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If stock cars had evolved would we be better off?


JamesHigdon
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So backstory; sending my daily driver truck for paint work and I needed a beater to get around town in while it was gone.

My requirements where 4 doors, RWD, V8 (or a really good V6), sporty, reliable, new/nice enough my wife would drive it and cheap. I had $3-4k to spend because again this was just a temp car. My list of possibilities? Q45, M45, M35, LS400, LS430, 550i, E430, Crown Vic, TownCar, Marquis, Caprice (LT1 Era), Charger, Chrysler 300, 1st gen CTS-V (they can be had in that range if you look), V6 CTS, STS and some cars I’m sure I’m forgetting. I ended up with an 80k mile, 05 STS V8 with zero real needs for less than my budget. I like it so much I bought another ‘08 with more options but a bad motor and I’m building a Northstar V8 with some performance parts for it. These cars are incredibly cheap to buy, ridiculously cheap to modify and can reliably make as much power as a healthy 350/351/360.

So why are we limited to guys racing 35 year old cars no one under the age of 25 has ever seen on the street? With so many options why did we stop advancing with the evolution of what the public is driving? How hard would it really be to form a class where the requirements are must be fuel injected from the factory, must be 4 doors and can not be a “performance model” (no  V series caddies, no AMGs, no Ms, etc). The average 35 year old Mechanic (my age) is much more comfortable with a laptop tuning injector rates than a screw driver dialing in a 500 Holley. 

I think it would be much easier to get younger people into circle track racing if they gave a damn about the cars on the track. What am I missing here? 

 

 

Edited by JamesHigdon
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In my point of view, you are missing the trade off. The things that you would like to do to bring in a younger fan base, i.e newer style cars with current technology. Would be great for that younger generation. But for guys my age, 55, I could watch it due to the fact that I am a race fan first, but it certainly is not my preference. So guys your age, which is younger, you grew up with that style of car and technology, you can work on them, and I am sure it comes natural to you because you grew up with electronic devises. Guys like me wouldn't be able to find the button to turn the computer on. That matters to people.

The front wheel drive eco stock class that you see at HMP and at these dirt tracks now are fun to watch, but I can assure you that is not what drew me to that event. I hope to be at the World of Outlaws race at Cotton Bowl in a couple of weeks. Tell me how that class has not only survived, but thrived year after year after year? There has been some evolution, but it is largely the same as it was many years ago. 

There is a balance out there that works. Some tracks find it, many others don't.  

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James....in my personal opinion.....the majority of race fans want to see "racecars" not cars that race.....They want to see, hear, feel the sound of big motors, the speed and the talent it takes to drive them....Yes, the 4-bangers are entertaining, but NOT as a featured class on a weekly basis.....For the most part the younger generation is more into tik-tok, fakebook and stuff like that rather than racing, with the exception of drifting, that, to me, isn't really that entertaining.....Hell most of us old guys were doing that on city streets for fun years ago.

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I recall attending races in 1970 at the local track and seeing 1955-1957 Fords and Chevys race in Sportsman and Late Models but vividly remember in 1972 there were just a few 55-57's around and everyone was running 1965-1967  Chevelle's and maybe a couple of 65-66 Fords. . By 1975 they were running 1969 Chevelle's in Late Models  and 65-67 Nova's in sportsman....By 1979 all the 55-57's were gone and now they are running 1969-1972 Chevelle's with a smathering of 1970-72 Ford Torino's . There were no Five Star Bodies back then....you hit the junkyard or had a sheetmetal worker fabricate them.

12 hours ago, rebelracewriter said:

.the majority of race fans want to see "racecars" not cars that race.

IMO  as well, I agree with the statement above. Show me a good close race, passing on the outside, and great car counts....that's my priorities as a fan now.

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Sorry guys but the biggest reason why it won't work is because all of these cars are sheetmetal.  None of them have frames on any strength anymore.  Yes, you can roadrace them because they don't condone contact and contact is inherent to circle track.

IMHO, you want to fix Sat night racing, body the cars to appear modern.  I can't think of anyone young or old, that doesn't prefer the sound of a V8 over anything else.  Second, each class needs its own look.  Hate to say it but when Super Stocks look like late models, it's confusing to the uneducated. 

Cost containment is the issue, tires are too high, shocks are insane and crate motors are always under question, pit passes are tough while payouts haven't kept up with rising costs of racing.  

I remember the first time seeing a late model and thought it was hideous.  After the race, I thought it was the sexiest thing on wheels ever made!!!

 

Just .02, cause that's all I have

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On 3/4/2021 at 12:52 AM, rails said:

In my point of view, you are missing the trade off. The things that you would like to do to bring in a younger fan base, i.e newer style cars with current technology. Would be great for that younger generation. But for guys my age, 55, I could watch it due to the fact that I am a race fan first, but it certainly is not my preference. So guys your age, which is younger, you grew up with that style of car and technology, you can work on them, and I am sure it comes natural to you because you grew up with electronic devises. Guys like me wouldn't be able to find the button to turn the computer on. That matters to people.

The front wheel drive eco stock class that you see at HMP and at these dirt tracks now are fun to watch, but I can assure you that is not what drew me to that event. I hope to be at the World of Outlaws race at Cotton Bowl in a couple of weeks. Tell me how that class has not only survived, but thrived year after year after year? There has been some evolution, but it is largely the same as it was many years ago. 

There is a balance out there that works. Some tracks find it, many others don't.  

Halo classes tend to have less to do with street cars than maximum performance; Outlaws, Top Fuel, F1, etc. I'm talking more specifically about stock cars and what they represent. I guess the question is would stock car racing specifically be better of if divisions from NASCAR down to bombers had kept advancing with RWD Sedans vs what we have now? 

As far as tuning the cars and keeping them running my shop works on everything from '29 Chevrolets to 2021 Porsches, I'm as comfortable with a Quadrajet drilling idle bypass holes as I am dialing in idle air flow with a laptop and HPTuners so I can speak to that more than most. I don't think there's as much difference there as one would think. Most guys work with specialists to setup their cars; suspension guys, carb guys, etc; a modern car would be no different and I don't think it would be inherently more complicated. 

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On 3/4/2021 at 8:06 AM, rebelracewriter said:

James....in my personal opinion.....the majority of race fans want to see "racecars" not cars that race.....They want to see, hear, feel the sound of big motors, the speed and the talent it takes to drive them....Yes, the 4-bangers are entertaining, but NOT as a featured class on a weekly basis.....For the most part the younger generation is more into tik-tok, fakebook and stuff like that rather than racing, with the exception of drifting, that, to me, isn't really that entertaining.....Hell most of us old guys were doing that on city streets for fun years ago.

I'm talking more about stock car specifically; RWD Sedans ranging from CUP to local Hobby Stock level cars and what they represent in relation to modern street cars. I grant that younger people are more into other things but THAT is what I'm speaking to. If local short tracks where running cars kids had grown up with maybe kids would be more interested in Stock Car racing than instagram? 

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On 3/4/2021 at 8:17 PM, King237 said:

I recall attending races in 1970 at the local track and seeing 1955-1957 Fords and Chevys race in Sportsman and Late Models but vividly remember in 1972 there were just a few 55-57's around and everyone was running 1965-1967  Chevelle's and maybe a couple of 65-66 Fords. . By 1975 they were running 1969 Chevelle's in Late Models  and 65-67 Nova's in sportsman....By 1979 all the 55-57's were gone and now they are running 1969-1972 Chevelle's with a smathering of 1970-72 Ford Torino's . There were no Five Star Bodies back then....you hit the junkyard or had a sheetmetal worker fabricate them.

IMO  as well, I agree with the statement above. Show me a good close race, passing on the outside, and great car counts....that's my priorities as a fan now.

This is what I'm talking about...in the 90's guys where running G-bodies but for the most part stock car racing never advanced past that. As soon as carbs went away most guys just threw their hands up and said "thats it I'll keep my 80 MonteCarlo" but guys my age have zero issues tuning and working on these modern cars so why not try them?

When CTS was running strong a buddy of mine decided he wanted something different and built a Lincoln Mark VIII. The car ran as a Grand Stock and with a 264 CID DOHC V8 kept up with the other cars and won a feature or two. There is no reason the modern cars couldn't have advanced alongside the older cars they just didn't

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On 3/4/2021 at 10:21 AM, Harlin Covert said:

I agree the cars need to be up graded. a class for V8 Mustangs and Camaros from the 80's to present would be good.

the fans could relate better and here the V8s.

They road race the the unibodies so why not circle track.

Just an idea from an old guy.

Second gen Camaro's are unibody with a subframe, most modern cars are exactly the same. I knew a guy that raced a Lincoln Mark VIII (Unibody with no subframe) with no issues, we can get around that I think.

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On 3/4/2021 at 10:14 PM, turbotoddie said:

Sorry guys but the biggest reason why it won't work is because all of these cars are sheetmetal.  None of them have frames on any strength anymore.  Yes, you can roadrace them because they don't condone contact and contact is inherent to circle track.

IMHO, you want to fix Sat night racing, body the cars to appear modern.  I can't think of anyone young or old, that doesn't prefer the sound of a V8 over anything else.  Second, each class needs its own look.  Hate to say it but when Super Stocks look like late models, it's confusing to the uneducated. 

Cost containment is the issue, tires are too high, shocks are insane and crate motors are always under question, pit passes are tough while payouts haven't kept up with rising costs of racing.  

I remember the first time seeing a late model and thought it was hideous.  After the race, I thought it was the sexiest thing on wheels ever made!!!

 

Just .02, cause that's all I have

"Sorry guys but the biggest reason why it won't work is because all of these cars are sheetmetal.  None of them have frames on any strength anymore.  Yes, you can roadrace them because they don't condone contact and contact is inherent to circle track."

Most modern cars aren't much different than a Camaro; a unibody with a front stub. I know a few people that have circle track raced full unibody cars without issue. It's certainly a different deal but not a deal breaker.

"IMHO, you want to fix Sat night racing, body the cars to appear modern.  I can't think of anyone young or old, that doesn't prefer the sound of a V8 over anything else.  Second, each class needs its own look.  Hate to say it but when Super Stocks look like late models, it's confusing to the uneducated."

The cars I'm talking about are all V8 powered and this would be a great way to maintain a true differentiation between classes.

"Cost containment is the issue, tires are too high, shocks are insane and crate motors are always under question, pit passes are tough while payouts haven't kept up with rising costs of racing.  "

I agree completely and that's the point of this to a large degree. People are buying professionally built Hobby Stocks, thats insane. Stock cars in local classes need to be coming from wrecking yards not chassis shops. 

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39 minutes ago, JamesHigdon said:

I'm talking more about stock car specifically; RWD Sedans ranging from CUP to local Hobby Stock level cars and what they represent in relation to modern street cars. I grant that younger people are more into other things but THAT is what I'm speaking to. If local short tracks where running cars kids had grown up with maybe kids would be more interested in Stock Car racing than instagram? 

Here's some thing going against that....More and more manufacturers are going away from rear wheel drive.....Other than Sport Compats/Tuners/insert other name here, none of the other classes/rules are set up for EFI/throttle body/ LS type power.....Then some of these newer cars are plastic/composite bodied....When sheet metal will bend/crush, plastic will crack/fall off more often than sheet metal....If you watch the Mini Stock class quite a few cautions are caused by them shedding parts. 

I'm not dissing the idea, just pointing out the pitfalls involved....

The other day I heard a new Mustang mash the gas off a light, trying to impress me I guess.....Obviously it had the new eco-tech 2.4L turbo.....Sounded like a damn washing machine!....I laughed the rest of my way home.

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On 3/3/2021 at 8:01 PM, JamesHigdon said:

, must be 4 doors and can not be a “performance model” (no  V series caddies, no AMGs, no Ms, etc).

I understand a lot of what you are saying, but 4 doors?   OUCH, that is like dating a fat girl man.    Trust me, everyone knows the old muscle car look that are on the road today with modern technology, the Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers, etc.  

I am just not for that much change, just like i do not like boys going into the bathrooms with girls.  You gotta draw the line somewhere

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6 hours ago, toyotatim said:

I understand a lot of what you are saying, but 4 doors?   OUCH, that is like dating a fat girl man.    Trust me, everyone knows the old muscle car look that are on the road today with modern technology, the Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers, etc.  

I am just not for that much change, just like i do not like boys going into the bathrooms with girls.  You gotta draw the line somewhere

Something wrong with fat girls   .. . BY THE WAY . WHAT IS CONSIDERED FAT TO YOU ..ANYTHING  over 100 pounds .. :D 

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