Rick Salter: “You need to take the wide bore motors out of the racing.”
Most will agree that cutting the costs of dirt late model racing is imperative to the sport. But, where does it start? What are the options?
Rick Salter is a local late model driver, open trailer and all. Based in Illinois, he’s a multi-time track champion in the final dirt late model season of his racing career.
“You need to take the wide bore motors out of the racing. You need to take the displacement out of it,” Rick Salter told RacingNews.co from his Illinois racing shop.
What is a wide bore motor? Engine builders ran out of room to make racing engines larger. After years of upgrades, there was no longer room for bigger pistons. So, they got experimental and found a solution. Instead, they extended the motor in the other direction. That created a bit of space between the pistons, allowing them to bore it out even further and install bigger pistons.
Bigger pistons, smaller stroke, same displacement. Twice the cost.
“The blocks wider because they straighten the stroke out. Everything that was wrong with the small block Chevy, they straightened out. That way, it does’t have as much friction inside of it either. That’s why they can run ’em harder with more RPM and everything else. But, also you see the cost of it.”
“The engine that’s sitting in this car right now,” Bob Salter points to the 1s machine.
“If you talk to any of the guys that run World of Outlaws or Lucas Oil they’ll say they would not put an engine like that in their car. It is not enough horsepower to run with ’em. Dennis Erb Jr was looking to sell me one. He said, ‘I can’t run it for Lucas Oil racing.’ I said, ‘that seems like an amazing engine to me.’ He said, ‘That’s like going to a gunfight with a knife.’ ”
Related: Dennis Erb Jr is the last of a dying breed
I’ve said this many times. One of the greatest things about dirt late model racing is that the local guy can show up and run with the national guys. But, as the costs continue to rise, there’s a lot less of that going on.
“They can’t afford to,” Rick Salter details.
“One is the tire rule, where it’s not the same. My pet-peeve was, if they’re coming to our track to run, they need to run our tire rule. All year we’ve been racing a tire. Then they come in with a different tire and we have to throw a totally different setup on the car. Because, we haven’t been running that tire and it changes the way the car acts.”
I wish there was 1 rule, for everything.
“Lucas tried. The Lucas stuck to their gun and I will give them that. Whether I like the tire rule or not, the non groove non sipe stuff. I will give Lucas Oil credit for sticking to their guns. That was the rule they all came up with at PRI, we’re all going to give this a go.”
“That has been the hardest thing this year was knowing what we’re going to run. Every month, it was a step-by-step process of what we’re going to do, tire wise. Every month, it changed. A new bulletin has come out. You had to take notes to make sure you knew what you were going to do when you showed up to the right place.”
“Then it said, ‘The tire rules going to stay the same. It’s up to the tracks to decide what they want.’ ”
Shocks? Or maybe it’s less about parts and more about rules
“The problem in that scenario is where do you take it from? Then, you put us in a box.”
“The canister shocks to me is not a big deal because it limits how many shocks you have to have. A lot of people don’t realize that.”
“That say, ‘Oh go to a spec shock.’ But that canister shock does what two shocks do. So you’d have to have a whole additional set or a different shock for each corner. Now, they could be a little bit cheaper but the performance of them isn’t as good.”
“You can limit them. Take the triple adjustable, the four-way shocks away. That four-way adjustable shock is about $1,200, per shock. It would cost the costs in half.”
“There’s little things that you can take. Me personally, if you go to a single tire rule. One tire, all the way around the car. But, that’s when the problems come in. If you limit it on a regional level, when the traveler’s come in, what do you do?”
Take some spoiler away from us
“Take some spoiler away from us. It’ll take horsepower away because you can’t put it to the ground. Aero’s become such a big thing in our cars.”
You’ll find out who the real drivers are
“It’s like taking a wing from a winged sprint car. You’ll find out who the real drivers are too,” Bob Salter chimes in on the topic.
“It’s like Jason Feger and some of those guys have said. They can’t do this stuff without testing it first. They jumped to this tire rule and never tested it.”
Author: Shane Walters
Salty Dog Racing
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