Ray Cook comments on costs of new rules, testing and droop rule alternatives he tested
In December, Ray Cook announced the droop rule. A chain will hook from the rear end to the chassis on the left rear. That chain will limit the amount of lift on the left rear specifically.
Ray Cook has spent the last year and a half trying to find a solution. He’s tested many items which are discussed before. He landed at the droop rule.
We have two different schools of thought in our sport. One is cost saving rules work and they’re needed to keep the costs in check. The other side is, the more rules you make, the more you spend. What side of the fence do you fall on that?
“There’s no doubt, in the history of all racin’ that rules cost money.”
“And that’s true. I know that some of the complaints I got on the new droop rule were from people that used to race asphalt. They said, ‘In asphalt, every time they made a rule, it cost us money.’ ”
“Well, that’s true. But, I spent a year and a half trying to figure this out. This rule here’s not going to cost anybody anything. Unless they don’t own a piece of chain. Then, they’ll have to spend $7 to go get a piece.”
“It’s not going to cost anybody any testing time. Because people are testing anyway. Every team out there is testing, every year, all they can. They’ll test all their budget will allow them to test.”
I think that’s more so the national side.
“They do on every level. I’ve got guys at my race track that run street stocks and ponys. They rent the track to test. If they can afford to take off work and go test, no matter what level, they will.”
“A day at the race track to test, testing 3-4 hours is more than they would gain in 6 weeks of racing. When you’re at the race track, you’re only in the car for 20-25 minutes.”
“The only thing I’ve done is maybe give them a reason to go test. Before, they might have gone testing and not really know what they was trying to find. They were just trying to find something.”
If it doesn’t work we can just go back to doing what we was doing and I’ll go to work for maybe an airbag system for these things.
“It’s not going to cost anybody any money. And if it doesn’t work we can just go back to doing what we was doing and I’ll go to work for maybe an airbag system for these things because they’re going to need it,” Cook says with a laugh.
I saw the chain. There were 1.5 inches in-between each link. But, these teams are going to try and get every centimeter out of the rule. However, they’re only going to be able to move it in 1.5 inch increments? I don’t really know what you’re mounting it to. So, how are they going to do that? Maybe there’s something I’m missing?
“Well, they can put bolts in-between the links to shorten em up. And they can rotate the bracket on the rear end. They can shorten the chain in 1/8 inch increments, easy.”
Does it have to be a chain? Or any kind of tether?
“I think, right now, it has to be a chain. I’ve realized this more in the last year than I ever have. You need to make the rule so simple that a child can do it.”
“The average tech man, is at that mentality. I’m not knocking them, that’s just the truth. Most tech men, for series, are there because it lets them be involved in the sport. They love racin’ and they’re a huge fan. It’s a way for them to be a part of something they love.”
“The basic tech man is involved in checking for lead, the spoiler height and the deck height. And no tire samples, most of them are educated to that.”
“But, when it gets beyond those 4 things — That’s why a lot of things in our sport don’t get checked. It’s because they don’t know how to check it.”
“In creating this rule, I used my own kids for example. I said, ‘Can they check this?’ If they can jack a car up and read a tape measure then they can do this.”
“I’m probably going to do away with 4-5 rules that I’ve got right now and implement this one.”
Let me go back to one thing real quick. There was a guy in the comments section on one of these posts. He said, ‘if you feel the need to take downforce off the car why not just take the spoiler off the car completely?’ I thought that was a fair argument.
“I did that.”
“I done that in a test before I announced this rule. Because, I agree’d with him. I had it made up in my mind that I was going to put a 3 inch rear spoiler in effect. Just big enough to put a sticker on.”
“I went and done a test. It slowed me down 6 tenths of a second. But, if I would have stayed there another hour and half with the data acquisition, the technology and my chassis builder on the phone — I could have got back to the same speed in less than 2 hours, with no spoiler at all.”
“What that told me was, the guy that had access to all the fancy equipment and the ones that had plenty of time to go test were just going to get that much further ahead.”
“All that was going to do was split our field even worse than they are.”
“In fact, they probably would have been faster without the spoiler, at big tracks than they are now. Then, they would have been running faster and been higher in the air.”
“I was just like them. I thought that was the exact thing we needed to do, until I tested it. There was so many things I came up with. By the time I tested it or talked to somebody — They would talk me right back out of it.”
Did you test anything else? Other than tweaking the spoiler?
“Yeah, I tested shortening the shocks. I had some shocks built. I tested chip rules.”
“Everything else I’ve done, there’s ways for people to get around it. This is the only thing I’ve done that some of the smartest people in this industry haven’t told me how to get around it.”
“A piece of chain, is a piece of chain. Now, there’s people telling me they’ll come up with a spring loaded chain or some kind of exotic material.”
“Well, who knows. I’m prepared to hand everybody their chain when I get to the track.”
The droop rule will hit the track in early March. The Southern Nationals Bonus Series is hosting their opening round event at Dixie Speedway. On March 10th the series roles into Woodstock, Ga for the Southeastern Classic.
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