After a strong performance last month in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 at Daytona, ECR Engines focused its attention back to stock car racing with the Daytona 500 quickly approaching. ECR powered Cadillac Racing to a 1-2 finish on Jan. 28 in the Rolex 24 then followed up with another 1-2 finish again in the 60th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18.
In fact, ECR Engines powered five of the top-10 finishers in the Great American Race including the race winner, Austin Dillon. Dillon delivered ECR its fourth Daytona 500 championship (’98, ’07, ’10, ’18).
Not a bad way to start the 2018 racing season.
ECR’s early successes can be attributed to its renewed focus in two areas, according to Richie Gilmore, president of ECR; horsepower and reliability. With new rules in NASCAR regarding how many engines a team can bring to the track, Gilmore has made it a priority that his team’s engines will run smoothly for the entire race weekend.
"Austin (Dillon)’s winning Daytona 500 car actually ran almost 850 miles," Gilmore said. "The team ran it in the Clash the weekend prior and in practice on Friday and Saturday before the 500. That’s a true test of an engine’s horsepower and reliability."
Monday morning after Speedweeks in Daytona Beach, Gilmore was pleased to hear there were no engine-related issues to speak of the previous week. This season, ECR has technical alliances with five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams, providing each with horsepower – Richard Childress Racing, Germain Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and JTG Daugherty Racing. All had strong performances in NASCAR’s season opener.
"We worked really hard in the off-season to get to where we needed to be," Gilmore said. "Our next big focus is the 1.5-mile tracks we go to over the next two weeks. Ryan (Newman) tested Las Vegas a few weeks ago and we feel confident after the results from out there."
In 2017, ECR Engines won the manufacturer’s championship for the third consecutive season in the SportsCar series and won two races in the Cup Series.