More Kit Car Ideas

I have just been reading your article in Circle Track talking about coming full circle (Track Tech Q&A, "Coming Full Circle" Sept. '13) and I have been beating this horse to death since 2006 here in Georgia with no luck. Fast forward to 2013 and most all of the paved tracks are gone or lost completely now. It kills me that there just doesn't seem to be anybody that really cares any more about short track racing or racers.

We are not just a bunch of rednecks running around in junk drinking beer and fighting The biggest problem we have run into in dealing with tracks is the lack of rules for the brand X guys. Maybe it is just me. I have raced Mopars on and off for 20 years, and right now our class at Dixie Speedway is being talked about being cut out. It is hard enough to find a place to race and if you show up with the very cars you cited, (Kit Car Mopar) they do their best to run us off.

Racing is not just a Chevy lock, the last time I checked people do buy Fords and Dodges too. I have worked on a set of rule/regs/points, the whole deal, for a Series and if I personally have the money to fund it I would. I would gladly retire from racing to get it going because I have tried to be fair to all engines Chevy, Ford, and Dodge

My deal involves having more spec motor builds and putting limits on the entire program to keep the cost down. Whether you want to pay somebody to build it for you or you want to do it all yourself, you can. I have sent this to a few people and tracks and had no response. Maybe CT could float the idea out there and somebody might run with it.

Thank you,

—Jody Cash

Jody,

The key to making any of this work is to have the track promoters and managers buy into it. They must see the benefit in order for them to make the rules changes necessary. They will be convinced when enough racers voice their opinions in favor of it.

The idea for spec motors is excellent in my opinion. I have always said the perfect solution to the built versus crate motor debate is a spec motor that might well match the crate specifications. Then the racer can elect to pay to have it built or do it himself.

As for the kit car concept, someone with funding and support will need to come along and implement that program. It is a risk for the reasons listed above, the tracks will have to allow these cars to run. Therein lies the answer.


Leaf Springs Versus Verses

I know it's a minor thing, but you constantly do something that just drives me absolutely crazy! You always substitute the word "verses" in place of the word "versus." Remember, a poem has verses. A court case pits the plaintiff versus the defendant!

Also, sometime would it be possible for you to explore setting up a leaf-spring car? An explanation of roll induced push versus roll induced looseness, and bite as it relates to spring wrap-up, cross weighting, antisquat, spring split, and how to calculate leaf spring rates would be great. There are still some leaf sprung cars racing, both on ovals, and in the lower classes of road-racing.

Thanks,

—Mark Liebetreu

Mark,

Thanks for correcting my grammar. I guess the copy editors at CT aren't so sharp after all. If you read the previous email responses, you'll see where I used "versus" this issue. I might go back next issue, who knows. But I'll tell you the same thing I told a big time Cup engineer who worked for GM and Ford Motor Company for years when I referred to "planting" a tire, a term I seldom used, but did over dinner with him.

He said in a condescending way, "You plant corn, you don't plant tires." I got hot, as in pissed off, and said to him, "Did you understand what I meant?" He said he did and I then told him he might not want to speak to me that way again. I guess you knew what I meant, so I won't belabor that point. It's all about the meaning.

There are plenty of leaf spring cars running today. And that would be a great article to write. I have done some leaf tech in the distant past verses lately (excuse the pun), so maybe I'll get going on that.

Meanwhile, here are a few things about leaf springs. One, a leaf system has a wide spring base versus the stock coil spring systems. This is good for tacky tracks where the lateral g-forces are greater and the roll forces influence the rear more than the front. The wide spring base helps control that roll.

Spring split, with the RR softer, enhances roll and is good for slicker tracks to gain rear traction and bite. The reverse spring split with the LR softer reduces roll in the rear and is good for helping to match the roll tendencies from front to rear and is good for tacky tracks.

The leaf systems generally have a high rear roll center too. This reduces roll in the rear, again good for a tacky track condition. Lowering the car can lower the rear roll center on leaf systems, but you are also lowering the center of gravity, so it's a trade off. You're kind of stuck with the rear roll center and must adjust for track conditions with spring rates, which is not easy.