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Nationwide Toyotas face power cut

NASCAR has introduced immediate changes to the engine rules for the Nationwide Series, following recent dyno tests of a number of units that were impounded by officials two weeks ago at Chicagoland Speedway.

Effective from this weekend's race at O'Reilly Raceway Park, engines will run two different tapered spacers depending on the cylinder bore spacing of every specific engine.

Up until now, all teams had been running the same spacer, which is said to cut around 80 horsepower, although it is intended to lengthen the life of engines.

From this weekend's race, those teams running engines with a cylinder bore spacing less than 4.470 inches must compete using a tapered spacer with four 1.125-inch diameter holes. Meanwhile, those with a cylinder bore spacing of 4.470 inches or more must compete using a tapered spacer with four 1.100-inch diameter holes.

The move comes after NASCAR impounded ten engines at Chicagoland Speedway, where Kyle Busch won Toyota's fourteenth race of the season out of 21 events contested thus far.

Three Toyotas, three Chevrolets, two Fords and two Dodges, were benchtested at NASCAR's Research and Development Centre in Concord, North Carolina, and the findings led NASCAR to introduce the changes.

"Eventually, all teams that upgrade to new engine packages will be subject to this rule modification," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "Over the years in our sport, we've taken steps on numerous occasions to help maintain a level playing field among our competitors and we will continue to do so."

The new rule, which is based on the actual design of the engine, is set to affect all current Toyota engines in the Nationwide Series. They will have to use the smaller restrictor that will probably cut between 10 to 20 horsepower from their units.

Teams with other manufacturers would eventually have to use the same smaller restrictor as well if they upgrade to a new engine specification.

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