Technical Observations
As the Tour went along, I couldn't help but notice some of the more technical aspects of the racing we were witnessing. After all, I am the Tech Editor for the magazine. The evolution of the setups for dirt and asphalt continues and gets interesting.

First off, at Lanier, I saw a BBSS setup car take off like a rocket ship and put a half-lap on the field in 20 laps. It was a 100-lap race and by lap 50 or so, a car that started around fifth had move into second and then overtook this early leader to go on to win.

I'm an astute observer of setups and I can tell you that the car that won was running a more conventional setup. It rolled, it rode higher, and it was very consistent-never slipping once in the entire race, whereas several other cars lost their handling balance at some point.

We saw a young racer, who told me he reads CT religiously and races on a limited budget, win at Old Dominion in much the same fashion, coming on later in the race. This driver, running his Limited Late Model against full Late Model cars, also won the track championship.

On dirt, most of the top cars in each Super Late Model event ran with all four tires on the ground. There was less sideways attitude with the cars of the front runners and at Crossville as we stated, a Crate Late Model beat two full-on built-motor cars with a straight ahead driving style and a smooth, error free run.

Later on we would witness a man named Billy Moyer drive in much the same fashion to a $5,000 win at Paducah International Raceway. You can call it saving tires, or making fewer mistakes, or whatever, but running with less of your tail hanging out is good for the win column.

Most of your top drivers in the touring Dirt Late Models have adopted this style of driving. What confused me was seeing some strange shock setups on these cars. The experimenters were largely lost. There is some success with tie-down right front shocks, but the successful teams limit the extent of the rebound rate. Too much of a "good thing" ends up being a bad thing.

The double spring setups have made their way back into this arena and have their place as long as the transition is timed correctly. This is where you run down the straight and enter the corner on a softer combination of two stacked springs at the right front and sometimes the left rear.

Then as the suspension compresses up front, the shock hits a stop where the upper and softer spring is removed from the situation and the car is now running on the lower and stiffer spring as it moves through the middle of the turn. Then as the car exits, it's back to the double spring on the right front and onto the stiffer spring at the left rear as that corner compresses.

The bars on a four-bar car must be set so that the left rear will compress on exit or the double spring setup on that corner won't work. But all in all, I think experimentation is good as long as the team doesn't get too far away from reality. It's what makes racing so interesting.

Looking back on this whole experience leaves me with a feeling that we are indeed on to something with this whole tour thing. It started out as a somewhat hefty goal to be able to cover so many races and so much territory in this first year, but we did it. We hope you learned something as we learned. There is much more to do for the second year of the AMSOIL Great American Circle Track Tour as we visit the Northeast.

That's a very rich racing region unlike any other in this country. The traditions and history are felt across the land. Think of how many racers from that part of the country have become part of the huge NASCAR nation as drivers, crew chiefs, mechanics, and so on.

I can't wait to study the ways of our northern friends who as track owners, promoters, race teams, and loyal fans may well show us a thing or two about short track racing. We hope you follow along. We're in the process of putting together a plan of attack and a list of racetracks we'll be visiting. If you have any suggestions or comments, please forward them to me or to Editor Rob.