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Discussion Starter #1
im looking to maybe buy a modified car turnkey for our local 3/8 dirt track and i see cars anywhere from 5000 to 40000 on racing junk. can anyone give me an idea or source on where to learn and research different types of cars and setups. ive always been into drag racing but always wanted to give roundy round a shot but the learning curve seems steep. any ideas?
 

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I was partners with 2 other guys until last year when I scaled back my involvement, now I just build their engines. My advice would be to buy a car that fits what everyone else is using at your track; 4 bar/ 4 bar, 4bar/z-link, etc. If you buy a brand or type that no one else uses, you will have no help. Try to buy a car that is fairly new, or one that can be updated, and more importantly, fits the rules for your track. Modifieds are generally the same, but little details can be expensive to change; if you buy a car from one of the local hot shoes, you will have a guru to help you out, at least for a while. What works great in one region of the country can be a turd in others. We changed from late model paved racing to dirt modified, got a new(rookie) driver at the same time, and bought a car that nobody else was running, so we were completely lost, and there ain't a whole lot of test time available at dirt tracks. So we ended up asking a couple of veteran drivers to try the car out, and that helped a lot.
Mark
 

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Go to the track and see what they top 5 guys are running. Been around dirt track racing slot what will make or break your car is shocks and tires it amazes me guys buy brand new motors every season but wont work on suspension springs or shock valving or different tire sizes compounds peeps etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
im hoping to find someone i can offer a hand to in the pits as a free crew member to learn and soak up some of the knowledge, dirt is WAY harder than concrete.also it always seems someone is trying to sell their car mid season so i guess ill just have to be paitent. btw our track has the ump modifieds if that matters. how much on average will a mid pack car cost turn key?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yeah ive seen some crappy ass cars really scream and some beautiful cars that sound great but cant enter or exit the turn. im sure a lot is the driver but the track will only handle so much hp so i know the susp is key. thats where the learning curve is steep.
 

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i dont race dirt roundy round but have a few freinds that do, whereabouts are ya? what series and class do you want to race?
Spec Sportsman is a class they run here (NorthEast DIRT Series), thats a modified chassis but "Spec" Chevy late model engines.. seems to me a good entry level "modified" class as it seems to help keep costs down, but if you never done it before maybe a good class to start with is "street stock" or " pro stock" not exzactly sure, but basically its production type cars modified within the rules and dont require a modified chassis, maybe start there get use to swingin it sideways in the dirt.. learn the ropes then step up?
I thought about doing it too as we have a lot of DIRT tracks around, compared to Drag tracks.. but i cant get use to the idea of bending my shit up everytime i raced.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
im in southern michigan and "ump" is the set of rules they go by. i thought about a lower class but as much as those guys tear up there shit it kind of scares me away. especially at my track. the modifieds are there to race and the street stocks are there for a demo derby.
 

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Helping out an established team is a good idea. UMP modifieds use very expensive motors; there is no "degree rule", so people are able to use 18 degree stuff, even SB2s. Kenny Schrader's mod sounds like a goddamn Cup engine. As long as it has an iron block, a wet sump oil pan, and 1 carb, it's ok. The "claim" rule? Laughable; it is an unwritten rule that no one claims. at least we have to use 23 degree heads; that keeps expenses down a little. Circle Track magazine has modified setup articles in it several times a year, if you don't mind looking at things through the sometimes-dead-wrong viewpoint of Bob Bolles. Here's our junk gettin with it at Tri City Speedway in IL:
 

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Buy a car that someone has lost interest in or they are buying a new chassis to upgrade. Get a reputable, name brand chassis. No one-off stuff. Get someone to scale it and set it up for you and explain some of the basics on how to change the car for different track conditions.whatever everyone else is doing, as far as engines go, do the same.If they are running "cheater heads" (ported then acid etched to look unported)you do the same thing or you will be in the rear. Buy a set of good scales and scale the car EVERY time you run. Buy the BEST shocks that are allowed. find out if everyone else is treating their tires (with chemicals to get a softer compound) If they are you need to also. Buy good tires as often as possible. Go online and read as much as you can find about the suspension on these cars. the more you know the better you will be. And last but not least, don`t be afraid to bump and rub, if you are, the other drivers will see this and try to intimidate you or worse.
 

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u better know alot about the 4-bar setup. its gotta be dead on for you to compete.
 

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If you have no dirt track experience, helping on a car for awhile before you get one is a good idea. Get with someone that is a contender at the track you are wanting to run at and learn as much about setting the car up as you can. Anyone can buy HP, but learning to set up a car and drive it isn't.
 

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im in southern michigan and "ump" is the set of rules they go by. i thought about a lower class but as much as those guys tear up there shit it kind of scares me away. especially at my track. the modifieds are there to race and the street stocks are there for a demo derby.
Butler?
 

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Helping out an established team is a good idea. UMP modifieds use very expensive motors; there is no "degree rule", so people are able to use 18 degree stuff, even SB2s. Kenny Schrader's mod sounds like a goddamn Cup engine. As long as it has an iron block, a wet sump oil pan, and 1 carb, it's ok. The "claim" rule? Laughable; it is an unwritten rule that no one claims. at least we have to use 23 degree heads; that keeps expenses down a little. Circle Track magazine has modified setup articles in it several times a year, if you don't mind looking at things through the sometimes-dead-wrong viewpoint of Bob Bolles. Here's our junk gettin with it at Tri City Speedway in IL:

Thats how you can tell a dirt car is fast. The front bumper is smashed in, and the quarters are nice lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
yep, butler battlegrounds, ive been wanting to throw some dirt for awhile now, i live about 20 miles away in concord. how many of these drivers actually dyno there cars. i always see people talking about this and that demon tweak but i wonder how many can actually back up there claims of 500 + hp. most dragracers are always on the dyno making improvements to pick up a few hp.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
yeah you can see the rear tire all rolled up underneath, god that looks like fun! turn right to go left.
 

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yep, butler battlegrounds, ive been wanting to throw some dirt for awhile now, i live about 20 miles away in concord. how many of these drivers actually dyno there cars. i always see people talking about this and that demon tweak but i wonder how many can actually back up there claims of 500 + hp. most dragracers are always on the dyno making improvements to pick up a few hp.
I have a few friends that race modified there and run out of Coldwater.

I haven't been there in a few years but one does very well from what I have heard (Won a Sprint car championship then ran into some health problems)

I'll try to put you in contact with them
 

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Discussion Starter #18
have you ever looked at all the different types of modofieds on that site? there has to be 100 or more configs and they all claim to be the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have a few friends that race modified there and run out of Coldwater.

I haven't been there in a few years but one does very well from what I have heard (Won a Sprint car championship then ran into some health problems)

I'll try to put you in contact with them
thank you very much, that is exactly what i need.
 

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I have a buddy who did the dirt thing a few years ago. He used a Dirtworks chassis (I think a number 8) and modified it to fit him himself. He bought an iron head 406 off E-Bay. All told he had around $20K in the operation when he was ready to go to the track. He was a solid middle pack runner, but found out that dirt racing gets very expensive when you do it on your own dime and sold it off after a season and a half.

He wants to get back in now, but wants to go late model.
 
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