November 16, 2016 – Cope Engines and engine builder Jimmy Cope are no longer an approved engine builder for Florida spec engines following a discovery during this past weekend’s Governor’s Cup at New Smyrna Speedway (FL).
Chief Technical Inspector Ricky Brooks and officials from New Smyrna Speedway made the announcement on Wednesday, stating that one of the engines built by Cope Engines did not meet numerous requirement of the spec engine rulebook.
“We’re not playing games with any of those sealed motors; the main focus of this program is maintaining a level playing field,” Brooks said. “The engine builder asked me to compare my machine to his machine and then once that took place there were washers on the spark plugs to keep the compression down. It just went on from there and we ended up taking the motor, tearing it down and checking it.”
The engine in question was brought to Brooks during the weekend by the engine builder for inspection. During that inspection, it was discovered that the engine did not meet specs and it was confiscated.
As a result of the tear-down and the investigation into the engine by Brooks, Cope is no longer allowed to build, rebuild or participate in the sealed engine program. In addition, none of Cope’s engines are allowed to compete at events that use the Florida spec engine rulebook.
“We must uphold the integrity of this Spec Engine program. From the inception of the it, we have always been made it clear what the penalty would be if this happened,” said Kim Brown, General Manager of New Smyrna Speedway. “My only concern right now is that we as officials do what we’ve warned people about for years.”
The team to which the engine belonged to, the No. 51 DLP Motorsports team with driver Stephen Nasse, was not penalized and was allowed to swap engines before competing in Sunday’s 200-lap race.
-New Smyrna Speedway Press Release
-Story credit: Speed51.com