Why are you going away from the swing arm design that you tout as being the best design for limiting rear steer? Weren't your changes to the old car able to make that car work well enough so that the expense of a new frame could have been avoided?
Thanks for asking. In the last issue, we covered the project and outlined how we got to the winner's circle. In the future we will be building a new Mastersbilt chassis using many of the parts and pieces off our old car.
With the new car being a four-bar car as opposed to the swing arm design of the old one, we can now do more experimenting with rear steer, the lift arm, shocks, and more. We have really enjoyed this project as much or more than others we have undertaken. And we will continue to grow our knowledge and pass it along to you.
Yes, we have touted reduced rear steer, but with a car that won't rear steer, we can't do the necessary changes from zero rear steer to extreme rear steer to see the difference. With the new car, we can. To be perfectly fair, we need to experiment with both.
On Small Fields and Cookie Cutter Cars
I was thinking this same thing a couple weeks ago. We went to watch opening night at one of the local tracks and it was painfully obvious. There are a couple of classes where it isn't as noticeable, but it's there. I really noticed it over the last few years in the Late Model class. The outlaws were replaced with a template body/crate motor class a few years ago and there is minimal passing.
About 10 years ago, a friend of mine had a very good handle on this track. He won a lot of races and a number of championships. One year he skipped a couple nights to run a traveling series because he had such a lead in the standings. While those who weren't his fans may have gotten tired of him winning, it did make the races interesting because of all the cars he passed. He usually was a fast qualifier and would then draw the pill for the invert.
One night after the draw, the promoter offered him more cash for a win if he would give up his mid-pack starting position and start last. He accepted and took the lead with four or five laps remaining and took the extra booty with him. That was with a field of 20 or so cars. That wouldn't happen today. You couldn't do it, and the field is shorter compared to then. Anyway, funny you noticed it too.
Mike, there are some promoters who get it. We will be highlighting certain track promoters and how they run their show in coming issues. Then maybe the tracks like yours will see how they can enhance their program and draw more fans and racers.
I agree, and looking back when I used to go to the local dirt track and see the same two guys winning every week it didn't get boring. Inevitably, there would be a conflict with a lapped car and the leader would be sent to the back by virtue of being involved. At that point, it got real interesting as he made his way up to the front again. That is what the fans come to see and it isn't bad for the people in the infield either. We all love a good race. Thanks for your input.
Another View of Parity
I just finished your article and had some thoughts. Now first off it's not fair to object to parity in racing without tying your argument to a specific level of racing and maybe even a specific class. Cup racing is just too different to what I know about local classes to have any real opinion.
I really wrote to discuss Saturday night racing and how parity should be meted out. I've raced for the last 30 years and, while I've never raced professionally, I do feel I have an insider's view of what people want locally. For the sake of argument let's say there are only three divisions in SNR (Saturday night racing).
The first is Bomber. This class will never be equal by any measure and never should be. Its purpose is to introduce and make race car drivers. You should learn all facets of owning, driving, and repairing a race car. Anything else is really waiting for you in higher classes.