It sounds like new engine regulations could debut for the NASCAR Cup Series come 2026 or 2027 that could allow for a new manufacturer to join Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota.

Honda has been at the center of garage rumors as the most likely OEM to enter the highest levels of Stock Car competition. And while NASCAR nor Honda has confirmed those rumors, NASCAR chief racing development officer John Probst made an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Thursday to detail all the reasons a new manufacturer will soon have a logical runway.

“A timeline for a new OEM coming into our sport is somewhere in the 18- to 24-month period,” said Probst on the licensed NASCAR channel. “When we work with our existing partners, obviously it‘s important for us to make sure that any new partner coming in would be a complement to what we have here today.

“So, there would be an outside chance we could do it quicker. And certainly, when all of our existing OEM partners are on board, which they are, you know the opportunity would exist, we may be able to expedite that, but under normal circumstances, 18 to 24 months.”

Probst said a new manufacturer would likely have to begin the engine and body submission process over the summer months.

“If a new OEM did want to come in 2026, we are within a few months of us getting to the point where you almost start running out of time to go through all the steps that we have today,” Probst said. “If all the stars align, it is possible you could do it quicker than 18 months.

NASCAR appears to be inching closer towards a hybrid component to its longstanding pushrod V8 power plant too.

Since 2012, McLaren has provided the ECUs, digital dashes and numerous electronic components that power cars at the highest level. McLaren has since extended with NASCAR and Probst indicated even more electric technology is on the way that would be appealing for manufacturers in their pursuit of futuristic power plants.

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