Work has begun on our NASCAR-legal Late Model Stock car. The crew at Hess Race Cars has laid the foundation of the main framerails (now built out of sturdy 4x6 square tubing) in the LM jig, and has attached the front and rear framerails. We decided on the geometric point locations for the upper and lower control arms so that we can adjust the moment center and camber change characteristics for the different racetracks where the car will be racing.

We will follow the strict guidelines we laid out in the many articles that have appeared in Circle Track over the past couple of years. We will show how all of this technology works in the real racing world.

We went along with the standard chassis corner heights that Hess has used for his Late Model cars so that the overall assembly job would be easier. We saw no advantage in making any changes other than the front-clip control arm points, and we did that only for the purpose of experimentation with different types of racetracks. After we've assembled the car, we will explain all of our design parameters, and you can follow along with us when we put the suspension points into several computer programs to evaluate the suspension geometry.

By the time you read this, the frame and rollcage will be completed, and the next step will be to attach all of the brackets that the body will be attached to as well as the radiator supports, bumper supports, and fuel cell brackets. When we feel sure that all of the pieces have been welded onto the chassis, we'll take the whole assembly over to Mark Davis' school to be powdercoated. Then, it's back to the Hess shop to install the gauge panel, brake lines, body, fuel cell, front steering assembly, and all other parts needed to make this a rolling chassis. We will report on how all of that goes in the next issue.

We have also contacted Brian Butler, owner of ButlerBuilt Motorsports Equipment, and he'll be fabricating the seat and head supports that will be used in this car. Brian, who has been a safety innovator in circle track racing for many years, supplies seats and associated parts to a wide variety of teams, including Nextel Cup, Busch, Craftsman Trucks, touring series, Modifieds, sprint cars, and more. The driver of this car can feel safe with the knowledge that the seat is state-of-the-art in today's racing world.

Speaking of drivers, a multitude of highly experienced racers have shown interest in wheeling our car. A few of the names would surprise you, some of which are recognizable drivers in Cup, Busch series, champions of the Southeast Tour, and several winning Hooters ProCup guys. We will tell more about that in future installments. We do know that testing and racing this car is going to be a lot of fun.

Jeremy Upchurch, who owns Upchurch Engineering, is ready to start preparing the block for our buildup motor. We chose a Chevy motor and will build it to be legal, with minor changes, in both NASCAR and the UARA Late Model series. We can race in and around the home base of Mooresville, North Carolina (better known as Race City, USA) at the local tracks such as Ace Speedway, Concord, and Hickory.

The primary reason for needing to be legal for the UARA series is that they have scheduled a race for the Bristol Motor Speedway in September. We intend to go there to win this race and will be picking a top driver and crew to make the trip. Bristol is my personal favorite as far as asphalt tracks go, and I'm thrilled every time I'm there.

There are also several large-paycheck races to be run at the Motor Mile Speedway (formerly New River Valley Speedway) in Radford, Virginia. Hopefully, we can invade that track and run for the money. Our agreement with the team and driver will be to split the winnings with them should we be that successful. Our only interest will be in competing with our design.

Send any questions or comments about the project to: Circle Track, 3816 Industry Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33811, or e-mail us at circle.track@primedia.com.

SOURCE
Carolina Motorsports Tech Center
www.carolinateamconcept.com
Upchurch Engineering
Hess Race Cars