We finally get to race our...
We finally get to race our Dirt Late Model.
We have all heard of time management, but is there such a thing in racing? Our Dirt Late Model build has been a bit behind the eight ball from the very start. From the bent frame that needed repair to the motor overhaul that was not anticipated, it seemed like time was not on our side throughout the first part of our build up, but now that we have it all together, things are moving along quite nicely. Here is where we have been and where we are going since our introduction article.
First, here's a little history about our Dirt Late Model project car. We started working on the project Dirt Late Model in December '07. Early on we discussed our plans for the project and goals in re-designing the chassis and setting the car up. Then we evaluated what we had and made a list of what we needed.
North Florida Speedway in...
North Florida Speedway in Lake City, Florida, was the scene of Project DLM's first ever race.
If you read CIRCLE TRACK every month, like we hope you do, then you know we wrecked the car pretty bad last year. The first thing we did was to call Charlie Camper Sr. and Charlie Junior at Cardinal Paint and Body here in Tampa, Florida. Those guys, in my opinion, are some of the best frame repair specialists around. I have seen some wrecked cars that I was sure could not be repaired, both racecars and street cars, and they fixed them up almost as good as new.
This project was no different. They put our bent up racecar on their frame machine and straightened it out in one afternoon. Now that the frame was straight again, it was time to re-weld all of the cracks in the frame, paint it, and put it back together.
The car is a Rayburn original design that was previously converted to a four-bar car. We now have converted it back to a swing arm car. But we cannot call it a Rayburn anymore because it is slightly different in the location of the adjustment holes. One of Bob Bolles' primary design goals was to neutralize the rear steer characteristics in this car. Since Bob is the resident chassis expert we left every part of the chassis design, including neutralizing the rear steer, up to him.
Our plan when racing on tight...
Our plan when racing on tight tracks is to start the evening with the RR coilover in the rear hole. This is the higher rate of the two and gives us an equivalent rate of 325. When the track goes slick we move it to the front hole (where it is in the picture) for a 234 rate which provides more bite off the corners.
We made a list of parts we needed and started looking for sponsors. It is no surprise that we have the best advertising partners in the business helping with the projects at CIRCLE TRACK. Everyone we talked to was ready to help and some even sent us products without our asking. So keep an eye out for hot product reviews in upcoming issues and on www.circletrack.com that show them in action on our car.
In late February, parts were starting to arrive. Knowing that the racing starts in a couple of weeks, it's time for some long hours and late nights. Luckily I have a dedicated crew that doesn't mind putting in the hours. We worked on the car through March and April and even with the late hours we missed the first three races of our chosen series, the United Dirt Late Model Challenge Series, and the fourth race was coming up fast.
In last month's "Preparing for Battle" article that Bob wrote you may remember that he developed a spring setup for the third race of the series at East Bay Raceway Park, a high banked 1/3-miler, that was supposed to be our first race in the car. That spring setup was: LF = 450, RF = 500, LR = 550 (220 equivalent), and RR = 650 (234 front hole and 325 rear hole equivalent). The rates in parenthesis are the rate equivalent as if the springs were mounted to a clamp on the rearend.
The plan was to start out the night on a tight track with the RR coilover in the rear hole, which is the higher rate of the two, for an equivalent rate of 325 and then when the track went slick to move the coilover to the front hole for a 234 rate which would provide more bite off the corners.
Since we did not make the East Bay race, we set our sights on the fourth race of the series at North Florida Speedway in Lake City, Florida.