Matters of Balance
When we talked to Strickler, before he would even begin talking about aerodynamics he stressed the need for maintaining proper balance. “Sometimes it is possible to overload either the front or the rear of the car when it comes to aerodynamic downforce, depending on what the rules allow,” Strickler explains. “If you cannot get the grip between the tires and the track balanced from front to rear, you can be better off by backing off on the downforce generated to get the car back into balance so that you aren’t always too loose or too tight. It can be tough to give it up sometimes, but I’ve seen how it can make you faster.”
As an example, Strickler points to a weekend racing at County Line Raceway in North Carolina. County Line allows its Modified classes to run an 8-inch tall rear spoiler. After struggling through the hot laps session to find the right balance for the car, Strickler says he eventually realized the tall spoiler was simply too much for the Modified chassis given the racetrack and conditions. At the last minute his crew bolted up a smaller 5-inch spoiler and proceeded to set the track record.
The moral here? Easy: When it comes to racing the only thing that matters is how quickly you can get around the track. Take advantage of everything you can—aero, chassis, engine, you name it—but if anything gets in the way of lowering your lap times, ditch it like a bad habit.
Yes, there is such a thing as aerodynamics for dirt cars. here’s how to take advantage of it.
Aerodynamics play a larger role on how your race car behaves the faster you are going, but even on tight, low-speed racetracks taking advantage of a few aero tricks can help you gain an advantage on the competition.