Also a consideration in the design of the cars was keeping crash survivability while trying to save part of the traditional look of a Sprint Car. USAC has done a fairly good job of each. The cars still resemble a Sprint Car but have some new appendages. Aside from the new nose, there is the addition of some box-like pods on the sides of the car. The tail of the car still retains the traditional tail tank, but fuel is no longer stored in the tail; it is just another section of bodywork.

Under the bodywork, the cars have all of the normal Silver Crown driveline components, with the exception of a new two-speed gearbox and hand-operated clutch. First gear is used purely to get the car moving, and Second gear is used as the race gear. Several of the cars were equipped with pneumatic lifts incorporated into the chassis a la IRL and Champ cars. While a neat feature, these cars were not designed for pit stops, but who knows? Change is in the air.

NASCAR has decided that the Elite divisions will no longer be part of the NASCAR family after the '06 season. There is way too much good equipment for this series to just disappear, so ASA and the SLR Super Late Model series are stepping in with an ASA-sanctioned series for these cars in 2007. NASCAR said that they opted to eliminate the Elite Series due to a declining car count and fewer tracks willing to front the cost of the touring series. The sheer number of cars competing in the Elite Division race at PIR was impressive despite the impending demise of the division.

The NASCAR Grand National Division cars (which are just 3-year-old Busch cars) were out in big numbers. This division seems to have some very well-funded teams racing for some very small purses. Walk through the pits and you would think you were at a Cup or a Busch race, based on the car haulers and the state of preparation that many of these cars have reached. There were still some older and well-worn cars trying to make the field but, for the most part, these cars were in primo, like-new condition.

The fastest cars on the track, by several seconds, were the USAC midgets. The average car produces a power output level in the mid- to low-300hp range, and some of the more highly tuned engines reach power levels in the high 300s or more. This, combined with light weight, a very sticky tire compound, and some drivers who are not afraid to drive the car into the corner, produces some very quick times around the mile at Phoenix. The midgets that are racing in the Copper World are not just dirt midgets with different tires, a different gear set, and some extra body panels to help with the aero loading. These are special pavement-only cars. Racing a midget on the mile at Phoenix is not a casual change from racing a dirt car. These cars are special pavement machines that are purpose built for the big paved tracks.