"It lets you get down the straightaway a lot faster," says veteran Supermodified racer Joey Payne, aka The Jersey Jet. "When you decelerate going into the corner, that's when it shoots back up. A lot of people think we have a control inside the car. That's the number-one question asked: 'How do you control that wing?"

Like everything on a Super, the wing is all about speed-drag reduction on the straights, increased traction in the turns. How the wing accomplishes this is painfully simple. A Super's wing is mounted onto air shocks that are bolted directly to the rear suspension, not the frame. There is a single air-filled cylinder that controls the amount of pressure inside the shocks.

The amount of pressure controls the wing's distance of travel. The higher straightaway speeds cause more downforce, which compresses the shocks to lower the wing. Then, as the car slows going into the turns, the gas pressure pushes the rear of the wing back up.

"On a high-speed track like Thompson, we'll put around 150 pounds of air pressure in the cylinder. The goal is to have the wing come down just over center. That picks the back of the car up, taking all the drag off of the car," continues Payne.

Other than the monster wing on top, the most noticeable feature of a Supermodified is the engine placement. Hanging precariously on the left side of the car is a fuel-injected, methanol-burning 470ci Chevy big-block. These motors feature intake stacks that can be raised or lowered to fine-tune torque. Taller stacks equal more torque. On a short track, teams will run the taller stacks to gain more torque and better drive off the corners. The stacks will be lowered on bigger tracks, reducing torque and gaining straightaway speed.

With the engine offset so far to the inside, a Super can carry up to 67 percent of its total weight on the left side of the car. All the weight on the inside greatly increases the cornering speed and handling capabilities of the Super.

With a compression ratio of 17:1, a Supermodified engine will easily make over 800 hp. All of those ponies bolted onto a 1,850-pound race car add up to an insane power-to-weight ratio. In fact, when the West Coast Super contingent ran at Phoenix International Raceway several years ago, the four fastest Supers would have easily qualified for the IRL race being held the same weekend.

Getting all that power to the pavement can be a tricky proposition. The solution lies within innovative suspensions and four different-sized tires. The right-rear tire is the largest at a hefty 18 inches wide, while the left front is the smallest at 13 inches. The right front and left rear are both 14 inches wide, but the left rear has a bigger circumference. Using different-sized tires on all four corners increases the amount of cornering traction and handling.