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Tech Note: From the Garage – #24 Won’t Crank! May 3, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News, Teams.
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Jeff Gordon pulls into the pits at Texas in 2007Image via WikipediaHey everyone! I’ll bet you can’t wait for the race to start. Here’s some news pre-race. The engine would not crank in Jeff Gordon’s #24 prior to pre-race inspection this afternoon and his car goes to the rear of the field here at Richmond International Raceway. Because tonight’s race is an impound race – any unapproved changes made to the cars after qualifying result in a loss of starting position. Gordon qualified 28th. Today, before inspection in view of an official, the engine in his car wouldn’t crank and the starter had to be replaced. I went to the Dupont hauler in the garage to get a few answers related to the starter issue:

Doug Duchardt VP of Development (engines – race builds)

CBL: So what happened to the #24 starter?
Duchardt: ” When they went to try to start up the car for inspection the bendix hung up and broke. That’s the part that goes out and engages the fly wheel. So we had to change the starter and had go to the back.”

CBL: There will be debate on how this. How common is this – other than right before a race?
Duchardt: “It’s probably more common than (fans) know. We usually don’t have it fail in that way. Usually it just – the solenoid won’t work it won’t engage. We have had it happen before. Not in an impound race. We have had it happen in practices. We continuously work with our supplier to try to improve it and in this case it caught us out.”

CBL: Has the supplier already gotten a message from you?
Duchardt: “Oh yea. There have been emails flying today back to the source so we’ll be working on it. As anything it’s always continuous improvement on every part we’re working on and that’s another one.”

CBL: If not for the impound you could have changed it.
Duchardt: “It never showed a signs of any issue until it catastrophically broke today so. It just happened today.
We were just warming up the car this morning when it happened. In a normal weekend we would have changed it (the starter) and would have gone through (inspection) so next weekend (at Darlington) it would not have been an issue.”

That’s it – back to pit road for pre race.
Claire B – Richmond 6:00 p.m.EST

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Comments»

1. Joe Wheeler - May 4, 2008

Hello CBL, I was just wondering if I was the only one who realized what D. Hamlin did last night? I knew as soon as he had the tire going down and was staying out that he was doing that JUST TO BRING OUT THE CAUTION. Anyone in their right mind would have came in to get a new tire so they would not fall any farther back. Sure…..NASCAR held him for two laps but he stopped right on the track to bring out that caution and it cost Dale Jr the race. I know what you are thinking ……another Dale Jr. fan mad. That is not the case. I am Kevin Harvick and RCR all the way. Im happy that Clint was able to win the race but D. Hamlin really cost Dale Jr. the race. Im not sure the rules on that but it would seem to me that NASCAR should be able to do something about that other than holding Hamlin 2 laps which he prob. would have lost anyways. His night was over and he knew it. He parked on the track to help Kyle out. That is not racing.

On a side note…….that was one hack of a race. I was one of the skeptics on the COT but kudos to NASCAR for bringing in a racecar that is SAFE, RUGGED and just flat out fun to watch. Sure……some bugs need to be worked out here and there but they should pat themselves on the back for this car.

Send that 29 around.

Joe Wheeler,
Pearl River, Louisiana.


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