The new engine-building alliance of Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Richard Childress Racing has had its well-publicized problems this season, with a number of failures, most of them in cars driven by DEI’s Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The biggest negatives, though, came last month at Talladega, where six of the seven cars entered by the two teams had either engine failures or other engine problems.
But DEI general manager John Story is convinced the merged engine program is on its way to success.
“Well, surprisingly, we feel pretty good about it,” Story said when asked about the DEI-RCR venture that is being headed by Richard Childress. “We’ve had some failures, more than we’ve anticipated, obviously. But it’s actually moving in a positive direction.
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“Richard Childress has really taken the bull by the horns with this program. What happened at Talladega was, quite frankly, bizarre, and that’s been addressed. All the other issues have been addressed.”
Both teams race Chevrolets and at least part of the problem is apparently due General Motors introducing its new R07 engines.
“This R07 engine has been a big research project for everybody,” Story said. “Maybe it bit us more than the others, but we’re pretty confident. DEI has made a lot of horsepower historically. RCR is legendary for their reliability. Between the two, it’s going to be great.
“We’re going to have to do some things differently and they’re going to have to do some things differently. You put a bunch of bright minds in the room and we’re going to be able to take them on next year, no doubt about it.”