NASCAR Getting a New Engine Rule? Roger Penske Says Yes

Jen PrestonSenior Analyst IJanuary 13, 2009

You've heard me say it over and over—and over—again.

The economy is changing NASCAR as we know it. Nearly 700 people have been laid off from teams. Merchandise sales and TV ratings are falling more and more every weekend. Teams are merging, or simply ceasing to exist.

So, are the next changes to come going to be in the engine department? Defending Daytona 500 winning car owner Roger Penske thinks so.

The IndyCar Series is looking to implement a four cylinder turbocharge engine, and Penske believes the idea will be making it's way to NASCAR.

"I think you'll see that migrate even into NASCAR because that's where we are today," he told Bloomberg Radio at the recent Detroit Auto Show.

Sport Utility Vehicles use the same V-8 engines that NASCAR and IndyCar do, and because of the slumping economy, sales dropped 38.2 percent in 2008 alone.

Brian France, CEO of NASCAR, has stated that no "major engine changes" will be occurring, but the company is expected to follow in the series footsteps in regards to alternative fuels.

IndyCar has supposedly talked to five car manufactures, and the changes could come as early as 2011. A meeting to discuss the changes are scheduled for June.

"We're targeting senior level automotive executives to come to Indianapolis and collectively determine the options and vision for the IndyCar Series' next generation." IndyCar competitions president Brian Barnhart said.

Honda, who is signed with IndyCar until 2014, is encouraging more competition.

"Racing is about competition," founder Tony George said. "It's always had competition and, while it can be successful without it, we think it works better with it because it attracts new players to the series."

Thanks to CNN, and for the information used in this article.