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TheKraken

Has the 602 engine helped or hurt racing?

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I can see this going both ways. 

Helped - my god would you look at the NE Dirt Mod sportsman car counts across the state? Through the roof with some tracks running 2 or 3 features. 

Hurt - my god would you look at the sportsman car counts across the state? Meanwhile, IMCA mods are about dead. Street Stocks are about dead. Pro Stocks are on life support. Crate Late Model car counts are down. Seems to have cannibalized allot of other divisions. 

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I can't speak for every track but I know albany-saratoga runs 602 in street stock, pro stock, limited sportsman and regular sportsman.

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I don't think sportsman is the reason late models aren't popular in  the northeast. There are few places to race a late model here and there are no supers so you can't move up to anything anyway.  Makes more sense to spend money on a car you have room to move up with. Northeasthe modifieds are the premier class up here.

The issue with pro stocks and street stocks is you can buy a modified roller for like 10k slap a 602 in it and have a decent racecar. Why would someone get in a pro stock if they can just get into a sportsman?

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I could be wrong, as I don’t follow the support divisions very closely, but I thought the street stock and pro stock divisions had declined considerably before the rise of the 602. At least at certain tracks....

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I also think having less divisions and quality fields in the divisions you do have is a great thing for local dirt tracks. 

Why have 7 divisions with 10 cars in them when you can have 2 with more than full fields? 

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2 divisions of more than full fields and both divisions look exactly alike, i would never visit that track. No thanks. 

why buy a prostock instead of a sportsman, newsflash, not everyone like NE style dirt mods. 

As for the late model ladder to move up, not everyone gets into racing to move up and climb the ladder. Some people race for the love of it and get settled into a division. More times than not, thats 60-75% of the drivers in any division stay put. A very small percentage climb the ladder. 

While the 602 has worked wonders for sportsman, i feel its hurt and helped kill other divisions. 

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7 minutes ago, TheKraken said:

2 divisions of more than full fields and both divisions look exactly alike, i would never visit that track. No thanks. 

why buy a prostock instead of a sportsman, newsflash, not everyone like NE style dirt mods. 

As for the late model ladder to move up, not everyone gets into racing to move up and climb the ladder. Some people race for the love of it and get settled into a division. More times than not, thats 60-75% of the drivers in any division stay put. A very small percentage climb the ladder. 

While the 602 has worked wonders for sportsman, i feel its hurt and helped kill other divisions. 

I find most of the support classes we run up here to be super boring. Watching street stocks go slow in a line is not very entertaining to me. 

They have some cool support classes down in Ohio that produce good racing but I've only seen a handfull of good prostock races in the last couple of years

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28 minutes ago, PitLizardLover said:

They have some cool support classes down in Ohio that produce good racing but I've only seen a handfull of good prostock races in the last couple of years

What track(s) do you normally visit?  Usually the pro-stocks put on some of the best racing at most of the tracks in the northeast where they run.

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13 minutes ago, FondaFan16 said:

What track(s) do you normally visit?  Usually the pro-stocks put on some of the best racing at most of the tracks in the northeast where they run.

I float around central to northern ny. I actually don't mind pro stocks that much. I would miss them but I don't see the draw of racing one over a sportsman. However I do love that they can run pro stocks 3 and 4 wide and rub without smashing the cars.

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15 minutes ago, TheKraken said:

While the 602 has worked wonders for sportsman, i feel its hurt and helped kill other divisions. 

Why have those other divisions failed to make themselves more attractive than crate sportsman?  I don't think the 602 crate has hurt those divisions, the other divisions just don't present as competitive of a  package.  A decent get in and hit the button race car for around $10k with tires that last a long time...no-brainer for a lot of racers!

Crate Lates - the cars themselves cost much more (604, more moving parts, expensive shocks)
IMCA - great elsewhere, look like total duds on a slick track vs. sportsman

They just don't have the appeal in the northeast when the crate sportsman is such a solid option.

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I've seen far too many guys wanting to get into racing look at sportsman vs. other levels, and its crazy how many of them just get a sportsman off the get go.

You can find an entry level sportsman for between 6 and 10k, depending on how deep you want to go down the rabbit hole to start (none of it being new, of course, but if you're getting in, a 2013ish with decent bolt-ons is perfect). 

I'm seeing some of these street stock guys trying to sell out for 12-14k at times in these trade groups on Facebook.....

I love full fenders, I want to drive one again. But why spend 10k to get into it and race against 7 cars at Canandaigua for example, when I can put 10k into a sportsman and run against a full field?

Plus with a sportsman you can run just about anywhere in the state. Street stocks youre limited based on rules, and not all tracks run crate lates so you're limited where you can run with those unless you tour. 4 cylinders are fun but those are like fat chicks: Fun to ride but you dont wanna tell your friends about it....

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The 602 has helped make racing more affordable. Like it was said above, why have the other classes not gotten their Sh!t together and followed their lead and bring the prices down in other support  classes?

Prostocks/streetstocks with a common rule book from track to track with a 602 or 604 only should help numbers grow. 

With the exception of sportsman and mods, it always seems like one of the other classes are on the brink of being pulled off the card next season. I wouldnt want to throw $10,000-15,000 at a class that may not be there long term.

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Maybe I remember it wrong but the cars in the pro and street stock divisions looked just like road cars. Cameros, Monte Carlo GtOs etc. Now you can tell it's a fabricated bumper and read end. I know everything evolves but the Sportsman SB and BB called Modifieds so change is expected. Although I do agree extreme change hasn't happened in modifieds for a long time now. It seems like when Bob McCreadie tried it was frowned upon. I remember just before he "retired" he brought that wider car to Weedspor t and was told not to run it anymore.

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Street stocks are hurting for one because a lot of the old cars they were  using for race cars are gone. 

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The loss of car counts in all divisions including sportsman came when the last recession hit and gas prices were high. A lot of people couldn’t afford it and sold out. In the meantime tracks made tough decisions to make money. Many combined pro and street stocks, and a lot of tracks began to bring in the 602 as an option. When tracks started combining the classes and leaving the DIRT standard for a stock car everyone ended up with different rules and that’s doesn’t help anybody. 

Before then there was a hierarchy. Pure/hobby stocks were the entry level class with OEM parts, then you could take that same car, add racing parts and be a street stock. You could then take that motor and put it in a northeast style mod and be a sportsman, and then take that same car, change the motor (or in some cases add a 4 barrel) and be a modified. Divisions outside that always struggled for car counts. The 602 went into open wheel cars before the full rendered ones and the hierarchy was broken. Any time you make a higher class cheaper and more appealing, any division below it will suffer. 

So...Are the 602’s bad for racing? That probably depends on who you ask. If you ask some of the guys who got back into racing after many years off, or the guys who are spending far less on motors they are great. They’re great because you can bring them to any track and have very few changes. My opinion is different and acknowledge that I am probably in the minority but for me, a person with a street stock sitting in the back yard and two “open” motors in the garage, the move to crate only classes will only keep my car sitting in the back yard. My motors cost less than a crate motor and would probably dyno about the same. I’d probably never win with what equipment I have but it’s not back marker equipment either. Why would I want to spend twice as much on a crate motor? I guess if I wanted to race bad enough I would. There probably just as many people like me sitting on obsolete equipment at home as there are people who got back Into racing due to crate affordability. 

In the mods there are different rules for different motor combinations and it seems to work. Some tracks found a balance for that in the pro stocks but not really in the sportsman. Every year I look at the rules for the upcoming season to see if the certain track that I’m close to will have rules that fit what I currently own. More often than not the talk is for crate only in the stock cars. It makes sense; it’s easier to tech if everyone’s running the same thing but if the goal is to have a full class there need to be options for people to use what they have and still feel like they can be competitive. That’s not always easy. When Utica combined the pro and street stocks they had rules that allowed for both pro and street stock and southern tier cars. In theory they were drawing 12 pure stocks and 15 pro stocks weekly the year before. Unfortunately, half the pro stocks went to other tracks, moved up or stopped running and only 4 or 5 of the street stocks felt like they could be competitive and they ended up with less cars in one class than they had in either the year before. It’s rule changes, and making decent equipment obsolete that is hurting racing... but that’s just my opinion. If anything the 602 has helped, it just hasn’t helped everybody.

What is the ultimate goal of a crate, cheaper? easier tech? Level playing field? Does a crate actually succeed in doing that? Was any of that considered prior to the introduction to crates when everyone had an open motor? There are and always be drivers and teams who spend more, or even cheat, and those who just love it and will never be a top team. Crates will never change that. There are many drivers at the track because it’s an option (in some cases the only option) and some drivers that are not. 

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The Sportsman class was formed in 1987 to bridge the gap between Modified guys looking to sell off old inventory, and Street Stock guys looking to get open wheel experience.  I remember some awesome races back then in Central NY with Steve Shultz and Stu Sheppard.... the class really took off.  I think they kind of lost control of it for awhile when they didn't restrict guys from buying brand new Teos and lightweight rear ends, etc.. The 602 has brought some semblence of common sense back into the division.  It was intended to be, and should at its core, remain a hobby class for weekend racers.  I shake my head and kinda lose faith in people a little bit when I see a stacker hauler roll through the back gate with a pair of chrome accented Crate Sportsman cars inside....  

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Maybe a bit off topic here, but I moved to NC over 15 years ago and just started venturing out to some dirt tracks (there are 4 within a 1.25 hour drive) in the last few years.   These tracks are all over the place with divisions.   And most don't run every week.   Late Models are the main attraction.  But there are about 4 different types of Late Model divisions.  Most have crate engines, and the other differences are suspension and tire rules.  You hardly ever see the same driver week in and week out at a track. 

We have no "northeast" modifieds.   Some tracks run the IMCA type, usually with fields of about 6 to 10 cars, paying about $400 to win. 

We do have a nice regional super late model series that runs about once a month. 

 

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6 hours ago, ChrisAkulis said:

The 602 has brought some semblence of common sense back into the division.....  

Really? Even with guys buying $10k "Crate" Engines from "Crate Engine Builders" who have their own seals? The whole premise was for everyone to have the same engine. Never happens though when there's money to be made.

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38 minutes ago, Jetmech63 said:

Really? Even with guys buying $10k "Crate" Engines from "Crate Engine Builders" who have their own seals? The whole premise was for everyone to have the same engine. Never happens though when there's money to be made.

Still beats the 40k big block. But people complain when they don't tech the motors and people complain when they pull them and dyno them. No reason for the tracks to up tech when they are pulling 60 plus sportsman at big shows. What's in it for them to tech more?

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17 hours ago, That IQ0 Car said:

The loss of car counts in all divisions including sportsman came when the last recession hit and gas prices were high. A lot of people couldn’t afford it and sold out. In the meantime tracks made tough decisions to make money. Many combined pro and street stocks, and a lot of tracks began to bring in the 602 as an option. When tracks started combining the classes and leaving the DIRT standard for a stock car everyone ended up with different rules and that’s doesn’t help anybody. 

Before then there was a hierarchy. Pure/hobby stocks were the entry level class with OEM parts, then you could take that same car, add racing parts and be a street stock. You could then take that motor and put it in a northeast style mod and be a sportsman, and then take that same car, change the motor (or in some cases add a 4 barrel) and be a modified. Divisions outside that always struggled for car counts. The 602 went into open wheel cars before the full rendered ones and the hierarchy was broken. Any time you make a higher class cheaper and more appealing, any division below it will suffer. 

So...Are the 602’s bad for racing? That probably depends on who you ask. If you ask some of the guys who got back into racing after many years off, or the guys who are spending far less on motors they are great. They’re great because you can bring them to any track and have very few changes. My opinion is different and acknowledge that I am probably in the minority but for me, a person with a street stock sitting in the back yard and two “open” motors in the garage, the move to crate only classes will only keep my car sitting in the back yard. My motors cost less than a crate motor and would probably dyno about the same. I’d probably never win with what equipment I have but it’s not back marker equipment either. Why would I want to spend twice as much on a crate motor? I guess if I wanted to race bad enough I would. There probably just as many people like me sitting on obsolete equipment at home as there are people who got back Into racing due to crate affordability. 

In the mods there are different rules for different motor combinations and it seems to work. Some tracks found a balance for that in the pro stocks but not really in the sportsman. Every year I look at the rules for the upcoming season to see if the certain track that I’m close to will have rules that fit what I currently own. More often than not the talk is for crate only in the stock cars. It makes sense; it’s easier to tech if everyone’s running the same thing but if the goal is to have a full class there need to be options for people to use what they have and still feel like they can be competitive. That’s not always easy. When Utica combined the pro and street stocks they had rules that allowed for both pro and street stock and southern tier cars. In theory they were drawing 12 pure stocks and 15 pro stocks weekly the year before. Unfortunately, half the pro stocks went to other tracks, moved up or stopped running and only 4 or 5 of the street stocks felt like they could be competitive and they ended up with less cars in one class than they had in either the year before. It’s rule changes, and making decent equipment obsolete that is hurting racing... but that’s just my opinion. If anything the 602 has helped, it just hasn’t helped everybody.

What is the ultimate goal of a crate, cheaper? easier tech? Level playing field? Does a crate actually succeed in doing that? Was any of that considered prior to the introduction to crates when everyone had an open motor? There are and always be drivers and teams who spend more, or even cheat, and those who just love it and will never be a top team. Crates will never change that. There are many drivers at the track because it’s an option (in some cases the only option) and some drivers that are not. 

The pavement track here in Denver runs both pure and super stocks, and seems to 90% of the time run them as a combined feature but still consider them separate classes. Surprisingly it works really well, at least from a fans perspective. The racing is great to watch, there's always something going on and you're talking about 30 cars a night in the class. I wonder if something like this would have worked better in the northeast, although there are a lot more choices of where to go racing in NY then there are in CO.

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7 hours ago, Jetmech63 said:

Really? Even with guys buying $10k "Crate" Engines from "Crate Engine Builders" who have their own seals? The whole premise was for everyone to have the same engine. Never happens though when there's money to be made.

Yeah...……..it actually REMOVED common sense from the division. Cars are much more expensive.

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12 hours ago, oilman said:

 

Yeah...……..it actually REMOVED common sense from the division. Cars are much more expensive.

They don't have to be but people choose to spend that much. Give a good driver a used bicknell from a big block team slap 4 steel shocks on it and put your crate motor in it and he will still run up front. All the other stuff is such a marginal return on investment. 

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21 hours ago, PitLizardLover said:

But people complain when they don't tech the motors and people complain when they pull them and dyno them. 

I don't know that this statement is entirely accurate.  Sure, some will complain, but I think a lot of the top runners welcome the idea of pulling the motor if that's what the tracks want to do. 

When Rocky Warner was winning 602 races across the state he had to stay late more than once to have the motor pulled and dyno'ed but since he knew his stuff was legal he didn't mind.  Did it make for a late night and more work during the week, sure it did... But it also quieted some of the critics who figured he must be cheating because he won so much... 

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2 hours ago, PitLizardLover said:

They don't have to be but people choose to spend that much. Give a good driver a used bicknell from a big block team slap 4 steel shocks on it and put your crate motor in it and he will still run up front. All the other stuff is such a marginal return on investment. 

Ahhh……..I don't think so😂

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1 hour ago, oilman said:

Ahhh……..I don't think so😂

A lightweight rear end and less rotating mass won't make up for your lack of skill. Will it help give you an edge if youre already running the car as fast as you can get it? Sure, but if you think rocky wouldn't have won in a used teo with a 5k crate motor and normal rear end on steel wheels I'm not really sure what to tell you. He might not have been so dominate but he sure would have still beat most of the guys most of the time. 

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