The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car track owners and operators met on Friday to discuss the hot button issues. Among the hottest topics were spindles, the new Five Star Bodies Gen-6 body and what to do with the Chevrolet Upgrade to make it equal to the Harrington and Ford engines.
According to all three racetrack owner/operators that I was able to talk to following the meeting nothing was officially decided on any of the topics and that the room was divided on pretty much every issue. Here’s what was at the heart of the discussions.
First, the Victor, Jr. intake for the Chevrolet Upgrade engine was discussed for approval. It seems likely that this will happen given the fact that the Ford 347SR’s camshaft upgrade was already approved. Reportedly the intake will put them within five horsepower of the current Harrington Enforcer and Ford 347SR.
One of the hottest topics in racing right now is the release of the Five Star Gen-6 body. The body on the Super Late Model side has not been approved by the ABC Committee but is being approved by many tracks and series throughout the country. On the Late Model Stock Car side the body has yet to be approved by NASCAR and no tracks have publicly approved it. There are a lot of talk about single tracks approving the body for competition whether that’s in Late Model Stock Cars or Limited Late Models.
During the owners/operators meeting the body was a hot topic. Many racetracks want to go ahead and approve it while others want to set a timeline to approve it. As of publishing a Late Model Stock Car version of this body is not available to order and that may have a bearing on whether or not the new body gets approved.
One topic that came up was spindles and the cost of spindles. This issue first came up during the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown when Kyle Busch (and others we’ve been told) showed up with a car with billet steel spindles. The spindles instead of being welded together are a one-piece, custom made piece, with pressed pins and no welded parts. It causes less deflection and allows you to brake the car differently and get more traction.
These spindles cost an estimated $1,100 each while a welded traditional spindle costs less than $300. Many of the track operators felt as if they needed to rein this in and not allow them due to costs. However, the spindles are legal according to the current rulebook and some tracks feel as though they should just allow them since some teams already have them. Many people believe that the advantage is small, if at all, but that it will give a perceived advantage and hurt the smaller teams even more.
Those were the three hottest topics from the meeting. Other things that came out during the course of the weekend with the NASCAR Awards ceremony were that the NASCAR License prices are going up to the competitors and the full-field number is being reduced from 18. Also, Whelen is expected to not return as the title sponsor following the 2019 season.
There’s a peek inside the NASCAR owner/operators meeting from last Friday. If there are any more developments we will do our best to keep you up to date. Hopefully, the track owners and NASCAR will work to become more transparent in what’s taking place, so that