I would like to comment on some recent conversations I have had with several racers. It seems too many of them are in search of the perfect race car. The perfect race car, or the ideal set up, does not exist. Racing is like a game of chess, whereas the chess pieces on the board represent all the tools you have in your control to play the game. Different ways to manipulate car handling, driver talent or concentration, crew strategy, etc.; are all the pieces I am talking about. Each piece has it’s own limitations to movement just like the chess pieces on the board. There is no perfect arrangement to the chess pieces, the arrangement is dependent on your opponents moves. The biggest difference between the two; in chess it is one on one. In racing your playing your pieces against seventeen others, twenty-four others, or forty-two others. Everyone tries to manipulate their pieces better than everyone else. So, as I see it, the best possible answer is to learn the most you can about how your pieces move and how to use them to counter or attack your opponents moves.
Learning how each component of your race car functions and how the pieces go together to create the best possible strategy for the current game being played. Learn how to tune your motor for track conditions. I have heard of so many racers putting on smaller or larger carburetors, unhooking secondaries, or even voluntarily running restrictor plates to make the cars more drivable in low traction situations. Adjusting or replacing shock absorbers, rear end final gearing, or linkage angles and spring rates are all examples of chess pieces that can be manipulated to win the game. Even driving strategy or pit stop strategy could be considered other pieces in the game. The way everyone else plays the game may not always be the best for you. Everyone’s mind set or strategy is usually different, that’s what makes this sport so great.
The best in dirt late model technology is not always the solution to winning the race. Racing strategy plays such a major roll in how the race unfolds.
Now this may seem obvious for many people reading this article, but I am amazed at the the amount of people I talk to who just want to know this persons set up or that persons set up. I would bet for the best racers their set ups or strategy, if you want to call it that, is continually changing and evolving week by week or even day by day as their knowledge about how their race car works grows. Now I’m not saying either that the perfect car doesn’t exist, maybe it does and I have not figured it out yet. My opinions are flexible and constantly changing as my knowledge grows. Good luck and happy learning.