The timing is perfect. It all happens right before the holidays, just about the time when most racers are starting to get serious about the year ahead. The Specialty Equipment Market Association holds its annual show in early November. A month later, Performance Racing Industry gets underway with even more to offer the racer.

Our staff walked the miles and miles of aisles to find what the racers will be using in the seasons ahead. There was no shortage of products for the oval track enthusiast and it ran the gamut. Here's a small sampling of what we saw. It may give you that last minute addition to start your year on the right foot. If you want more, check out our catalog section elsewhere in this issue.

Bell Racing Company
217/892-6400
www.bellracing.com

More youngsters are getting their start in racing earlier, but the safety equipment for adults may not meet the needs of children. Bell Racing Company has produced the Star 500 with all the features of an adult helmet in a small, lightweight shell. The helmet is SFI-certified to the new youth standard. It has removable fit pads and cheek pads for the growing youngster aged 5-10.

* Available in sizes 6 3/8, 6 1/2, 6 5/8
* Priced at $259 retail
* Perfect for Quarter Midgets and Karting

Bill Mitchell Hardcore Racing Products
631/737-0372
www.theengineshop.com

Famous for casting its own high-performance blocks, Bill Mitchell has designed a new Ford Windsor-style racing block. The biggest feature is two extra head bolts per cylinder that should allow the ability to handle more compression. This block is so new that the only example on hand was an SLA model.

* Brand-new casting
* Two extra head bolts per cylinder
* Multiple options for deck height and mains
* Accepts all stock Ford components

BLP Products
800/624-1358
www.blp.com

After extensive testing, BLP Products is now selling a 7mm belt system. Available for Ford, Chevy, and Dodge, the 7mm belts are produced for most accessory options. When combined with the lighter pulleys, BLP claims the system is half the weight of conventional serpentine systems for a significant savings in terms of parasitic losses.

* Only 7 mm wide
* Adaptable for almost all accessory layouts
* Smaller pulleys
* Half the weight of conventional systems

800/221-1851
www.colemanracing.com

This billet aluminum hub will fit mid-size Monte Carlo and similar spindles. It is designed to utilize a bolt-on brake rotor that fits the stock spindles and caliper brackets. The hub uses stock bearings, races, and dust caps.

* Available in 5x5 and 5x4 3/4-inch bolt patterns
* 5/8-inch coarse or 5/8-inch fine threaded studs
* Weighs only 4.6 pounds