It seems that Richard Childress is taking a page from Gene Haas’s playbook and joining another motorsport: V8 Supercars, perhaps?
We last told you about Gene Haas and his new Formula 1 team with Ferrari engines, but here’s something totally different. Richard Childress, also of NASCAR fame and fortune, is interested in going racing… in a land down under.
Sorry. I couldn’t resist.
Anyway, speculation has been high on his interest in the category. Rumors have been flying for months now, and Childress replied, “I’ll add some truth to those rumors.”
He and COO of Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines, Richard Gilmore, confirmed that they are in fact looking to buy an Australian V8 Supercars team, or to establish a technical partnership.
There are no official details regarding which team Childress is looking to pursue, but Tekno Autosports, which fields the VIP Pet Foods Holden Commodore driven by Shane Van Gisbergen could be one of the potential teams. V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton has no official knowledge of interest from Childress, however.
He’s not the only big name American looking into V8 Supercars. Roger Penske has been in talks with Dick Johnson Racing. Penske, however, already has significant business in Australia thanks to his trucking company – something Childress lacks.
Childress’s plan is to use V8 Supercars as a sort of way to benefit his NASCAR program from a technological standpoint. Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines builds 500 engines per year with a staff of just 122 employees. They supply for NASCAR and also the Corvette Daytona Prototype program.
V8 Supercars is planning a return back to the USA in 2015, returning back to the Circuit of the Americas, where they raced the Austin 400 in 2013. Could this be the perfect storm of events to see Richard Childress entering into V8s? Could V8 Supercars technology like carbon fiber become commonplace in NASCAR?
Maybe NASCAR will adapt more road courses in the future. Richard Gilmore’s stance is simple. He says, “We beleive that NASCAR will continue to allow technical advancements in engine development, possibly as soon as the 2015 season but more likely for the 2016 season.” Remember, NASCAR just adopted fuel injection not too long ago.
“If that happens, we see NASCAR becoming more closely aligned with V8 Supercars and using similar engine technologies.”
Current V8 Supercars engines are 5.0 liter V8s that make approximately 635 horsepower. Instead of an antiquated 4-speed manual, V8 Supercars are controlled by a 6-speed sequential transaxle with an integrated spool differential. There are 18×11 inch wheels on all four corners, too.
How much cooler would NASCAR be with modern tech like that? Maybe V8 Supercars should consider a cross-promotional event where they run the cars on an oval.
Sign us up!
Featured image credit: v8supercars.com.au