my life!" said Unser, to laughs from the crowd. "My office used to be surrounded by four wheels and wings and an engine ... so now I've got one with a real desk. It's exciting."

Unser will have a promising talent to work with in Gabby Chaves, who impressed in Harding's part-time series debut in 2017 with a ninth-place finish at the Indy 500, fifth at Texas and a 15th place at Pocono.

The role also means a reunion with Harding team president Brian Barnhart, which Unser said meant a lot to him.

"Brian and I had been together for many, many years," Unser continued. "He was my left rear on both my Indy 500 wins, both my IndyCar championships. Really Brian came on board, either '89 or '90, and he started working with me and I with him since then. He was a very large part of my success without any doubt.

"Everything's looking really, really good. It's a dream come true for myself, and so I can't thank Mike Harding and the Harding family [enough], they're super people, as I've gotten to know him and everybody within his company."

The team confirmed last week it will make its full-time IndyCar debut in 2018 with a Chevy-powered entry for Chaves, and Barnhart said the team could add a second entry at select events this year as it works toward a long-term goal of a second full-time car. That second car could be a viable landing spot for Danica Patrick as she looks to secure an Indy 500 ride.

03 Yates 052417Dale Jarrett called it an honor, but a difficult thing to do.

The 1999 NASCAR champion and former driver for Robert Yates read a speech Friday night in Charlotte, which Yates wrote in advance for his 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame induction. It was a speech Yates completed before his passing in October from liver cancer, having heard his name called for the Hall of Fame by Vice Chairman of NASCAR Mike Helton last May.

"A number of reads before I could get through it, as you could imagine," said Jarrett. "This was someone that we could have spent the entire two hours talking about how special of a man and hard worker Robert Yates was. He's exactly what this Hall of Fame is about, that type of person that started at the bottom, worked his way to the top, and there's nobody that's been as good as him ever in this business."

Yates was the final member of the 2018 class to be inducted in a poignant moment of the ceremony. When Jarrett read Yates' words, it was the first time the Yates family had heard the speech.

Below is Yates' speech, presented at the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

hall of fameThe distinguished NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 includes a formidable array of eclectic talent: NASCAR's first champion, arguably the sport's most innovative crew chief, racing's most recognizable voice, the Camping World Truck Series' all-time leading winner and a revered engine-builder-turned car owner.

The first member of the 2018 class inducted on Friday night at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Red Byron, was a man of many "firsts." He won NASCAR's first sanctioned race on the Daytona Beach road course in 1948. That same year, he claimed NASCAR's first season-long championship – in the NASCAR Modified Division.

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A year later, Byron won the inaugural championship in NASCAR's Strictly Stock Division, which later would evolve into the current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. In his title season, Byron drove for team owner Raymond Parks, a fellow NASCAR Hall of Fame member.

Byron competed for the last time in NASCAR racing in 1951, and though he died in 1960, he left an indelible impression as the sport's first champion.

As 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. put it during his introduction of Byron, "He set the foundation for the rare few who capture the most coveted prize in motorsports, a championship at NASCAR's highest level."

Dale Earnhardt Jr, who is about to embark on a broadcasting career with NBC Sports, introduced the second inductee, Ken Squier, the 1970 co-founder of the Motor Racing Network. It was Squier who called the watershed 1979 Daytona 500 – the race that put NASCAR on the map – for CBS television.

"He made watching a race an introspective portrait of our own journey," Earnhardt said of the legendary broadcaster. "And tonight, fittingly, the NASCAR Hall of Fame becomes part of his journey."

squierIn fact, it was also Squier who coined the nickname "Great American Race" for NASCAR's most prestigious event, a moniker that has endured.

"This is always a thank-you time speech," Squier said with his usual wry humor. "Some of us are inconceivably lucky to call these folks friends. I think we all call them heroes. And I'm feeling like an odd duck in a fancy flock of geese, let me tell you.

Kevin Harvick, who spent his formative days in NASCAR racing sleeping on Ron Hornaday Jr.'s couch, introduced his mentor and friend as the third new member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

A competitor in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series since its inception in 1995, Hornaday posted a remarkable record, winning a series-best 51 races and an unparalleled four series championships.

Former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series director Wayne Auton provided a touching tribute to Hornaday in his induction speech.

"More than being in a Hall of Fame, you really need to be in a Hall of Fame of people because of the way you care for everybody," Auton said to Hornaday. "You let people sleep on your couch that you didn't even know, and look where they're at today, and now you are in the Hall of Fame.

"Instead of Ron Hornaday, champion, you're now Ron Hornaday, NASCAR Hall of Famer. And it's been an honor to get to see all those records you've broken, but it's more of an honor to call you a friend."

Hornaday exulted in the moment.

"This is for every short track racer that ever had a dream, ever had a heart, ever believed in anything that you can believe in – this is it," Hornaday said. "Hall of Fame, and what a class I'm in with."

hornadayThe induction of three-time champion crew chief Ray Evernham was the proud duty of Evernham's son Ray J Evernham and four-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon.

As a testament to Evernham's work ethic, Gordon spoke of his first championship and the lackluster final race of that 1995 season.


evernham"We didn't perform very well," Gordon said of the finale in Atlanta. "But we did win the championship. And to tell you what kind of person Ray Evernham was, I think he enjoyed that championship for maybe a split second before he started thinking about what was wrong with that race car.

"And he showed up at the shop the next morning, the day after we won that championship, to figure out what was wrong with that race car. And he found it."

Evernham, who revolutionized the sport's approach to pit crew performance, credited Gordon with a large part of his Hall of Fame resume. But Gordon wasn't the only one.

"I think that's when you look back at your career you realize there's so many people that helped you, whether they taught you something or gave you a few bucks, a pat on the back or a vote of confidence," said Evernham, who teamed with Gordon to win 47 Cup races.

NHOF Keselowski Yates 011918The most emotional moment of the evening accompanied the posthumous induction of team owner and engine builder Robert Yates, who, stricken with cancer, wrote a message for the special occasion before his death on Oct. 2.

Dale Jarrett, who claimed the 1999 championship driving for Yates, read and recorded the message Yates left for the NASCAR community to hear. Edsel B. Ford II, a member of the board of directors for Ford Motor Company inducted the champion car owner.

"When I started in racing, this was not the goal," Yates said through Jarrett. "All I wanted to do throughout my career was win races. I would always say, 'I don't race for the money, I race to win.' For me, that's what it's always been about, but to be part of this year's induction class is a true honor. There are a lot of other people I want to thank because this isn't really about me; it's about those who gave me the opportunity to do something I love."

NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy accepted the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR on behalf of their uncle, James C. "Jim" France.

Chairman of the Board of ISC, Jim France most recently spearheaded the $400-million Daytona Rising project that transformed Daytona International Speedway into the world's first motorsports stadium.

"The Landmark Award was designed to recognize people behind the scenes who you may not see often but make a big difference, and that's exactly what my uncle has done through my whole career," Brian France said.

"And the most important thing he's done that I would tell you tonight is make sure our family stays going in one direction helping grow NASCAR in a good, smart way, and I have the utmost respect. So it's really proud for me and my sister and the rest of his family to recognize my Uncle Jim for the Landmark Award tonight."

At the NASCAR Hall of Fame dinner that preceded the induction ceremonies, veteran motorsports writer Norma "Dusty" Brandel was honored with the Squier-Hall Award for Media Excellence. Brandel, from Glendale, California, was the first female reporter to cover the sport.

Asked if she thought in 1972 that she would ever be the recipient of NASCAR's most distinguished media award, Brandel said, "No. Never. I think I'm going to cry."

danica kinradeDanica Patrick's most viable prospects for landing a ride for Daytona and Indy both appear to reside with small- to-medium-sized programs.

GoDaddy announced on Thursday that it will rekindle its partnership with the 35-year-old for what has been coined the "Danica Double"; the two-race farewell tour with which she plans to end her career. But she's yet to confirm a seat for either race, and with Daytona now just a month away, locking down the NASCAR side of the equation has become the priority.

A common denominator in the deal that Patrick's management team is shopping around is reportedly Chevrolet, and on the Cup front, that immediately limits her options when it comes to the major teams.

Chip Ganassi Racing has already said Patrick will not be in one of its cars. The car cap of four would also rule out Hendrick Motorsports, which at any rate has not expressed any interest in getting involved in the Patrick sweepstakes.

Also to be taken off the list: Richard Childress Racing. RCR does have an open car – as well as a charter with the No. 27, as Paul Menard has moved on – but a spokesperson for the team told RACER that "Danica Patrick is not a driver for RCR nor does it have plans to field a car with her as the driver for next month's Daytona 500."

Danica harrelson

Where does that leave Patrick? Three weeks before cars are on track to practice and qualify, anything is possible – including Patrick linking up with a smaller team that's willing to field a car.

Tommy Baldwin now works with Jay Robinson at Premium Motorsports, however, Baldwin fielded the No. 7 Chevrolet in select races last season, including at the restrictor-plate tracks. Baldwin declined to comment, but it should also be noted that Premium Motorsports is still in the process of finalizing its own plans for the 2018 season.

Other Chevrolet teams include Richard Petty Motorsports, JTG Daugherty-Racing, Germain Racing, and Leavine Family Racing.

Patrick said this week she was very close with her plans for Daytona and an announcement could be coming soon. Which means that she can then turn her attention to securing a ride for Indy.

As with NASCAR, the majority of IndyCar's front-running programs have confirmed their lack of openings. Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, and Team Penske have all ruled themselves out and wished her the best of luck. And while the topic of possibly running four cars has been raised at Dale Coyne Racing, the team is tipped to stay with three, which would close another door for Patrick.

Again, it leaves her best chances in a Chevy-powered entry. Multiple sources have told RACER that Patrick's management team has been in contact with Indy 500 polesitters Ed Carpenter Racing; Indy specialists Dreyer & Reinbold Racing have confirmed talks with her and the impressive newcomers at Harding Racing also are also considered a viable option for the Wisconsin-born driver.

Danica Dan boydAs DRR owner Dennis Reinbold told RACER on Thursday, "I have spoken with her people, but I don't know where we're at with them," which follows a similar pattern to what's said to be taking place with ECR. 

Seeing Patrick in a third ECR Chevy as teammate to Spencer Pigot and Ed Carpenter, or in a second DRR Chevy alongside Sage Karam, seems all but inevitable at this stage.

Harding's Chevy IndyCar outfit is another destination that could accommodate Patrick with ease. Full-season driver Gabby Chaves finished ninth on the team's IndyCar debut at the 2017 Indy 500, and with the recent addition of former IndyCar leader Brian Barnhart to the program as its president, she has another competitive solution to consider.

"We've had a lot of people reach out, and I would certainly have interest in having Danica in one of our cars, and have a great relationship with her," Barnhart told RACER. "She's done a lot for the sport and helped the sport on a lot of levels. I'd welcome talking with her, but to be honest, we haven't spoken at this time. It's clearly in our plans, with the right deal, to be a two-car effort at Indianapolis."

alfa1The IndyCar-related comments made Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne to Italian journalists at the North American International Auto Show have raised optimism and questions regarding the brand's intent.

"Why not Alfa Romeo and IndyCar? We think about it," Marchionne was quoted as telling the German outlet Motorsport Total, and with his comments, an old topic has become new.

Under the former leadership of FCA's Ralph Gilles and Beth Paretta, the concept of using an IndyCar engine supply program to build awareness for Alfa Romeo's re-introduction to the American market made the rounds in 2014 or so, but with their recent career moves, enthusiasm waned within the competition department in their absence.

Marchionne's brief statement in Detroit registered with IndyCar's Jay Frye, but the series' competition president also declined to confirm whether discussions have been held with the company.

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"It's encouraging to us to have an influential person mention IndyCar," Frye told RACER. "We went on a roadshow to explain what we're doing – went to Europe – at the end of the season and met with a lot of manufacturers. Our five-year plan on engines and the next IndyCar chassis has been very well received."

Despite the positive overture from Marchionne regarding Alfa Romeo as a third supplier, Frye says Chevy and Honda will be locked in a two-way IndyCar duel in the coming years.

"We've spoken with a lot of prospects, and there's been great interest, even with those who say the timing is off because they've just launched a program elsewhere. And there's been follow-up meetings when we've been asked to come back, which is a great sign, but is anything imminent? No," he added.

If FCA or any other manufacturer were to take on Chevy and Honda, it would coincide with new engine regulations the series is in the midst of completing.

"The entry point is 2020 or 2021," Frye said. "Maybe it doesn't feel like there's a sense of urgency because there's nothing coming right now for this season or next, but if a manufacturer came to us today and said they're in, let's do this, the earliest they'd be in the field is 2020. It takes time, so everything we're discussing is a ways in the future, but to get there, we'd still need to pull the trigger in the next 12 months with someone to hit that 2020 or 2021 timeline."

alfa2Alfa Romeo's most recent involvement with IndyCar came during three ill-fated seasons from 1989-1991 (pictured above). Considering the bespoke nature of IndyCar's chassis and engine specifications, a specialist engine builder would be required for the project which, barring the nomination of an outside firm like Cosworth, might be best suited for its Formula 1 engine department at Ferrari.

Logistics aside, Marchionne's recent furor over F1's future engine plans (among other subjects) have produced multiple threats to quit the series, taking Ferrari – F1's most popular team – and presumably Alfa Romeo, which returns in name this season with Sauber, from the grid.

Whether the pro-IndyCar comment at the NAIAS was genuine, or should be received as part of his ongoing effort to stoke fear within F1 about a possible Ferrari departure, is open for debate.

The last time IndyCar had three engine manufacturers to boast came in 2012 when Lotus, through the Judd family's Engine Developments operation, attempted to compete with Chevy and Honda on a miniscule budget. Lotus, having been trounced by the Bowtie and the Japanese brand, did not return the following season.

Cad2 1When racing a Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype sports car is your day job, getting behind the wheel of pretty much any street car has to be underwhelming, right?

Wrong. Very wrong.

When the street car in question is the Cadillac ATS-V coupe, a vehicle that's as formidable on the track as it is refined on the road, "underwhelming" is probably the last word that comes to mind.

As one exciting third of the Cadillac high-performance V-Series family that also includes the ATS-V sedan and CTS-V super sedan, the ATS-V coupe is a race-inspired, 189mph, 464hp thrill ride – and Jordan Taylor can't get enough of it.

Along with brother Ricky, Jordan drove Wayne Taylor Racing's all-new Cadillac DPi-V.R to five wins in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – enough to earn Drivers' and Teams' titles in the headlining Prototype class for the Taylor clan. Two additional victories for Action Express Racing's helped secure the Manufacturers' Championship for Cadillac in the debut season for the DPi-V.R.

To celebrate the accomplishment, Cadillac has introduced the V-Series Championship Edition for all three of its high-performance models. And with only 200 vehicles being produced in total, they're sure to fly out of dealers.

"I want one!" declares Jordan, who's been given the chance to drive the ATS-V coupe version at Daytona International Speedway, home of the season-opening Rolex 24 endurance classic and scene of the DPi-V.R's stunning debut victory in 2017 with Jordan and the WTR team.

pic 2"The Championship Edition is an amazing way to celebrate what Cadillac and its teams achieved in 2017," he says. "Every V-Series is an incredible piece of machinery, but they're something else again when you get them on the track.

"I've driven both the CTS-V and the ATS-V in the Cadillac V-Performance Academy program at Spring Mountain Motor Resort, and I couldn't believe the level of capability these cars have for something that you can drive right off the showroom floor. I was driving them just like they were racecars on the track. The balance and the braking performance are phenomenal, and the power and torque are awesome, too – up there with my racecar.

"Then you take one out on the road, switch the Driver Mode Control from Track to Tour, and suddenly it's smooth, refined and relaxing – a Cadillac. It's a car you can drive to work or the grocery store every day. But flick it to Track mode again and the ride, the steering, the feedback you're getting – even the sound – the whole experience goes up a level, and you're ready to have a total blast again at a track day. I love this car!"

Dillon Blanski, Cadillac's Lead Creative Designer for road cars, played a significant role in the creation of the DPi-V.R racecar, working with Cadillac Racing and chassis-builder Dallara to integrate Cadillac style without compromising performance. And given his immersion in that program, it was only natural that he'd lead the way on the V-Series Championship Edition.

"Being at Daytona with the teams for the DPi-V.R's debut, and to watch it drive across the finish line for the Rolex 24 win was pretty special," says Blanski. "So to be able to bring it full circle to produce a special edition car for the street that celebrates a championship and all those wins, that just makes it even more special.

"With the Championship Edition cars, I worked in as much representation of the DPi-V.R graphically as I could to celebrate winning the championship. We drew inspiration from the graphics on the tail fins of the racecars and incorporated those into the special edition. Plus, we brought over things like the wheels and the Brembo brakes that are street versions of those used on the racecar. The visual connection is very strong."

Add in the track-capable performance of every V-Series model and the Championship Edition is a fitting tribute to Cadillac's newest racecar.

Only 14 drivers got to race a Cadillac DPi-V.R in 2017, but thanks to the V-Series Championship Edition, a couple hundred more will get to celebrate its success in exhilarating, high-performance style.

CHAMPIONSHIP CREDENTIALS

The ATS-V Championship Edition includes 18in. V-Series polished alloy wheels, red Brembo brake calipers, a carbon-fiber front splitter, rear spoiler and rear diffuser, and a sunroof all as standard.

pic 3Cadillac performance graphics on the hood and spoiler are an homage to the DPi-V.R racecar's fin stripes, while the accented high-gloss carbon-fiber interior trim and Morello Red stitching bring the visual theme to the interior.

RECARO performance seats provide confidence-inspiring support when the envelope's being pushed.

And like all ATS-V coupes and sedans, the Championship Edition is powered by Cadillac's 464hp, 3.6-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine. That translates to a 189mph top speed on the track and 0-60mph in 3.8sec – seriously impressive performance.

Cadillac's V-Series Championship Editions are a race-inspired, track-capable salute to the DPi-V.R's stunning debut season. Find out more about the entire range of V-Series vehicles HERE.

For more on the Cadillac DPi-V.R's multiple championship-winning 2017 season, check out RACER's 2018 Cadillac Racing Special digital magazine HERE.

Get the latest news on Cadillac's 2018 race programs HERE.

lepage 170730 to 9759Takuma Sato will turn his first laps since returning to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing at Sebring next week, and team co-owner Bobby Rahal believes that the 2017 Indy 500's arrival comes at the perfect time for both team and driver.

"We all want to get out there and going with him," Rahal told RACER. "We've worked hard over the offseason bringing good people in, have some new sponsors we'll announce soon, and I'm excited about what we've got ahead of us. And there's every reason to believe we'll have a good year with Takuma and Graham. We just want to get out there turning laps."

Having spent one season with RLL in 2012, Sato has undergone a significant transformation since his last go-round with the Honda-powered squad.

SB1 4400"I thought Takuma had a great year, and I don't just mean the 500," Rahal said. "His performances were quite strong everywhere he went. It's a good spot for us to be in with him, and you can tell he's bringing more seasoning this time around. I'm very excited to see what he can do with us, and work together with Graham to make some great cars. There's just a lot of strong potential in getting back together with Takuma."

Eight months after his Indy success, Sato wrapped up the final formality in an epic eight-month victory tour when he received his Baby Borg trophy in Detroit earlier this week. While he admits that he's looking forward to the chance to switch all of his focus toward settling in with RLL and preparing for 2018, he says that the memories from winning Indy extend far beyond the race itself – for all sorts of reasons.

"There's one very interesting award I was given in Japan," Sato said. "It's 'Car of the Year'...so usually, it's given...to a car. It's the first time it was given to a human being..."

Sato's return to RLL will mark the first time that the team has run two full-time cars since 2013, when it fielded an entry for James Jakes alongside Graham Rahal.

levitt mido 0717 03900The Verizon IndyCar Series, Chevy, and Honda are close to developing the next set of engine regulations, and with those rules in the works, both brands have agreed to step back from the full slate of motor development options available this season.

The decision comes during a year where, without the intentional change, Chevy supplier Ilmor Engineering and Honda Performance Development would have been allowed to make costly updates to their 2.2-liter twin-turbo V6 motors. Based on the current engine formula introduced in 2012, odd years like 2017 called for highly restrictive R&D allowances while even years have given Chevy and Honda freedoms to replace cylinder heads, turbos and the induction system, camshafts, and other core pieces.

In light of the pending next-generation engine rules, all three parties have come together to stick with the limited odd-year R&D plan until the new regulations are implemented somewhere around 2020.

"When we agreed over the summer that we were going to look at a new engine a couple years from now, we collectively agreed to limit the amount of development that's going on to the engines right now because they are getting, I'll say, old," HPD race team leader Allen Miller told RACER.

Where pistons and valvetrain have always remained open for development, the odd-year options with new connecting rods and fuel injection upgrades will stand as the primary areas for Ilmor and HPD to exploit until the next formula hits the track.

abbott wglen 0817 8488The 2018 season marks the seventh year in action for the 2.2-liter TTV6 formula, and with untold millions already invested in finding more power and reliability from the mills on an annual basis, Miller says there isn't much left to discover without breaking the bank.

"So, on both sides, we are spending a lot of money when we go back through and try to do new cams or new intake ports or a new induction system," he added. "How much more can we squeeze out of this without changing some of the other major components? We've come up on the design limitations or exceeded in some cases.

"Originally, we expected four years with this formula, then something new for the fifth. We are going into the seventh year of competition for this engine. They were never intended to run at the power levels we are seeing now, that we've increased to now. So we looked at it and decided for the next two years until we do a new engine, let's hold back on the amount of development that we can do, and not waste money."

IndyCar competition president Jay Frye is happy to see the short-term de-escalation of the horsepower arms race.

"Everything we do, we try to be smart and frugal about it," he told RACER. "You can see where we're going, you can see what we're doing, and [the manufacturers] know where to spend and when. Everybody has a finite amount of dollars to use, so we just want to make sure we're very conscious of that."

Even at the limited development level, Miller has concerns about reliability as the engines creep closer to 800hp in the coming years. A chance to start from scratch will, as he explains, be a sigh of relief for everyone.

"We are definitely looking forward to being able to introduce a new engine because the level we've brought the engines to now, it starts causing problems," he said. "We are on a pretty fine line of being OK or not OK, and every time we creep it up a little bit more, there's risk. We will continue to do the carefully guarded improvements that we can do with the limited areas to work on. We are not stopping that.

"And we want to keep the racing good and clean and have the engines reliable so teams can race. It's a good thing, although it doesn't let us do the kind of work you'd like to do every year, but we can focus on looking at a new engine and what we can do there."

At least for what's been discussed on the timeline for bringing the new engine rules into play, if a third manufacturer joins the series, 2020 would be the target. If it remains at two, it will likely be extended to 2021. Once a hard date is set, manufacturers can be expected to start shifting budgets toward IndyCar's future engine formula.

"It's pretty far along, so we have an idea of what it will be," Miller said. "Obviously, when we start looking at it in more detail once, because we have a good idea of what it's going to be, our work will gradually shift over to a new engine."

JGS 2710 1With horsepower spikes being kept in check, 2017's performance figures – not to mention the comparative strengths of both brands at various tracks – could carry over to some degree this year. Although wild gains in the dyno cells are on pause, Frye is confident the aerodynamic drag reduction offered by the UAK18 aero kit will act like free power for Chevy and Honda teams.

"Really, the biggest thing going into this year is the new car, and if you listen to all the drivers' comments that we've got back so far, it's that the car feels like it's got 100 more horsepower," he said. "The car accelerates better, the car – the lap times have been fast, and part of that is obviously because the car has less drag."

News of the next engine rules could be forthcoming in the weeks ahead, and one mutual agreement – and one slogan – has emerged.

"We hope to have some sort of news on this early in the year," Frye said. "And we are in agreement that the power piece is what's next in the equation. Everybody wants more power, so that's what we're working on giving our fans with this plan. 'Fast and loud,' brother, that's the thing we're going for."

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