Two lasers at the back of the car make checks at the wheels quick and easy. Fogleman align
That decision was the foundation for Fogleman's newest business, Bull City Race Cars. Bull City built its first chassis for Fogleman to race in the PASS Series in 2011 essentially as an R&D vehicle. But Fogleman did surprisingly well with the car and finished second overall in the point standings. "That was encouraging," Fogleman says. "I didn't want to sell anyone a chassis until we knew it could win races and compete against everything else out there, and we proved that with the season we had."
Based off that success, Fogleman had already sold at least six new chassis by the time we stopped by his shops in Durham, North Carolina, to take a look at his operation. Interestingly, there was no welding or cutting when we stopped by.
"I may be in the chassis business now," he explains, "but I'm smart enough to know I'm no welder. There are a lot of people out there better at that than me, and I figure if I'm spending my days welding tubing then that's keeping me from trying to develop the car to make it better.
The pull-down rig is controlled from this control panel in the storage/toolbox. The three
"I think one of my strengths is being able to put together a team of some of the best people available that work well together, and that's what we've done with Bull City Race Cars. I've teamed up with Ortec to fabricate the chassis. They do a lot of chassis development for the big NASCAR guys and their precision and craftsmanship is just excellent. They set up a jig specifically for my car and that's the only chassis built on that jig. They also have one guy that's going to do all the welding on my cars. So we know the consistency is going to be there car after car. I have somebody else manufacturing my spindles exactly to my specifications and he does a better job than I ever could if I tried to do it myself."
After the chassis are completed, they are brought to Fogleman's shops and are built out to whatever level the customer desires. Fogleman says that if a customer wishes he can use Fogleman's own notes about racing setups. Complete race cars can also be run on Fogleman's chassis dyno and setups tuned on the shop's own pull-down rig. It's the entire racing package he says he's selling--including his accumulated racing knowledge--and not just the chassis itself.
Of course, being able to produce a quality racing chassis capable of protecting the driver and winning races is still awfully important. Fogleman says that when he began the project he would be competing against chassis builders who had spent decades refining their chassis a bit at a time. He didn't have the time for that so to catch up quickly he brought to bear the kind of technology normally associated with NASCAR Sprint Cup teams.
Fogleman says he plans to help his customers with their setups and racing programs, so bef
One major component of his chassis development program is DRP's chassis pull-down rig. While most pull-down rigs are extremely complex and extremely expensive, DRP innovative unit is portable, affordable (compared to the competition), doesn't require its own area in your race shop, and doesn't require a doctorate in physics to use effectively.
Fogleman is working with DRP to develop a track telemetry system to measure suspension movement so that it can be replicated on the pull-down rig. They are also working on new devices to measure suspension movement after the car is placed on the rig. So far the rig has helped Fogleman with dialing in setups for his new chassis and he expects the improvements will continue. For example, Fogleman discovered that the standard round-tube lower control arms were flexing when they were hard against the bumpstops, so he developed a stronger square tube lower control arm for his car that allows him better control of the tire's contact patch.
We took a close look at Bull City Race Cars' setup and how it's using affordable technology to go from non-existent to winning races with its own chassis in less than a year. As companies like Bull City, DRP, and others become more innovative with the technologies that are available it will bring about many more opportunities for creative racers to find an advantage on the competition.