“It’s some about economics, and there are some who think that if you knocked a little bit of horsepower out, it could put you in a position to make the racing better,” said Pemberton. “But there’s a lot of things that go into it. There’s the mechanical grip and the tire grip and the aerodynamic grip and engine horsepower. Every one thing you change, you have to adjust everything around it to make it right. There’s some sort of balance in there. So, if you do a horsepower change, there’s a better than not chance that you will have to adjust aerodynamics, and that may give you the ability to adjust tires. So it’s a three-legged stool. You just have to work on them all.”
Pemberton said advances in performance have dramatically boosted horsepower in recent years.
“It’s not fully appreciated the fact that we’ve had the same engine for basically 25 or 30 years and it’s at 850 or 860 horsepower, where it used to be 500,” Pemberton said. “And we are at the same race tracks where we used to run 160 (miles per hour) we’re now qualifying at 190 and running 213 going into the corners. There’s been a lot of engineering and gains made across the board. Goodyear … we have the same tire patch as when we started.
“There’s been a lot of development over the years to put on good racing,” said Pemberton. “And there’s a belief that we need to take a set and at least kind of start over a little bit.”