These unique sway bar mounts...
These unique sway bar mounts were designed by Dick for better control of the arms. They work with less friction more like the three-piece NASCAR-style design.
Rearend Design Innovations
At the rear of the car, Dick has made some changes from the current designs. The rear supports for the fuel tank and bumper behind the rear end are removable. This facilitates quick and easy replacement at the track, if necessary. Now you can make the feature race if something should go wrong, like someone using you for brakes in practice or the heat race.
The frame in front of the removable part is well braced and built to withstand a good lick, so all of the damage is done to the replaceable part. This has a dual purpose, convenience as well as being able to build a crushable structure somewhat to absorb the energy if the car is backed into the wall helping to reduce injury to the driver.
The rear springs are mounted on top of the rearend. Dick uses the 2 1/2-inch springs with adjusters on top. So far, spring stability has not been a problem. Again, having the spring separate from the shock facilitates both spring and shock changes.
Both rear springs use jack bolt-type adjusters and on the right side of the panhard bar, there is a remote access height adjuster to fine tune the setup. So far, Dick has not had a problem with searching for the right setup. His years of experience translate into knowing exactly how to set up the car.
We won't divulge his exact setup, but it is interesting to note that this car is very fast, earning numerous poles and wins while running what we call a soft conventional setup instead of the BBSS setups everyone else is trying to make work.
The rearend Dick chose is also innovative. It is a Winter's Reverse Load design. The left side of the panhard bar is mounted solid to the rearend and is not adjustable. It is placed right where Dick wants it and the only adjustment is on the right side at the chassis. I would be willing to bet the adjuster is not used very often.
The rear fuel-cell mount is...
The rear fuel-cell mount is removable in Dick's car. That way, he can easily change the rear part of the chassis if it gets bent or damaged. The entire rear clip does not need to be replaced.
Dick has always been aware of the advantages of aero design and when looking at the way this car and its body components are put together, he has broken a lot of ground. I won't divulge too much here, but I came away with a whole new respect for how much he knows about how to utilize the air moving around his cars.
One of the reasons he has so much time to think about aero is because his cars are so dialed in that he doesn't need to thrash around at the track switching springs and shocks to find the balance, his setups are already balanced. Once you find what your car needs, there is very little that needs to be done week to week and even track to track as far as spring layout and shocks are concerned.
There are areas within the rules package where you can tweak the aero on these cars and make a difference in increasing downforce and reducing drag. Some you might be able to see, some you might not. But his efforts should be a lesson to us all to be always looking to improve the overall package on our cars.
We want to thank Dick for allowing us to visit and write about this very innovative design. It isn't every day we are able to find a car designer who is so open to discussing the details of his cars. After all, innovation is what racing is all about. Knowing his history of winning, longevity and status as a legend, it all seems to make sense. I think the more we listen to the more mature racers among us, the better off we all are.
This close-up shows the plate...
This close-up shows the plate where the rear framework is bolted to the rear clip. This design saves a lot of effort when having to change out a bent bumper/fuel-cell mount.
The right side of the panhard...
The right side of the panhard bar is adjustable with a screw slider mechanism. The left side is fixed right where Dick needs it to be.
Dick calls this Winter's rearend...
Dick calls this Winter's rearend a "reverse load" type and he uses steel axle tubes exclusively. He feels the steel flexes and bends much less than the more popular aluminum types. Note the panhard bar mount at the front of the differential.
New Dixie Racing
Port City Racing