Hybrid engines are coming to NASCAR sooner, rather than later.

Speaking at the Le Mans 24 Hours test at the weekend, Ford Performance’s motorsport chief Mark Rushbrook talked about when hybrid engines could debut in NASCAR, and what their implementation might look like.

“There’s a lot of open discussion of hybrids in NASCAR,” Rushbrook said, via Motorsports.com’s Charles Bradley . “It’s just a matter of when, not if. It’s probably in the 2022-2023 timeframe. … It doesn’t need to be at every track. If you put a hybrid in for the Daytona 500, where you’re wide open throughout the whole lap, it doesn’t make sense. For a short course like Martinsville or a road course like Watkins Glen, the hybrid makes sense.

“I would expect that when it gets introduced it would be some subset of races are entirely ICE and some subset of races are hybrid.”

Rushbrook’s comments come a few months after John Probst, NASCAR’s vice president of innovation, told Motorsport.com, “That is on the radar for sure. But we’re early with that discussion.”

Per Motorsport.com, NASCAR will ramp up its focus on hybrid engines after the 2021 season, when a new-specification car — labelled the Gen -7 — is set to be introduced.

So, why bring hybrid engines to NASCAR?

One word: Manufacturers.

Thumbnail photo via Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports Images