Jason Feger: “We’re at a crossroads in our sport of which direction to go.”
Jason Feger isn’t a national driver, he isn’t a local driver, he’s that middle of the road guy. He see’s the struggle of dirt late model costs, from both sides of the spectrum.
The rising costs of dirt late model racing is a problem. The late model class is quickly become extinct, on the local level. It’s causing a domino effect that’s simultaneously making it harder for tracks to survive. The car counts are down and the grandstands aren’t packed to watch an 8 car local late model feature.
Beyond that, there’s a bigger divide between the local and national caliber of racecars. Both of those things are killing the sport as a whole.
I spoke to Jason Feger. What needs to change?
How would you keep costs down?
“Unfortunately, there’s not a right answer,” Jason Feger tells RacingNews.co from the pits.
Safety: “The safety stuff was expensive. But, it was out of date and it needed to happen.”
Motors: “The motor cost is what’s really high right now. It’s not the motor builders fault. It’s because the cars are so good that we’re hooked up that hard. So, you need the best motor.”
“When I started racing, heck, you couldn’t hook up 700 horsepower. Now, we’re hooking up 900 horsepower and we’re begging for more. The cars have gotten that much better.”
Aerodynamically, I think there’s some stuff we could do.
Aerodynamics: “Aerodynamically, I think there’s some stuff we could do. You know, body rules that would help. Unhook the cars a little bit.”
“The way the noses are with the wicker bills and we got these things wedged up. And open sail panels. The fender flares. The drop decks. Things like that. I think there’s a lot of things we can do. You can even take away a little bit of spoiler. Take away the front valences.”
“Figure out something, to maybe get us a little bit higher off the ground. Not so sealed off. Maybe make some different suspension rules.”
“I know they’ve looked at some stuff. They haven’t really found the right answer.”
“I think we’re kinda at a crossroads right now in our sport,” Jason Feger details the wide range of theories.
“Do we open up the rules? As far as suspension and not have any rules, suspension wise.”
“Or we need to go backwards and get some stricter suspension rules to figure out a way to unhook these things? The shock technology has come so far.”
Shocks control these race cars. If you look at a dirt late model now, the front end is sealed to the racetrack. Just like specific asphalt series you love to hate. That sealed front end is every bit as much the bodies as it is the shock package.
That race car characteristic alone creates a staggering amount of downforce. More downforce produces the need for a bigger motor.
The requirement for a bigger motor results in the continued rise in costs costs of a dirt late model racing. Each year, these things are more into the racetrack than the previous year.
“An unfortunate side to the motor deal is if you take a motor that’s 700 horsepower. It’ll last a lot longer than a motor that’s making 900 horsepower. Essentially, it’s the same motor,” Jason Feger details.
We just keep pushing them to the limits. Then, you gotta buy better components.
“We just keep pushing them to the limits. Then, you gotta buy better components. Then, you find some weak spots and you gotta buy better components. We just keep uppin’ and uppin’. We’re putting out so much power and we need these things to live.”
Unfortunately, there’s not just a right answer.
“It’s a tough battle. We’re at a crossroads in our sport of which direction to go. Unfortunately, there’s not just a right answer. It’s a tough deal.”
Author: Shane Walters