Droop rule introduced to dirt late model racing

Ray Cook will tech deck lid height rule in a new way, limiting left rear extension

The deck lid height rule has been exploited in dirt late model racing. The new droop rule has been announced as the cure.

Watch the video below which explains how the new rule will be enforced.

Currently, the deck lid for most dirt late model racing series are measured with a tape measure or stick. Cars are rolled to tech and they measure the deck to the ground at the rear of the car.

However, crew chiefs have all figured out that if you step on the rear of the car, just before the measurement, it lowers the car. It will eventually raise back up, but for a brief few moments the springs and shocks remain compressed.

The rule is further exploited on the race track itself. The left rear of the car over extends. Each inch is 400 counts according to Steve Francis. These cars enter the track, the right front collapses and the left rear gets jacked way into the air.

Related: Steve Francis discusses dirt late model aerodynamics

Brandon Overton Florence Speedway 3204
Brandon Overton at Florence Speedway

Droop Rule

The new droop rule is set to eliminate some of that lift. Instead of teching the cars with the rear end flat, they will tech it fully extended.

The Schaeffer’s Southern Nationals Series tech officials will jack the car on the left rear. Once the left rear tire is in the air, they will measure the rear end. The top 3 and 2 random will be tech’d.

The new rule is set at 47 inches with the left rear fully extended.

How do that plan to limit the extension of the left rear? With a chain. A chain will be hooked in the rear of the car. That chain will limit the distance the left rear can extend.

The video below is a demonstration video explaining the rule.

Dale McDowell 2017 Lucas Oil Dirt Photography 0632
Photo: ShaneWalters.net

Schaeffer’s Southern Nationals – droop rule announcement

Here’s the official release on the new rule:

Officials with the Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Series, the Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series and the Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Bonus Series have released details regarding the new safety rules, including left-rear rule for the upcoming season. This new rule will be in effect for all three of the Ray Cook-promoted tours in 2018.

The new rule is an amendment to the 2018 Rule Book and will read as follows:

-13 inch maximum height on the front nose piece of the car (right-front corner)

Ray Cook explains the droop rule
Ray Cook explains the droop rule


-No droop limiters permitted, chain only.

-Pre-race height must be between 37 inches and 39 inches (no tolerance) and the “T” Bar must be straight.

-Post-race height must be no higher than 47 inches (1/2 inch tolerance maximum).

-Left-rear tire will be adjusted to 6 lbs.

-Car will be measured with the left-rear jacked up (behind the left-rear axle tube under the under swung) in the air until the left-rear tire will turn forward or backwards.

-Car must have a frame (under swung) on the left-rear between the bell of rear-end and the birdcage with a jackpeg or weight clamp bolted on for the jack to lift the car.

-During inspection, left-rear chain must be tight and right wheel tire must be touching the ground.

-Note to all technical inspectors, if rear “T” Bar is bent, use a straight edge across the back of the car to make the best judgement to be consistent.

The video below goes over complete details of the new safety rule.

In addition, cousin tour, the Schaeffer’s Oil Iron-Man Late Model Series presented by DirtonDirt.com will utilize this at their second points event of the season on January 20, 2018 at Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, Ga. during the Tenth Annual Cabin Fever 40 paying $3,500-to-win and continue throughout the 2018 season.

“There are several race tracks in the Southeast and other sanctioning bodies that we have requested to join in with us in this effort to increase safety in the sport and the response has been great. Everyone is waiting to see how good it works,” stated Series Promoter Ray Cook.

The 2018 season for the Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals Bonus Series begins on Friday March 16th at Tri-County Race Track in Brasstown, N.C. paying $3,000-to-win then Saturday March 17th at Toccoa (Ga.) Raceway paying $6,400-to-win.

The 2018 season for the Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Series opens on Friday March 30th at Senoia (Ga.) Raceway paying $4,000-to-win and Saturday March 31st paying $6,000-to-win.

Further information on the Spring Nationals, Southern Nationals and Southern Nationals Bonus Series can be obtained by calling Promoter Ray Cook at (828) 360-5353 or Series P.R. Coordinator Chris Tilley at (606) 219-1723 or visit the official website located at www.SouthernNationalsSeries.com.

Droop rule video


Related: Would Mark Richards like to see a rule change to force a reduction of car costs?

Related: Mark Richards talks motor/suspension/aerodynamic rules

Related: “We’re at a crossroads in our sport of which direction to go.” -Jason Feger

Related: Rick Salter on cutting costs of dirt late model racing

Related: Rick Schwallie discusses dirt late model council

Related: Josh Richards talks dirt late model aerodynamics



Southern Nationals Series