The front steering system is a stock-type drag link, much the same as is used on the Craftsman Trucks, Busch Series cars, and the Nextel Cup cars. This is a great series to transition into the upper NASCAR classes or Hooters ProCup racing, all with similar chassis styles.

Our chassis is all finished with its very own chassis number. A new Five Star body is on the way to Hess Racing for fitting onto the chassis. We need to weld on all of the body brackets before we paint everything. Once the body is fitted, the chassis will be painted and the body will be attached permanently.

We have also completed our motor parts list, and it is being reviewed by Jeremy Upchurch to make sure there are no technical conflicts. We are using the GM Bow Tie Sportsman 350 Main Size block, PN 12480047 (Note: The previously published part number was wrong, so don't use it), right out of the 2004 GM Performance Parts catalog. We will use the NASCAR-legal Phase 3 Cast-Iron Bow Tie head, PN 12480034, also from the GM Performance Parts catalog. Those parts have arrived, and as soon as we can get the rest of the engine parts delivered, Jeremy can begin assembly.

This project is moving along, and most of our time is spent trying to select and contact the various parts suppliers. Nonetheless, we will proceed with the assembly and have this car ready and able to go racing in early spring of 2005. We would have liked to test and race the car this year, but the end result will all be the same. Besides, this way we can all start out the '05 racing season together.

Send questions or comments about the project to: Circle Track Magazine, 3816 Industry Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33811, or e-mail us at Circle.Track@Primedia.com.

The interior sheetmetal has been installed as well as the seat frame tubing and firewall. These panels will be custom fitted to the all-steel body to provide a sealed environment to help keep heat, carbon monoxide, and fire from entering the driver's compartment.

The rear sheetmetal is in place to separate the fuel cell and filler apparatus from the cockpit.

The Hess team mocks up the position of the rearend, using our newly-built, low-friction Tiger rearend. When fabricating the three-link brackets, our car will have brackets in place where we can run either a truck arm rear linkage or a three-link with parallel trailing arms.

The fuel cell compartment is laid in along with the supports. Note the very sturdy rear bars that protect the fuel cell from rear end impact. These cars take a lot of abuse from the rear. We plan on being fast enough to prevent anyone from getting to our bumper. Nice thought, anyway.

SOURCE
Upchurch Engineering Hess Race Cars
GM Performance Parts
www.gmperformanceparts.com
Five Star Race Car Bodies