Hey, no wires! We get ready to scale our car at the track with the new Goodyear asphalt ti
That was all we could do at the shop, so we headed off to the racetrack. Charlotte County is a 1/3-mile low-banked track with wide turns. I could see as we walked the track that the regular racers used the high groove and it would come in handy getting around slower cars. I ran around the track with Bobby in my truck to show him the groove and the lift, braking, and acceleration points. He had never, ever run on asphalt before, so this was going to be quite an experience.
I referred back to an article I had done a few years back with Mike Loescher and Finishline Racing about how to drive on asphalt. I took his three day course at New Smyrna Speedway and learn a bunch. I repeated what Mike had instructed me about the proper line, the lift points, and brake points as we circled the track. Once Bobby took to the track, I would be on the radio moving him around as he practiced. I did notice that my truck was a little tight on entry and loose off.
We mounted the tires, aired them up, and went out for a first session. I told Bobby to take it easy the first time out, and instead of trying to lay down good lap times and use much throttle, try to learn the line and perfect his points. He did great. I was amazed at how quickly he picked this up. We made several initial runs once we had checked all of the systems for leakage and loose bolts.
In the initial runs, the car looked goofy on the track. In setting the corner weights, we had inadvertently jacked the ride heights out of wack. So, we took some time and reset the ride heights and corner weights with our new Longacre wireless remote scales. We were careful to level the scales before taking readings, something we all should do at the track when scaling the car. The car now looked more like it was supposed to.
I had a set of radios borrowed from my stint at Daytona with a DP car a week earlier, and
During this process Bobby told me that the car would not turn left very well. It wasn't tight and pushing, it was just mechanically hard to turn the steering wheel. We first put the car on stands and checked the mechanics of the steering system. All seemed OK. I then visually inspected the caster settings noting how far rearward the upper ball joints were from the lower ball joints, and concluded that we had more positive caster in the left front than the right front.
This was not by design, but a result of where the ball joints ended up after Bobby rebuilt the left front chassis and strut recently. There was very little of the caster split that is common with asphalt cars to make it mechanically easy for the driver to turn left.
We moved the left lower ball joint rearward by lengthening the forward running strut so that we had approximately 2 degrees of LF caster to go with the 5 degrees of RF caster. This split is common with asphalt cars. The next time out the car turned just like it was supposed to. We made several more runs and I noted Bobby's line and how the car looked.
Bobby was getting more and more comfortable with each run. I made several suggestions about turn entry and driving line, and he responded well to those comments. All the while, the car looked tight to me and so I brought him in to check a few things.
In the process of resetting ride heights we had lowered the rear an inch. When we reset the front caster, we had also inadvertently changed the toe settings. This caused a couple of problems that made the car tight.