I also am displeased with the way track owners/promoters are trying to slow down the cars and "level the playing field" (as they put it). The mechanics and engineering are what attracted me to the sport in the first place. The Kalamazoo Speedway now instituting a new 7,700 rpm chip limit, i.e. Senneker Rule, is a case in point. Another is a track requiring the old fashioned all-steel brakes.
Now being in my 70s with these "level the playing field" rules, I now am losing interest in the sport and I think it's time for us to exit it. Being from the old school, yes you must have rules, but when you "level the playing fields" by making the leaders slow down, it's extremely disappointing. Thank you again for your fine article.
The promoters must be careful when instituting rules that reduce the cost of racing. Yes, we do need to make racing less expensive, but not limit ingenuity at the same time. When you have repeat winners, it's usually because they have figured it out better than the competition, or they are cheating. In case of the later, catch them and you'll enhance the playing field and cause more to want to race. If the reason is the former, then everyone will have to catch up, it's always been the rule of racing.
The newer series where two or three classes of race cars are allowed to run together helps create diversity. In a recent race here in Florida, the top two cars were running a built motor and a sealed motor. If we can get back to allowing racers to run different equipment and equalizing by weight, we might just bring the sport back to the glory days of 30-car fields.
We'll keep hammering home the idea that rules restrictions intended to please all, will only confuse and frustrate too many racers who will decide to quit the sport like you are planning on doing. That's not good for anybody. Allowing for freedom in design and application is just what we need to get the excitement back into short track racing.
Zero Roll Angle
I am curious to know if it's possible to achieve a zero-degree roll angle without coil binding or using bumpstops? If so what would the quality of the springs have to be? How would one prove that one had achieved the proper result? I'm certain you know that coil binding and the use of bumpstops will not be allowed in the NASCAR LMSC division this year.
Another interesting approach is big spring, big bar a (1.75- to 2.0-inch bar and 500-pound LF and 450-pound RF) then reducing cross bite, which will cause the car to be more free in the corner, with the thought it keeps the car from binding as it turns. A spring rate of 400/600 pounds on the RR and the height of the track bar help the car to turn. The LR spring is 125/150 pounds.
Since we are traveling the front of the car (3 inches shock travel), at which time the lower arms are set to be at the max radius from mechanical center, increasing the tread width from static frame height. By doing this the angles on idler and pitman have to be changed to achieve proper bump. Uppers will probably be 24 degrees LF 20/22 degrees RF, no antidive in left upper and 0.25-degree antidive right upper, no anti-dive on either lower arm. Now the question is, why do we need a drop snout configuration any longer?
You can achieve a zero-roll angle, I just wrote an article on that subject a few issues ago so look back and read. But, why would you have as a goal a zero-roll angle? On most short tracks, aero is not a factor in speed. So keeping the car flat to the track is of no value, especially if doing so makes the car unstable or unpredictable and inconsistent, which in many cases it does.
You describe a method to achieve a low roll angle and even a zero-roll depending on how you arrange your springs. A more sensible setup would maintain enough spring rate to keep the car on the springs in the turns while allowing a lower profile which does help with creating a lower center of gravity and less load transfer.