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Midwest Circle Track Racers, Lend Me Your Ears (And Your Ideas) . . . .

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by CoolHand, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091

    k9racer
    Member

    The problem with 350 carbs and restrictor plates is every one has to buy a light weight crank and rod piston assembly.. there for cost rise. I parked my imca car 2 years ago reason was what you stated to much cost on rear syspension. shit I still had leafs. At 63 years old I am racing a super stock camero. this year 3rd in points won one and ran second 7 times.. I will not soak a tire. I think the cemicals cause cancer so the guy who soaks them will out run me. But I will still be alive and he will be dead. We have had 7 owners crew who soaked tires die with in the last 3 years. Shitty tires are about the only equal iser. maybe non adjustable or buildable shocks. I hate claim rule as its a rich mans game that way. I have a friend who the week after geting claimed would wreck whoever claimed him. Vintage racing has also gotton out of hand . Several of the Georgia guys are running late model chassis with18 degree engines. I will shut up now.. Bobby..
     
  2. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,926

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    NO! Don't shut up!

    That's all great stuff, and exactly what I'm after here.

    Running real vintage tin on honest to God race cars is foolish IMO.

    Racing is a contact sport, and on dirt short tracks, it's basically kick boxing for cars.

    Vintage steel is way too hard to find, too expensive to buy when you do find it, and it seems like one hell of a waste to beat the hell out of an old body that someone somewhere could bring back to life.

    Most of the stuff guys sentence to die while hung on a nostalgia chassis could have been saved by guys of Jim Sibley's caliber.

    I also agree with the soaked tires. Our track allowed it, so a lot of guys did it, and they were a little faster. Used twice as many tires to do it, but they were demonstrably faster because of it.

    We tried it a few times, and it didn't seem to help me a bit. The tires would have three or four good laps in them, but then they'd go away worse than if I'd have just left them alone, so I quit doing it. Maybe I wasn't holding my tongue right or something, I dunno.

    The health implications never occurred to me at the time, but I can see your point very clearly now that I think about it.
     
  3. superglide
    Joined: Jul 30, 2008
    Posts: 46

    superglide
    Member

    K9racer you got some good points on the lightweight stuff. and some guys are doing that here, but i know others that arent and still winning. i still like my old camaro, and im glad your still winning some races.
     
  4. BlessedHellride
    Joined: Oct 17, 2009
    Posts: 20

    BlessedHellride
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    Why couldn't a guy take the concept and run with it? I mean this looks like just about exactly what you want as a platform anyway. I could see stiching together one of these chassis's (or one based on similar dimentions and design) in a small modestly equipped garage, throwing in a small block of choice (maybe even a six ;with a weight break of course) use steel wheels, maybe a DOT tire rule, and either a fabricated era specific body or a fiberglass repop. . . Basically a full sized Dwarf Car. I home built and raced (with some success) my own dwarf car many years ago and with the same theme (cheap fun) I had 4 seasons with two different motors and only $2000 in the whole car! Granted that was 15 years ago, but the basics are still the same.

    Big time budgets will always show themselves as someone finds a way to make money from a grass roots movement, but this looks like a viable option to me...anyone else see the potential?

     
  5. OoltewahSpeedShop
    Joined: Oct 18, 2007
    Posts: 3,103

    OoltewahSpeedShop
    Member

    $3500 used GRT (or your choice) roller with some spares
    $2500 Crate 602
    $900 for 6 Hoosier 70's
    $600 Afco non-adjustables

    $7500 race ready.

    Spend your money wisely, and this can be done. Don't think for a second that just because they are sealed crate engines that they can't be cheated up. We race against them all the time, and they usually win if its slick. As far as I know, Chevrolet has the only "Sealed" crate engines. They are short lived though. We got word from one of our engine guys last week that Chevrolet was going to stop building these engines. They are going to concentrate on building the car business back up and not worry about factory built racing engines. Thats why I didn't mention crate engines in my first post. So take that for what it's worth? I've been hearing that rumor for 2 years, but you can still go to the dealership and get one today.

    Used dirt late models, with all steel factory type engines (no exotic parts), Super hard tires that get checked EVERY WEEK, and weighing at least 2500 pounds would be a winner. That way you can buy all the abundance of parts left over from these late model teams and afford to race. If you start a totally new class with crazy center drive, open wheel cars... Where are you gonna save any money? Everybody in the class has to have a brand new race car from week one. Where do you buy used parts? There's not any, because you have a totally different car than anybody else in the world. Steel axle tubes? Who runs that shit? Nobody, thats who. So you take a perfectly good quick change, and have to take it to somebody to press out perfectly good aluminum axle tubes so you can press in brand new steel ones? Thats crazy!!!!

    Saving money racing is being able to buy parts from the upper classes and directly apply it into your program. Otherwise you are buying new parts again. Hows that saving money?

    There you go.... Done! Lets go racing!

    Kevin
    Ooltewah Speed Shop
     
  6. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
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    That would be awesome, if you have upper classes to buy stuff from.

    Around here, IMCA Modifieds ARE the upper class. Late Models died out as a weekly class damned near ten years ago.

    A few places still run "Limited Late Models", but those are really just Street Stocks wearing Late Model bodies.

    I guess I should amend my intentions to read "I would like to revive real open wheel racing in my part of the country, and do it on a budget."

    You are right about my fixation on the steel housing tubes. You'll never find them used. If you were buying the rear end new, then it's actually cheaper to buy them with steel tubes, but you are right that no one will have one in a Late Model with steel tubes.

    Steel axle tubes just make mounting everything a lot easier. Place it, clamp it, weld it down. The aluminum tubes mean everything has to be clamp-on only or mounted on birdcages.

    Honestly, I've never had good luck racing on used parts. You never know what they've been through, and they always seemed to break on me when I needed them most. Engine parts, transmissions, rear end housings, rear end gears, hell used wheels and tires. I've had them all let me down at one time or another. There is only so much inspection you can do before you've spent everything you've saved and then some.

    Not to mention that it's going to be hard to find a used housing with the right offset to use in the kind of car I had in mind.

    Your fixed costs with a racing car are mostly one shot deals. You don't buy new rear ends every week, or new motors every week, but you will be buying wheels and tires on a very regular basis.

    A great lot of the cost of running a Late Model are those $175 a shot wheels and $200 a shot tires.

    That's some place that the rules could help save the racer money. If you spec a tire that only costs $60 a piece, and spec a wheel that costs $75 a piece, you're gonna reduce the operating costs substantially.

    Like I said, even if you buy the housing and build a chassis new, those are one time costs. It's the other stuff that eats you alive.

    Hell, when I was points racing, we spent more on tires in a season than we did on the rolling chassis and the motor combined. And those were IMCA tires (~$95 a piece).

    I understand where you're coming from, I just don't agree that it's the right way to go.
     
  7. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
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    OK, I've been pondering the crate engine problem (them going away), and I'm stuck.

    I was running my lathe, so I couldn't spare too much brain for the problem (lest I become fodder for the machine tool gods), but I can't come up with any real easy and moron proof ways to keep the motors from getting ridiculous.

    Part of me loves those fire breathing alcohol motors, I mean, who wouldn't right? 700 HP in a 2,500 LB car is a hoot in any language. The problem is that it's expensive. We spent at least $12,000 on our big motors, and the guys we raced with would routinely spend twice that per engine, and pop two or three a season. We had to make ours last all year, no way we could build two like that in a year.

    So, the question is then, if the crate motors don't work the way I'm wanting them to, and they're slated to go away anyhow, what do we do?

    Lengthy teardowns after every race are a PITA, and are pointless unless you have tech guys who really know their shit.

    Personally, I don't want to have to pull the motor in half every single night.

    So what would you all suggest? Keep in mind the technical skill level of the average inspector. ;)
     
  8. Abomb
    Joined: Oct 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,659

    Abomb
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  9. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton
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    Chassis dyno at the track and winnner's cars get dyno'd. Exceed XXX and you're illegal. Dump all the money you want into the motor.

    Expensive for the promoter? Hell yeah. But would literally save hundreds of thousands for the racers and also put on a show for the spectators, cause spectators love dyno runs.
     
  10. ilinrods41
    Joined: Oct 21, 2009
    Posts: 81

    ilinrods41
    Member

    As a former dirt sprint car and ump modified driver I know exactly what you mean. Around here the sprint cars run a hoosier dt3 right rear, it is pretty hard and a 5 race old one is just as good as a new one. So maybe a similar type tire rule in a dirt late model type car. I agree with the post about hydraulic cams and steel heads. They have tried crate engine rules locally and it just becomes a money thing. Guys are having them tore down by pros then remachined what they end up with is a 15,000 crate engine. Horsepower is the same but it lasts longer without the power dropoff like a normal crate engine. Anyway thats my 2 cents worth. I do agree something needs done to save dirt racing and bring guys like me back copmetitively.
     
  11. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,926

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    OK, I've got another question.

    What if you just didn't have any motor rules to speak of, or made them super simple like "No alum blocks, no fuel injection, naturally aspirated, gas or methanol only.", but you were religious in policing the tires.

    Pick a hard-ish spec tire and then duro them every single night on every car. Any soakers get bounced for the season.

    It doesn't do any good at all to have 700 HP under your foot if the tires will only ever let you put about 300 of them down to the ground.

    That was supposed to be the rational behind the IMCA tire, and if you don't soak them in honest to god traction compound, they won't put down much power at all.

    What we did notice was that they had a finite life to them. You got two features and two heat races out of a set of rear tires, and then they were done. Two heat cycles would make them hard enough that you could see the change on the stop watch, so everyone bought two new tires every weekend, just like clockwork.

    Run them one night, break them down and flip them 180 degs on the wheel to use the sharp edges on the other side the next week, then they get set on the pile of tires demoted to spares and fronts.

    If we could find a tire that either didn't give up until it was plum worn out, or gave up instantly and stayed that way, that would help reduce the tire bill quite a bit. You'd just be replacing them as they got worn out or cut, instead of as soon as they lost their "goody". lol
     
  12. I don't know what the answer is. This subject has been brought up a thousand times, pavement, dirt, on road, oval, offroad, etc. Racing is expensive,,, PERIOD! Every spec class I've been involved in or watched, eventually became a matter of dollars. I've done some road racing with NASA in the camaro challenge class that has a "dyno engine rule" I was right on the edge with my home built engine, but I would get killed by the 10K probuilt engines that made torque curves flat as Kansas... The crate 602 latemodel classes out here on the west coast are dominated by the guys that grease the engine suppliers (they use a single rebuilder/supplier).
    At the end of the day I think adding classes to a race progam is something you're not gonna see a lot of promoters doing, and all the "club" programs that travel and get support spots at local tracks have their work really cut out for themselves. The problem with adding classes is that some competitors from upper classes that want to spend less are going to move down, weakening the car count in the big show classes, therefore lowering purses, making it more expensive and pissing off the competitors, etc.

    Anyway, now I'll add some sunshine on my crappy post! LOL The class I currently run is a class that has come up in the past ten years out here in northern california. It's a Non winged sprint car class called "SPEC" sprint (Sprint Parts Economy Class). The cars are standard current sprint cars, which are not allowed any lightweight, exotic parts, i.e. titainium, carbon, etc. The engines are all steel, with standard port, standard angle heads, solid cams, wet sump, and 500 holley carbs. Another big plus to the class is the cars must be self starting (they start in gear). It's a bit cheaper than running an IMCA style modified as far as wear and tear, and engine costs, plus the drivers show a lot of respect in the class. Our lap times are about a second quicker (3/8 mile very high bite track) than a DIRT stars latemodel, 3 seconds quicker than an IMCA modified and about two seconds slower than a winged 360 sprint car. There are currently seven tracks within four hours running this formula and they are all getting upwards of 20 entries with some of the more densely popluated areas getting 30+ cars weeky, Making it the largest class in northern ca.
    As far as cost is concerned, My car is a winning car on any given night with a good shoe in the car (not with me driving ;) and I have under 10K in my car. Running costs are very similar to a modified, with tires being a little cheaper since almost everyone in the class uses take offs from wing car teams, with that being said a New RR tire will last 10 nights, a decent take off will last us 5-6 nights, front tires get old and crack before the tread wears out. Crash damage is about the same as a modified, If we wipe out a front axle it's about the same as taking a corner of a modified, (spindle, a frames, stearing gear). Used cars and equipment are very available, a very high end roller can be had for about 5K, and a good roller can be had for 3-4K, being a non wing car throwing more power at it really doesn't make a huge difference, so big dollar motors don't show as large of an advantage in this class (the largest track these cars run is 3/8 mile, I don't think this would hold true on anything larger) as say a modified or a latemodel, this has been proven over the years with carbureted spec sprint drivers doing very well, and even winning in 360, bandits, and USAC/CRA open shows.
    If anyone is interested I can post up some links to tracks and rules, it really is a great class with a very good balance of competition and economy. Here's a pic of the car I own and drive, it's a 2001 John Boy chassis, with a 358 chevrolet engine, nothing special, 13.5:1 on methanol, off the shelf dart heads and Team G manifold, eagle crank, eagle rods, and mahle slugs.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  13. I think this only works for certain tracks, out on the west coast most of our track are very heavy, and if you're not coming to play with 600hp in a modified you better plan on playing bumper cars in the middle of the pack. this is part of the reason I got out of modifieds in the late 90's early 00's. Basically as the swing arm cars gained popularity, when you can put 75-80% dynamic cross in the car to hook it up on power, and then 5" of dynamic rear steer in the car to make it turn you can hook big hp numbers on a small tire, not so much on a dry track, but it sucks knowing you're only gonna run up front if the track goes dry. I also think with the advent of that rear suspension the raceability of the cars kinda went away, they became very unforgiving in the corner, once you went back to gas it had to be dead on, and if someone checked up or got loose in front of you the car wouldn't react quick enough to not hit them.

    Im not sure what the sportsman mods are like in the rest of the country but a couple tracks out here are going to a "sportsman" class that just mandates rear suspension, 3 link with a panhard, all solid, no biscuts, no pull bar. and the racing is really good, when its dry you have to drive like you're on wet linoleum, and when it's tacky you have five cars up front that you could throw a sheet over. I just don't know that there's enough interest in it. promoters don't really seem to be too warm to it because they feel (and I agree) it takes away from the modified entry list, and to the fans the cars look the same and are close in speed to the regular mods. That was the nice thing about the non wing spec sprint class I posted, as non wing sprints have been dead in northern ca for a long time.
     
  14. superglide
    Joined: Jul 30, 2008
    Posts: 46

    superglide
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    i like the 'SPEC' sprint car series. jacksonville had talked about a 'sportsman' sprint car class a coule years ago. man i was all for it. it never happened. i bought a street stock instead. lol.
     
  15. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,926

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    That's an interesting point, and one which I was going to bring up.

    In my modifieds, I always ran a two link with either a spring loaded pull bar, or a spring loaded torque arm. When I was a rook, that's what everyone ran. We'd mount the LR spring in front of the axle, and the RR behind the axle. That'd let you tune the wedge in the car with your right foot, and it's beautiful to drive. Very forgiving, and very quick reacting.

    The only down side is that it will only hook so hard, then it's done. Wheelspin can be a problem with big HP. Just like modifieds were supposed to be.

    Then came the swing arm or Z-link cars. I ran one for a while, and found them to be so spring rate sensitive, that I went back to a two link. When you hit the springs right, it was bad fast, but when you missed with the springs, it was like a pig on ice, and it didn't take a lot of change in the race track to necessitate a spring change.

    That was way more trouble and expense than me and my old man could handle. It was only the two of us for crew, and there just weren't enough hours in the week or dollars in the bank to carry twenty sets of springs and spend the weeks of testing it would have taken to get it all sorted out. We just couldn't do it, so from that point on, we were a little slower than the guys who could.

    Then the four links with those stubby little panhard bars landed, and all hell broke loose. We never even tried the four bar, 'cause they were even more spring sensitive than the Z-link, and now you added into the mix the bar angles to set the rear steer. It all got more complicated again.

    This time only a few guys jumped into that pool, and of those, only a handful really figured it out, but those that did were fast. And not only were they fast, they could hook those big motors (like 434 CID, 18 deg alum heads, alum blocks, still wet sump, but basically a Late Model motor) even when things went dry slick and shiny.

    At that point, I was screwed. Sentenced to race for fifth place in perpetuity because me and the old man would never have the time or the money to really sort out the four bar on every track we ran at.

    See, now we're getting somewhere. :D

    If we put all this together, a picture starts to form.

    You need a hard-ish spec tire.

    You need to keep the Z-link and four link rear suspensions at bay to keep the big motors from getting any purchase.

    Which then means you don't need a lot of fancy motor rules.

    Used parts can help keep things cheap, especially tires, but that's only useful if the area in question has a healthy supply of upper classes to supply said used stuff.

    The class needs to be significantly different in form from the other classes racing currently, or there's no reason from the track owner's perspective to allow them to run.

    Have I missed anything so far?

    That's a pretty good start though. It's all fleshing out nicely. :D
     
  16. arca39
    Joined: May 19, 2008
    Posts: 310

    arca39
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    from summit il

    ok i get what your looking for, what about a class like you are starting to build, but instead of a v8 why not a v6(lots of them around). or do like the irl, and have one or two builders supply the engines. if you run some one else's you add x-amount of lead.
     
  17. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,926

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    Were there a lot of factory V-6's with carbs on them? I doubt many folks want to ponder the idea of dealing with EFI and all the attendant wiring on a dirt track car. I know I sure wouldn't want to.

    If you can't get an intake that you can put a carb on, it'd be a non-starter.

    I know the ASA used to run V-6's, but they were hella expensive. When they went to the crate V-8, those V-6's flooded the used market.

    A guy in my class bought six (6) of them and tried to run them in our top modified class. He thought they'd be a good deal 'cause they made good power and were about 150 lbs lighter than a V-8. He found out real fast that they didn't like the load/unload cycles you get on a rough and heavy dirt track where the car gets to bouncing (and coming off the ground).

    He popped all six in less than 15 races. As it turned out, those engines weren't such a good deal. lol

    I also really hate to mandate motors that are too anemic, 'cause the cars have gotta be fairly fast or the tracks won't want them.

    V-6's sound funny too. :eek: :D
     
  18. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091

    k9racer
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    On the 305 or v6 issus.. all of us know that we can build a 350 cheaper than a 305 { pistons are high cost for the 305} same story for the v6,, vacume rules dont work they are very easy to fool. Maybe a max valve lift on the cam might be a answer. But you have to have a honest no favor playing tech man.Years ago I made a profit with a race car. then it got where if you paid for your tires you had a good year. now if you can clear fuel and 2 pit passes you are doing good.. as another hamb member said all racing is expensive.I have seen friends loose cars trucks being repoed because they spent everything on the racer. I know a few who have lost their houses and another his busisness but the worst are a few that went to prison doing illegal things to support the race car hapit.Every year I put a sertain sum of money in the bank racing account when its gone I park the race cars..The last several years I have been lucky and not destroyed much equipment.. I wish Junkyard Jan was still alive she would enjoy this thread..At one time she , racer 5c and I were about the only circle racers on the hamb.. If I think of somthing worth posting I will chime back in..Bobby..
     
  19. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
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    Yeah, you gotta know when to call it.

    When we got to the point that the money spent was no longer justified by the amount of fun had by all involved, we quit doing it.

    I'd like to find a way to get the fun quotient back up, while reducing the cost per giggle to a manageable level.
     
  20. OoltewahSpeedShop
    Joined: Oct 18, 2007
    Posts: 3,103

    OoltewahSpeedShop
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    I thought you were looking for a REAL answer to the question.

    Let me know how the "One off open wheel division" works out. IMCA open wheels lasted less than a year around here. Without a doubt the most boring racing I've ever tried to watch. The crowd booed them when the races were over.
     
  21. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
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    What were these IMCA Open Wheels you're talking about? I never heard of them. Got any pics or info I could read?

    The problem with what you're talking about is that around here in the Mid-West, most places do not run Late Models as a weekly class anymore.

    If there aren't any Late Models, there aren't any used parts to buy for your cheap class use.

    That would be great if it were possible, but at least in this part of the country, it is not.

    Perhaps the open wheel environment is in a similar shape out West?
     
  22. OoltewahSpeedShop
    Joined: Oct 18, 2007
    Posts: 3,103

    OoltewahSpeedShop
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    You live in Missouri and you don't know what an IMCA open wheel modified is? Really?

    Come on now, what have you been talking about in the rest of your posts? You know exactly what I'm talking about.

    The midwest is full of late model cars, you and I both know it. Maybe they don't run them at EVERY track, but they are everywhere. I know at least 25 guys that race them in Missouri weekly, and I'm from Tennessee.
     
  23. I haven't read every page here but have been involved with dirt racers for a lot of years, building driveshafts for them. (Fastshafts and others helped change that business)
    My observations.
    IMCA came to this area about 15 years ago, killed a couple of classes at I-30 Speedway because of maybe payout rules per IMCA. Limited late models were done. Super stocks were damn near a IMCA mod, except had a larger tire, 2 bbl and more engine rules. The guys in the class caused as much excitement in the crowd as lates and sprints. If you raced those classes, you changed to mods or left. Lap times got slower and wrecks were more prevelant. They evolved.
    Go to Batesville Speedway today and you'll find some of the fastest mods in this area. But they don't race under IMCA rules. They have quickies, Berts & Brinns. The engines don't sound quite as hot as a UMP mod motor, but close. Spendage, engine price is only difference compared to a late model in my eyes.
    They used to run late models every Friday night at Batesville. They had a decent crowd, and in my eyes the hottest local late model deal in this part of the country. Rex Mc, Terry Ph, Bill66, local guys in good fast cars. Then MARS came around. The modifieds took over as the fast car for a Friday night at Batesville. Took away the excitement for me.
    Hell, even the Street Stocks, Novas, Camaros, A & G bodies, is a class that's turned expensive. From what I understand, the guys are spending a lot of engine money.
    Make it affordable to a point???
    GM dirt crate motor or when available Ford or Mopar equal, Bert or Brinn, might as well use a quickie, same suspenion as a late model, shock absorber part number rule, whatever tire rule, etc.
    But, what will become is like what happened with IMCA mods here. Yes sir, you can race at x number of tracks with the same rules. Local already inside the track politics things happen. Blah, blah,---. Track X says the heck with rules and start letting guys run outlaw versions of that car. ___________________________ story.
    Maybe not all the correct observations. Listened to a lot of car owners and drivers talk.
    Last tidbit--hard to find complete 9" rearends to build hotrods, good old three speeds and four speeds too. SBC stuff that hasn't been thru the wringer. Happening too with results of four wheel drive guys, rock crawlers, drag racers, street players, US, etc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  24. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
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    OH!

    I'd never heard them called that before.

    Yes, I know what an IMCA Modified is, I raced one for about ten years.

    I wasn't trying to be obtuse, I just didn't put the two names together as being the same thing.

    I'd like to know where they're running Late Models every week, like a list of tracks would be good, any that you can remember. Again, I'm not trying to be a PITA, I'd genuinely like to know.

    I've been out of the game for about five seasons now, so maybe things have changed, but when I was still running every weekend, none of the five tracks we would run at had a weekly Late Model show. As far as I can tell, all those tracks still don't have a Late Model class. That's every race track within three hours drag of me (but I do kinda live out in BFE).

    The "A" or IMCA Modifieds were the top class, with the occasional stop of a touring 360 winged Sprint Car series.

    Why must every discussion on this board eventually breed a pissing contest?
     
  25. CoolHand
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    OK, now that I know you mean IMCA Modifieds, you're telling me that the most popular racing class in the US lasted less than a year in your area?

    By your reasoning, how is that any more believable than there being no Late Models in my area?

    I'm not saying it's not true, but rather, if you can see a class entirely die in your area how can you not believe the same thing can happen to a different class in mine?
     
  26. On the west coast IMCA type modifieds are the most popular dirt class for a weekly show, and the non winged spec sprints are equal or slightly better in northern ca. As far as Latemodels go, they really died out about 10 years ago out here, They've recently started running a touring serries out here for them called the "Western States" which has seen a small revival, and they get 30 car for most of there shows, but I don't think the class is going to grow beyond that, it was just in a lull for too long out here. The same thing started to happen with the 360 winged sprinters out here a couple years ago but the promoters really steped up and did the smart thing and decided to make that a traveling series for the most part, "The Civil War Series", a few tracks still have strong weekly shows, but all the promoters are in agreement that they will not have a 360 show on a night that will conflict with a Civil War Night. I'm not sure what promoters are like elsewhere in the country but in California about 7 years ago they started doing a short track promoters conference that they do every year in Late Jan. It keeps all the tracks on the same page with rules, tires, etc. let's them get on different pages as far as schedules and open shows. As a result of that, whether you race an IMCA mod, wingless sprint,360 winged sprint or a super stock, you have 7 race tracks within about 4 hours you can go race on a weekly basis. The latemodel guys have 4 tracks in the same circle.

    I think with all that being said the main thing a new class needs is racetrack exposure, you have to get more than one promoter on board with what you're doing, even if it's points at one track and a couple open shows at other tracks, it has to have some exposure. I'd love to see a sportsman mod class really get going out here, with a 360 ci limit, off the shelf head (dart or WP) and mani, with a 3 link rear. Unfortunately I know it wont happen because there isn't the car counts of mods like there are in the midwest. Out here mods are a struggling a lot with the sheer cost to run up front and most weekly shows have car counts below 20, I think a sportsman mod class would split that 20+ and end up with two divisions that don't look any different to the fans, with car counts under 10 which no promoter in their right mind would want. Places where sportsman mods are popular still get big car counts in both classes so adding it wasn't a big deal, and it made it a little easier on competiors in both class by tightening up the lap times and not having to deal with as large, or as intense semi mains.
     
  27. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,926

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    I'm with you on the promoters and tracks being the biggest factor in launching a new class.

    If the tracks don't pick them up, the entire exercise is academic.

    We're heading into a classic Chicken/Egg situations here.

    Without the cars, the tracks won't want to chance adding a class, but without the tracks to sanction them, nobody will want to chance building a car.

    It's not a happy scenario.

    Any ideas on a way around this problem?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009

  28. It's a tough one, everytime it's happened, whether it took off or not, it usually was one person who got the ball rolling with an idea, formed a small board of interested people to set some rules, the rules have to be simple, it the rules seem over bearing it scares competitors and promoters before it even starts. The the tough part is getting enough people to build cars, I think you're gonna need ten drivers/owners to commit to building a car and making the races.... At that point you can probably go to the promoters and ask for a limited schedule, or some support races as a provisional class. you supply your own points system for your class as well as your own tech. Prize money is shit plain and simple for this kind of thing, promoters don't usually like to share the back gate with groups like this because giving you the slot means they might be losing a different division that they know they can make a solid back gate on, with that being said if you can find a small series sponsor it will really help to make a small pot, or work with the promoters for reduced entry fee and your organization takes care of entry fee for your competitors and handles it's own purse. See if you can make that fly for a year, if you can, and the promoter/s you're working with see dedication on your part, people showing interest, and people building new cars (read that as not taking existing cars away from the promoter to run in your class). The the promoter will see the dollar signs and you can probably get them to sanction you as a "track" class. Its a huge deal, and every "different" class out here has pretty much started this way, it's gonna take risk on a lot of peoples parts to make it fly, and I've often seen people that try to start a class build 3 or 4 cars to get good car counts and let people drive them.

    It can work though, the first spec sprint race out here was in the late ninties with 9 cars, there are close to 150 non winged carburated sprint cars in northern ca at this point. the class has good prize money, good start money (my home track petaluma speedway pays 150 to start the main, regardless of car count, but that's usually over 30 cars anyway)

    I think a very bare bones modified class is a good way to go, I'm a full believer in claim rules which have all but dissapeared. I remember in the mid nineties building 355's with cast cranks, GM rods, Ohio cast pistons that were 90 dollars to the door with rings, speedway weld 'em up oil pan kits. If you got claimed you didn't loose a down payment on a house,,, If you windowed a motor you changed a couple valves, went down to the block & crank pile and ordered a new set of cheap-o slugs....

    I think there needs to be a modified class that has a serious reality check, super simple solid three link rear suspensions with equal length and equally mounted links left to right, 355 chevrolet motor rule, untouched heads and intake, with a compression cap, and a minimum weight. for level playing feilds I wouldn't worry so much about tires unless you plan to run really abrasive tracks, the low power and basic suspension will add a lot of life to the tires. A rule that I've always thought would be neat, but I'm sure unpopluar at the same time and would only really work on a big, established feild would be madatory engine swaps. Have two hats, one with the top ten finishing postions in it and a bunch of blanks, and another one with ten through twenty and a bunch of blanks,,, pick one from each hat, if you pull two finishing positions those guys have to swap, if you pull a blank, then it's a freebie. Since the claim was always an option it started going away when people started spending big money, it became the unspoken rule, "you claim my motor, the next week you're clipping your frame" I've been involved in that deal and it sucks so people just quit claiming and the motor costs skyrockted. if it's mandated by the promoters,,, then no one can be blamed, and the fear of losing your bullet is gonna make you go as fast as you can for as cheap as you can.
     
  29. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,926

    CoolHand
    Alliance Vendor

    I tell you though, there is nothing I hate worse than making the trip home from the track with a hole between the frame rails.

    A swap would be more palatable, at least to me.

    It's just that racing like this is a shit pot full of work to start with, and having to build another motor in a week's time because someone decided you went too fast is unnecessary additional work and irritation.

    I've been in those thrashes where you wad one up and don't get it back off the frame machine until four hours before you're supposed to be racing. Having to put another motor together on top of shit like that will turn you gray before your time (or make you miss races).

    But regardless, if you've got a hard tire, and a simple suspension, all the horsepower in the world won't matter, because only so much of it will ever see the ground.

    Those Pile-O-Blocks aren't as tall as they used to be either. 350's are still fairly plentiful, but the days of finding a block you could wash and race in the junkyard for $50 are long gone.

    Unless the claim price is set at something you could reasonably build a motor for, I'd be against it. Having to sell your $2,100 motor for $500 because you outran someone does not help reduce the cost of racing. You and I both know that some $2k motor ain't no magic bullet, just one that'll last the season without spontaneous disassembly.

    Maybe 25 years ago a decent motor that would survive a season could be built for $500, but not anymore.
     
  30. Money saving rules typically do NOT work.
    Especially when it involves obsoleting a bunch of existing equipment.

    I think it was Jim Shampine who said:
    The cost to compete, is dictated by the pay off, and the spirit of the competition.

    If someone is prepared to blow $2K a week, to try and win $500,
    doesn't matter what the rules are. Someone will always sell something,
    that goes a little bit faster, so Mr 2k will buy it.

    Small carbs don't make much difference, sealed "Crate motors" are a joke,
    Vacuum rules don't work, spec heads are very difficult to police.
    The hard tire rule isn't a bad idea, until people start running traction control.
     

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