After securing two NASCAR Sprint Cup titles in four seasons, Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) and Mobil 1 Racing lubricant engineers have spent the offseason working together to prepare for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and the latest rule changes.
“When seconds matter, racing lubricant science and engineering really matter,” said Bruce Crawley, motorsport technology manager at ExxonMobil. “In considering the latest NASCAR rule changes, we implemented a detailed analysis to assess how it could affect our lubricant approach for the 2015 season.”
According to Crawley, who is starting his 10th season of heading up Mobil 1’s global motorsport technical program, even seemingly small rule changes demand close attention and deliberation. “For instance, the change to short and intermediate track engines for 2015 places even greater emphasis on friction reduction as a lever to improve performance.”
During the past few seasons, the collaboration between Mobil 1 and SHR engineering teams has resulted in different lubricant solutions for different tracks and driving conditions.
“When looking at the rule changes from a big-picture perspective, the optimum engine oil requirements are tending to converge for restrictor plate and open race engines,” said Crawley. “With 2015 rules for short and intermediate track engines resulting in reduced horse power, roller lifters and lower engine rpm, the optimum engine oil formulation oil will likely be different. We are approaching this like any new research and development project. It will be data driven and require extensive evaluation and prove out testing.”
Since teaming up in the 2010 off-season, SHR and Mobil 1 engineers have formed a close working relationship that has addressed numerous racing challenges and NASCAR rule changes, both large and small. From the 2011 season on, that partnership has led to significant on-track success with two Sprint Cup titles, 18 wins, 79 top 5s, 135 top 10s and 17 poles. When the green flag drops for the 2015 season, Mobil 1 Racing will now be directly supporting SHR drivers with more than 100 combined total Sprint Cup wins.
Last year saw the SHR and Mobil 1 partnership bring home its second Sprint Cup Series title in just four years when Kevin Harvick won the Chase’s Championship Round at Homestead. As Tony Stewart did in 2011, Harvick won both the race and Championship at the season finale at Homestead.
With the help of Mobil 1 lubricant technology, Harvick’s 14th season in NASCAR’s top series was highlighted by five race victories, 20 top 10 finishes and eight pole positions. He also led an astounding 2,137 laps during the course of his 2014 campaign – more than 500 laps greater than any other NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver.
“Our technology partnership with SHR is a symbiotic engineering relationship,” said Artis Brown, global motorsports manager at ExxonMobil. “The Mobil 1 engineering team supporting SHR designs lubricant packages that help the team win races while ultimately helping Mobil 1 improve the quality of our lubricant products for consumers. It’s a classic track-to-street technology transfer story. As long-time motorsports participants, we can’t wait to see how the 2015 season unfolds for the SHR drivers using Mobil 1 lubricant technology.”
In addition to its association with SHR, Mobil 1 is entering its 13th season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR.”