"Rocky Entriken" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I agree with Eric, Stock allows too much ($800 shocks? Gimme a break!).
> started life as simply "bolt-on options allowed" but got out of hand to
> where it is no longer really streetable. ST fills the gap, but with only
> classes -- and for the life of me I still cannot really explain the
> difference between S and X. SM is its own clever animal and I think I
> finally figured out the difference between SM and SM2 is SM2 is for
A lot of issues here, huh Rocky? And for what it's worth, I feel your pain.
But yet... things are the way they are for very good reasons.
Let's have a look:
1) Stock and the $800 shock
What we have here is a logical extension of three things
a) The Stock rules must make some accomodation for "wear parts" and their
typical aftermarket replacements. This is to allow normal maintainence to
happen on what are supposed to be (or at least, allowed to be) street
In other words, when you replace a worn-out OEM shock with a Monroe
Sensi-Trak or a Sears Roadmaster, that shouldn't make the car illegal.
b) Our sport is very integrated from a "career progression" perspective,
which keeps the casual competitor in contact with the more hard-core.
As you progress up the ladder from Regional, through Divisional, National,
and finally Pro, one can realistically expect that cars will be better
prepared and more speciallized for competition. At the Regional level,
probably 90% of the cars in Stock are street cars first, race cars second.
At the National and Pro level, that number is probably more like 40%.
But here's the thing - in NASCAR, the NHRA, the various road racing series,
you typically don't have "the big stars" mixing it up with the newbies or
the more casual competitors. If you go out to your local dragstrip with
your street driver, you won't be lining up against John Force. But it's
entirely possible to take your street-driven Corvette, and find yourself
lined up against John Ames.
This is both a blessing and a curse - the curse being that the rules need
to apply to both sets of constituants, given that the same rulebook covers
both of them.
c) Technology, and especially knowledge, is trickling down from the higher
echelons of the racing world.
Consider this Rocky - I have programmed my own engine management, I do my
own datalogging, I rebuild and revalve my own shocks, and I do so based on
my own data models. I use pretty much the same techniques and technologies
as a modern Trans-Am team (which is itself standard CART practice from 10
years ago and standard F1 practice from 15-20 years ago) It is to a smaller
scale, and it takes longer, but ultimately, it's the same stuff.
And I'm far from unique - lots of modern-day Solo competitors are operating
at a technical level that would have made them Indy crew chiefs in the late
Stuff that was unimaginable as recently as 5 years ago is now commonplace.
> Much simpler when you had basically four levels of prep -- Stock, SP, P
> M -- but unfortunately from the get-go when they made SP they neglected
> make it a logical steppingstone between S and P. So that, even early on,
> had to undo things (notably carbs) to make an SP car a P car.
That's because Prepared is, was, and probably always will be an "island".
Prepared isn't part of the "normal progression"; it is for cars (at least
notionally) prepared to the GCR.
One could make a strong case that BM, CM, and FM should actually be
If one wanted to re-org, the logical progression is:
S->SP->SM->M for production-based, Solo-specific cars
AM for bespoke Solo "formula cars"
Prepared for anything designed to be a GCR-legal car
> Thus, there is really no such thing as a "prepared" car by
> definition any more because what is true of AP is not true of CP and
> is true of FP.
True enough... but I see that as a problem that needs to be rectified, not
a future direction.
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