As racers, track personnel and everyone in the Late ModelStock Car racing industry has been talking about engines the CARS Tour has been doing something about it.
CARS Tour Series Director Chris Ragle says that the series has been working on the engine issue all season long in preparation for 2019. He expects the CARS Tour rulebook to be out the middle of next week and it will include the new Ford upgrade camshaft and weight breaks for the Chevrolet Upgrade (Spec) and the GM 604 Crate engine.
Ragle said that the CARS Tour tested the upgraded camshaft for the Ford engine on Monday and the comparisons to the Harrington Enforcer were exactly as promised from Ford.
“We tested the Ford with the new camshaft on Monday,” said Ragle. “It was dead-on on the numbers with the Harrington engine. Which was what we were hoping to see.”
The Ford 347SR, Harrington Enforcer, Chevrolet Upgrade, GM 604 crate
Additionally, Ragle stated that the series will be reducing the Late Model Stock Car rulebook down to just three engines in the coming years. That means that the GM 604 and steelhead Chevrolet built will be eliminated from competition.
The removal of the GM 604 crate engine may come as a shock to many competitors because it’s the cheapest option and won the most races during the 2018 season but Ragle says that a lack of support on the technical side from General Motors makes it hard for them to keep it as a viable option going forward.
“We’ve met with Chevrolet for four years and they don’t really want to be involved. We are blessed to have a tractor trailer to take to the track to have all the tools and things we need and while we have all the parts for a Ford and the Harrington we don’t have a single piece of a 604.”
Ragle also stated that a problem with the flow of parts for the 604 in 2018 also helped guide their thinking to get rid of the engine. The engine won’t be removed from the rulebook in 2019 but it will be phased out over the course of the next few years.
The CARS Tour will offer the GM 604 crate and the Chevrolet Upgrade a 30-pound weight break for the upcoming season instead of any changes to the engine. Ragle stated from their testing that the Upgrade engine was only around 20 horsepower off and won one race and could have won another one this season. But added that if NASCAR were to approve the Victor Jr. manifold intake for the Chevrolet Upgrade that they would test it and then make their own determination.
“It doesn’t make sense for our rules not to closely align,” continued Ragle. “We want local guys to be able to compete with us without a lot of changes and we want our guys to be able to go and run their races as well. If they approve the manifold change, then we’ll take a look at it and see how it fits in our program. We just don’t want to look back later and realize it was stronger and be right back in the same boat we were in this year.”
The CARS Tour rulebook will be released next week.