"The ARCA sanction has always prided itself on its versatility, competing on a wide variety of tracks, types, and surfaces, even an occasional road course," says Radebaugh. "The truck series has provided the ARCA sanction with another quality option and product to offer track promoters in the Midwest and Canada. If the RE/Max Series is unable to compete at any given track, the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series (ALWTS) can be the next-best thing. Having the ALWTS allows ARCA to promote its brand in more markets across a broader scope. It has also certainly added to our membership base."
Like all racing series at this time, the ALWTS will be faced with a variety of challenges, economically speaking. However, ARCA has longevity on its side and a proven, quality product. As ARCA weathers the current economic crises, it seems confident that the future looks bright in the days to come.
ALWTS competitors are all hard working blue and white collar families that, despite their fulltime jobs, work extremely hard to compete in the series. The competitors are a tight niche group, many of whom have been racing together for years or decades dating back to the old ARCA Pro 4 days. It's an interesting combination of veterans who've been with the tour since its inception and a continual influx of rookies looking to race in a relatively affordable, professional series.
The ARCA Truck
The key to any traveling series is made up mainly by two standards: cost effectiveness and the rules package. ARCA offers great options for both in the traveling truck series. For those who can't afford to race in a big touring group the ALWTS can become a viable option. Every team that competed on the 2008 tour utilized the same chassis and truck at every track on the schedule, whether it was a quarter-mile paved oval or mile dirt track.
The engines also could be considered cost effective in that competitors can utilize a four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine with very restrictive rules. They must be dry sump, OEM blocks and cranks, with factory stock production steel or aluminum heads (no porting or polishing allowed). Most, if not all racers, are going with six-cylinder engines these days, renowned for their durability and reliability.
Not surprisingly, the compression ratios do vary as the four cylinders are allowed 12.0:1 at all events and the six-cylinders utilize a maximum of 11.0:1 at all events. The maximum bore and stroke are set for each individual engine brand (Ford, Chevy, Dodge, and Toyota). In the name of parity, there are rules such as roller cams being legal in Ford and Dodge, but not in Chevy. The engines themselves are either self-built or built by numerous engine builders.
There's also a carburetor rule (stock base plate with 1 11/16 bore) with the Holley 2 bbl No. 4412 and Barry Grant type-2 bbl being the only two legal options. At this time, however, every competitor is running a Holley with most racers choosing a highly modified version of the 4412 such as those from carb suppliers like C&S Specialties.
The chassis are full out coilover racing chassis with a three-link rearend, no stock parts are used. Howe and Ed & Company are the two most popular types of chassis, while you can also find Pate or Bagman. In some cases, competitors are even building their own.
Interestingly, some teams will run their basic short-track setup just about everywhere and it seems to work out for them. Others will change everything from shocks, springs, caster, camber, tow roll center, and more. The chassis are fully adjustable with the only limit being one spring and one shock per wheel.
With a wheelbase of 108 inches, the total truck weight for competition is 2,200 pounds with driver and all safety gear. Left-side weight does have a variance based on engine; four-cylinder trucks are allowed a maximum of 58 percent left-side weight, while the sixes are limited to 56 percent left-side poundage.
Tech is a very vital and important...
Tech is a very vital and important part of the ARCA truck series.
The added steel door plate...
The added steel door plate is but one of the safety features. Note how everything is within easy reach of the driver.
The quick change rearend and...
The quick change rearend and three-link set up are the basis of all ARCA trucks.