When Frank Kimmel first got the idea for his Street Stock Nationals, he knew that he wanted to give the guys and gals who race that division the opportunity to do something special. Something that they wouldn't normally have the opportunity to do, like race their cars at big-league tracks such as Kentucky Speedway, site of the inaugural FKSSN event back in 2007, or Bristol Motor Speedway, arguably the most sought-after ticket in NASCAR. But putting a Street Stock on big, fast racetracks posed several safety concerns, particularly in the area of speed. Kimmel and company solved that with their now trademark wicker bill, that spans the entire width of the roof of the car. Others areas, such as the rigidity of the chassis, driver's compartment integrity, and fuel cell would also be solved through the rule book.
Naturally intrigued by the concept of Kimmel's series, Circle Track has embarked on building a Street Stock with the nine-time ARCA Champ. Our car, which will eventually be raced in that series, is being built specifically for those big, fast racetracks like Kentucky, Rockingham, and others that the Street Stock Nationals might visit in the future. The goal of our build is to create the safest Street Stock possible. Knowing that many of our pockets don't run deep, we'll keep the build to a reasonable budget. However, you may notice that we'll splurge here and there, especially where safety items are concerned. Both Frank and the gang here at CT have the philosophy that the last item in your race car that you should buy off the sale rack is anything related to safety.
Now, there are several areas of the build that will need to be addressed to conform to Kimmel's Street Stock Nats' rule book, including door bars, firewalls, and fuel cells. All of these must be dealt with before we get too far along in the build process. However, just because they are specific to Kimmel's rules doesn't mean that you shouldn't include them in your own car. One of the hopes that we have for this build is that racers who read it will get ideas for their own Saturday night cars to make them safer.
Door Bars First off are the door bars. The last thing any racer wants is to have something come through the left-side door into the driver's compartment. The Kimmel rules read that in addition to the mandatory minimum four-point rollcage of 1 3/4-inch x 0.095 tubing, you must run at least four door bars on left side and three on the right side. You have to have three vertical bars a minimum of a inch in diameter between the dash bar and halo bar in front of the driver. Not out of the ordinary for many Street Stock rule books, but Kimmel also requires a side plate for the driver's door. The plate must be a minimum of 20 inches tall x 48 inches long, and one solid piece at least -inch thick. It must be welded directly to the 'cage. This may seem like overkill to some, but when you consider the potential of debris penetrating the side and impaling the driver, the added weight is worth it.
Firewall Our car came with both a front and rear firewall, which is mandatory according to Frank's rules, but you'd be surprised how many Street/Hobby Stocks out there have poorly constructed firewalls full of gaps, cracks, and holes, especially where the wires, steering shaft, and other components run through the walls. In the event of a fire in the engine compartment, flames can easily pass through gaps or holes in the firewall, causing potentially serious injury. Therefore, you'll want to ensure that your entire firewall is completely sealed. You can do this several ways, but one of the safest is to use a fireproofing kit made specifically for racecars such as those from Unique Fire Stop in Alabama. Once our car nears the completion stage, we'll be fireproofing the firewall to keep the driver as safe as possible.
Street Stocks, or Bombers as they're sometimes called, are one of the most popular oval tr
The frame, including all usable chassis components, like these pictured here, was sandblas
Frank Kimmel has welded every seam on the frame to add strength and rigidity.
Frank levels the chassis before he starts working.This gives a good foundation for every m
Several different sizes of wood blocks and shims help level the chassis.
Leveling the chassis is only part of the game, you have to secure and stabilize it as well