Moment Center Location Designation

Quick question: Is the moment center lateral location indicated by a positive or negative measure of inches? Does a positive measurement indicate right or left of the centerline? I apologize if this is mentioned somewhere, or should be obvious, but I don't see it. Thanks.
—Anonymous

When we speak of the moment center's location, we refer to negative as left of centerline for the lateral location and below ground for the vertical location. Then, a positive number would be right of centerline and above ground.

I'm not sure what the industry norm is for those designations, but we locked into those depictions and we'll stay there. Also, we always show a driver's view of the front and back end of the car. That way, a left view is the left side of the car and telling the story is less confusing. I have seen some depictions where the view is looking at the front of the car. To me that is confusing and unnecessary. I like it simple.


Metric Car at East Bay

I'm building a Street Stock/“V8 Warrior” metric car to run at East Bay. I'm sure you are pretty familiar with that track. I just wondered if you have any setup thoughts or advice that might be specific to that track? Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
—Steve Voisinet

Steve,

East Bay tends to be higher banked than many dirt tracks and also has more grip due to the material it is made of. It tends to hold moisture. So, your car will go faster through the turns and generate more lateral g-forces.

That one element of dirt tracks, varying g-forces due to varying grip conditions, is why dirt racing setup is so difficult. How many times have we heard a racer say he/she ran off with the heat race, but sucked in the feature. It is primarily because the track surface changed and the grip was not the same.

I just had this conversation with a guy from Georgia who races at East Alabama. I get the idea that EA is similar to East Bay when I hear him describe the way it is configured and the grip it has. His car did the same thing I mentioned, ran off and left the competition in the heats and then did not do as well in the feature.

What happened to them was the track was watered and actually got faster for the feature race. His car was setup for a more slick surface and was tight once the track gained grip. For EB, run a stiffer right rear spring than you would run at a flatter and slicker track. Be ready to change springs if the track goes slick if you start out setup for a tight track.

Usually, with the high rear Moment Center in the metric cars, the rear spring split is 50 lb/in with the right rear softer. But for high grip tracks, this might need to be reduced to only 25 lb/in split. So, you might use a 225 LR spring and a 175 RR spring for slick tracks and maybe a 225/200 or similar for a tacky track.


FWD Verses RWD at Kingsport Speedway

I have been getting your magazine for 15 years and I want to build my first race car at age 63. I will run at Kingsport Speedway in Tennessee, owned by Robert Presley. Is front- or rear-wheel-drive better than the other? Also, if you were building, what car would you choose? The class is the Pure 4 division. I can tell some of these cars are not completely stock. I just wanted to start on the right car. The track is a 3/8-mile with one long turn and one tight and is medium banked.

Thank you,
—Steve Gregory

Steve,

If I had the choice, I would prefer a rear-wheel-drive car. That is not to say that many teams have made the front wheel drive cars work, and work well. But head to head, when I was on Tour, I usually saw the RWD cars dominate the FWD where they raced together.

Granted, it's getting much harder to find a RWD four-cylinder car these days. Most manufacturers have gone to FWD and so we need to get used to seeing those cars race in the more affordable classes. As for CT, we could be accused of being late to that party due to our lack of tech pointed toward setup for the FWD cars. We probably need to work on that.


Gentleman's Rule Comments

On the Gentleman's Rule, most of the time the track officials or flag man do not know just who is the actual perpetrator of an on track altercation. So, everyone goes to the back and this is very frustrating when you didn't cause the yellow flag to come out. This can be a factor in the car count at the track and also on the head count in the stands. Each car on the track does have fans up in the stands.

It's in the best interest of the track promoter to adopt the GR. And peer pressure makes it work, but not in every case. For a person to tap out, or admit that he caused the episode and go to the back is being a sportsman. If he can work his way back up in the pack, this is being a gentleman. The fact is, the drivers do like this GR.

And all it takes is for the track promoter to announce it at the drivers' pit meeting and for the officials to follow the GR. They usually do if a driver taps out around here. We have the Wissota 100 here in Huron, South Dakota, and this last year we had a number of drivers tap out. It made the races go smoother, plus the drivers and fans like it. We are going to see more of the GR I believe.
—Daniel P. Horn

Daniel,

I think you are right. This needs to catch on across the country. Where it has been used, it definitely works. I think it brings some integrity back into the sport where it may have been lacking in certain areas. I would like to get more reports from racers about the use of the GR in your area. Please write to me and tell me how it is working for you.