DRIVERS TURNED OFF BY CRATE-MOTOR PUSH SOME WILL ALWAYS FAVOR THE OLD WAY.
Byline: Tim Haddock haddock: see cod.
Valuable North American food fish (Melanogrammus aeglefinus, family Gadidae). A bottom-dweller that feeds on invertebrates and fishes, it resembles the cod, with its chin barbel (fleshy feeler) and two anal and three dorsal Staff Writer
It can only be described as the great crate debate at Irwindale Speedway Irwindale Speedway is a motorsports facility located in Irwindale, California. It features banked, paved 1/2 and 1/3 mile oval tracks. It is mainly used for USAC sprint car and regional NASCAR races. .
Drivers in the NASCAR NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), organization that sanctions American stock-car races, est. 1948. It held its first race in Daytona Beach, Fla. Late Model class have the option of using a prefabricated pre·fab·ri·cate
tr.v. pre·fab·ri·cat·ed, pre·fab·ri·cat·ing, pre·fab·ri·cates
1. To manufacture (a building or section of a building, for example) in advance, especially in standard sections that can be easily shipped and crate motor or building their own. The drivers and teams in the Super Late Model division, the top stock-car class at Irwindale Speedway, will probably be faced with having to make the same choice in the near future.
For many drivers, it's a sad day in NASCAR. Part of the allure of racing was for tinkerers and mechanics to put together race cars that looked like everyday machines but were monsters wrapped in steel and rubber. It was only a matter of time before the weekly racing divisions followed suit with the ranks of Winston Cup and the Busch Series The NASCAR Busch Series is a stock car racing series owned and operated by NASCAR. It is NASCAR's "minor league" circuit (often compared to Triple-A baseball), and is a proving ground for drivers who wish to step up to the organization's "big league" circuit, the Nextel Cup. .
Quickly disappearing are the days when engines could be built in farmhouse garages. The race cars of the 21st century, even the ones laying rubber at short tracks such as Irwindale Speedway, are so technologically advanced and so expensive, not everyone can put them together without some help.
Most drivers in the Late Model class at Irwindale Speedway have opted to buy the crate motors. But a handful of drivers, including defending Late Model champion Dave Hessing and current class points leader Todd Burns Todd Edward Burns (Born July 6, 1963) in Maywood, California, is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher.
Burns began his career with the Oakland Athletics (1988-1991) after the A's drafted him in the 7th round of the 1984 MLB amateur draft. , build their own engines.
Track officials would like to see all drivers using crate motors. The argument in favor of upon the side of; favorable to; for the advantage of.
See also: favor the crates Crates (krā`tēz), fl. 449 B.C., Athenian comic dramatist. He is said to have introduced into comedy themes other than those of personal satire, and he was one of the first to show the comic possibilities of the drunkard. is simple: cost.
It costs about $6,000 to buy a crate motor from one of two builders providing engines for drivers at the track. A home-built motor can cost twice as much. Some can even run as high as $24,000, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Irwindale Speedway race director Lester Boyer.
``It might be good for one or two drivers, but it's not good for the other drivers,'' Boyer said. ``Crate motors last longer, have good horsepower horsepower, unit of power in the English system of units. It is equal to 33,000 foot-pounds per minute or 550 foot-pounds per second or approximately 746 watts. .''
Boyer went so far as to say he wants to ``favor the crate guys.''
``It's what we're after,'' he said. ``We're always trying to save the drivers money, even if they don't always believe it.''
But not every driver is willing to change. Some drivers are having a tough time making the decision between using a crate motor or building their own.
``Being an old engine builder, that's a tough question,'' said Guy Tripp of Saugus, a rookie rookie
a novice; often an athlete playing his first season as a member of a professional sports team. [Sports: Misc.]
See : Inexperience driver in the Late Model class. ``I think it's bad for the engine-building community but good for the race track. Teams and drivers will have more money left over to buy tires or fuel or if there's a wreck WRECK, mar. law. A wreck (called in law Latin, wreccum maris, and in law French, wrec de mer,) signifies such goods, as after a shipwreck, are cast upon land by the sea, and left there within some county, so as not to belong to the jurisdiction of the admiralty, but to the common law. . Guys with a spec (crate) engine have an easier time to come back.''
The cost of entering the Late Model class has been steadily climbing since the track opened in 1999. In addition to keeping costs of engines under control, keeping car counts up is also a concern. But it still leaves Hessing, a driver from Canyon Country, to question the decision to target the Late Model drivers.
``Why the Late Model division? Why aren't they doing this to the Super Stocks?'' Hessing asked. ``Obviously it's the more economical way to go. But you can buy it straight from Chevy for $3,800 to $4,000.''
The engines the track are selling, which are provided by M&R Engines in Glendale and Watkins Racing in Bakersfield, cost between $5,000 and $6,000. They are the only two engine builders providing motors for the drivers at the track. A Ford engine builder is on its way, and Dodge isn't far behind.
``Even at that, it's still half the price (of building your own motor),'' Hessing said.
``In the long run they're looking at car count. They want to make it more economical so more people can participate.''
Drivers such as Hessing have argued against turning the Late Model division into a spec-motor class, much like the stock truck divisions that race at Irwindale Speedway. But with the costs of engines rising, it's becoming harder for drivers to build their own engines.
``I didn't want to see the division to go to a spec class,'' Hessing said. ``If NASCAR is going to a spec kind of racing, who cares? I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. if it provides as good a racing - the truck series is pretty smash-'em-up. From the fans' point of view it's pretty good. Commenting on this whole deal, it's a 50-50 deal. There are so many good things about it, but you're taking the driver out of it by going to a spec motor.''
Whether drivers like it, the spec engines are here. And there will be a time when spec motors will be the only choice.
``It will be easier for new teams. The old dogs have to get used to using something different. It's the future,'' Boyer said. ``I'm not never going to say to a guy he can't have it. But I'm not going to take it away from them.''
(1) NASCAR Late Model driver Guy Tripp, left, of Saugus and crew chief Dave Goldstein look to adjust their car after qualifying at Irwindale Speedway.
(2) NASCAR Late Model division car of Dave Hessing gets some last-minute fine-tuning before a race at Irwindale. Drivers in this class must decide between prefab motors or building their own.
(3) Billy Howell works on Dave Hessing's No. 1 car. Hessing's crew has so far resisted the drive to buy factory-built engines.
Therese Tran/Staff Photographer