Hendrick Motorsports is doing an engine overhaul after discovering an issue during practice for the Gatorade Duels.
Jeff Andrews, head engine builder for Hendrick Motorsports, met with the media to discuss the situation:
ON WHAT HAPPENED WITH HMS ENGINES: "No, we did not have any of them that truly broke. Right now we are looking at the lifters. We don't have anything apart yet, we just have assumptions based on some early signs we saw in some check overs following that early practice. We have a group of guys back in Charlotte, the best group of guys in my mind, have already started on a fix for the program. We will get this stuff back, get it rebuilt and get it brought back down here. What we had to put in the cars, we have a lot of confidence in for tomorrow."
ON IF IT IS RPM RELATED: "No, it is not RPM related, not for us. I am not sure of their (another manufacturer) exact problems. Right now we are making a lot of assumptions because we haven't been in and haven't looked at the full picture until we get the engine completely apart. We know we have a problem there with that lifter interface and until, like I said, we get the engine dissembled and find out what has actually caused that problem, I can't really comment. I can't really relate it to Toyota's problems, because our package is different is theirs."
ON HAPPENING EARLY ON IN PRACTICE: :"That is right and that is what is leading us to think we have an issue with a batch or something because this is the exact same package that we came down here and tested with. We have, I think, three durability runs on our AVL dynos back at the shop so we have a lot of confidence in the package. The same package we raced in the Bud Shootout. We took engines back after the Bud Shootout, they look really good. Looked, great, so we are looking at a batch issue right now and trying to sort through some things to get the guys in Charlotte pointed in the right direction."
ON IF THIS A TIME FOR CONCERN: "Well, it is a concern, naturally, because it is a wide spread problem. But, it is early enough that we can fix it and, like I said, we have a group in Charlotte that is going after that right now."
ON HONING IN ON ISSUE: "Not until we get them apart. It would just be making assumptions. Like I said, because the Bud Shootout engines looked so good, we have to start looking at some batch issues on some things and try to get our facts together. Right now our biggest focus is to get stuff in the cars that will be good for tomorrow and practice again on Friday. We will make some decisions about the race later on here tonight or early tomorrow."
ON HANDICAP TO START AT THE BACK OF 60 LAP RACE: "I am not sure about the starting positions. Our concern is the amount of work we are putting our race teams through here. From our side, we got to get our bases covered. We will let our drivers handled themselves during the race."
ON BEING THE SAME VENDOR: "For us, yes. I can't tell you the other vendors. Because of the large quantity of engines we do, we buy large quantities of parts and pieces. They all have batch numbers on them, they all have IDs on them, so we will just go back through and take a look at what we have got. Again, the key is to get this stuff apart and know what we have really got, so we aren't making assumptions here."
ON REPLACING ENGINES FOR LEASE CUSTOMERS: "We treat all of our teams exactly the same. Whether it is a Hendrick team or a lease team, we will treat them exactly the same."