Mark Richards: “We don’t need to be worrying about body rules like everybody’s talking about”
Recently, Mark Richards the owner of Rocket Chassis made a case for ‘less’ dirt late model rules. It’s the opposite view of many, yet he had many strong arguments. Point in case, “The more rules we make, the more cars we run off.”
Richards also drew a comparison to attempts from the past. For example, the asphalt late model division experimented with creating a class that’s more affordable during the 90-00’s era. The end result, they went out of business.
But, how far would Mark Richards prefer the sanctions took it? No rules? Rules with limits? What’s his ideal dirt late model rulebook?
Would you say you’re a part of the run what ya brung crowd?
“No. Not run what ya brung, we need some rules,” Mark Richards states to RacingNews.co .
“But, we don’t need to be worrying about suspension rules. We don’t need to be worrying about body rules like everybody’s talking about. The body is the cheapest thing on the car.”
“A body doesn’t cost much and it doesn’t matter whether you’re putting one on where the measurements are 6 inches shorter than what the measurements are today. The cost is the same. It’s not saving anybody money on costs.”
Related: Steve Francis discusses body rules
When we do take these bodies away they’ll be less people wanting to drive these things.
“The other things is, when we do take these bodies away they’ll be less people wanting to drive these things because they are going to be harder to drive. The average guy is going to be further away from the big guy than he is now.”
“There is an advantage to some of the stuff these cars have today. To make them easier for the average guy to drive. The downforce, suspension and every thing that gives the car grip. Those make the average guy want to drive one.”
Now, the best drivers are always gunna win.
“But, whenever you get it to where the car doesn’t have grip and you take downforce away and you take suspension away. Now, the best drivers are always gunna win. So, the guy that isn’t the best driver and doesn’t race every day. The guy that’s not out here racing against Scott Bloomquist, Tim McCreadie, Josh Richards and those guys, he don’t stand a chance.”
“I was in Florida at East Bay Raceway when they changed over from the 1100 to 1300 tire rule. One of my customers come walking up to me. He said, ‘Mark, are they gunna stay with this tire rule?’ I said, ‘I think they are.’ ”
He said, ‘I’ll never be back. I come down here to have fun. Not feel like I’m gunna kill myself. Right now I feel like when I go on the race track I feel like I’m gunna kill myself. I’m not coming down here to feel like this. I’ll go back home and local race.’ ”
“So East Bay lost a car and I know for certain, when they changed the tire rule. That was a guy local racer, he went there to have fun. He wasn’t worried about winning, he just wanted to go around the track, make the race and have some fun doing it. He had his family down there on vacation.”
“Instead, they ran a guy off. He has no interest in going out there and not having control of his car.”
I think a lot of the downforce reduction talk is more about cutting the size of motors
Because, in theory, if you can’t get 800 hp to the ground then you don’t need an 800 hp engine. However, Richards had a very interesting take on the topic.
“That ain’t gunna save the cost of motors,” Mark Richards states.
“Guys are still gunna spend for motors. And the better motors are still gunna win.”
Why do you say that?
We all have ways of making those better motors run faster in the slick.
“We all have ways of making those better motors run faster in the slick. I can tell ya, the high dollar engines are still gunna be winning races. That isn’t gunna fix it,” Mark Richards concludes.