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Engine rule forces No. 66 team to withdraw at Texas

Timmy Hill drives down pit row during practice for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire

Carl Long explained the reason his No. 66 team was force to withdraw from the Texas Cup race on Friday in a Facebook post:

"I haven't been able to quite put into words the outcome of our Cup car today.

Nascar has an engine seal rule. This is to cut down on engine costs. This means you have to run engines for more than 1 race on a particular engine. A full time team has a total number of races it must use a sealed engine. This helps the teams save $. This is the same rule in the Xfinity garage.

I am a full time team in Xfinity, where we comply with the rule. I went full time Cup back in July. We have been to the track each week with Rewards.com or Ternio as the primary sponsor. However, Nascar told me I am still classified as a part time team since we did not go to all the races during the season. This means the rule changes where every 3rd race must be a sealed engine. My last sealed engine was ran at Dover. The oil pump broke... killing engine. Next was our 1st race, Kansas, with our new engine program. Engine 1 broke a valve at begining of Saturday practice. Then we had a huge amount of issues getting backup engine to fit. Neither of these engines were sealed at that time and both were destroyed. So we rented one from PME at Martinsville, a piece we ran earlier, but it did not have seals as the heads were removed for maintenance. So it was sealed at Martinsville, however, it saw fire damage and could not be used at Texas. I went to Texas with a fresh engine, knowing we had plenty of sealed engine starts on the #66.. Not knowing we were classified as a part time team. The official told a person on the crew I had to be sealed in Texas at the Martinsville race. I had no sealed engines and I knew we had plenty of sealed starts. Not realizing we are part time classified by NASCAR. During Xfinity practice I was called to the Cup hauler. My engine is not sealed and therefore not eligible to qualify.

I pleaded my case. I have destroyed all my sealed engines. My backup is not sealed, and the one in my Phoenix car is not sealed.

At this time we will be out of Cup racing. I can't run at Phoenix without a sealed engine. So I will not be able to go to Homestead as I don't have one ran at Phoenix. I could run a sealed engine from another team, but unfortunately their prices are usually more than we can afford.

The sponsors have been great in supporting us. I don't see them remaining with us. What we do recieve is just not enough $ to rent another engine and pay the race cost..

Unless something happens unexpectedly.. We are done in Cup for 2018. I hope to build on 2019 with 2 cars at Daytona in Cup (yes, I'm still stupid) and 2 Xfinity cars... Thanks to Brian Keselowski and his crew for getting more speed out of the car. and Chris Sumner for all the countless hours and devotion he has put into these engines. Rocky at Powersource Engines for investing in this dream of our own engine program."