Jerry Haas on "building a Pro Stock vehicle" part II

Fenton, Mo. - - As a testimony to his chassis building prowess, Jerry Haas, of Fenton, Mo., has been selected to the Car Craft All-Star Drag Racing Team as Pro Stock Chassis Builder of the Year 13 times. This is the second of four quarterly ...

Fenton, Mo. - - As a testimony to his chassis building prowess, Jerry Haas, of Fenton, Mo., has been selected to the Car Craft All-Star Drag Racing Team as Pro Stock Chassis Builder of the Year 13 times.

This is the second of four quarterly releases that is intended to give you additional insight into the building of a Pro Stock car or truck chassis.

Thank you for your questions for this quarter's edition. Now to the questions:

Q: How many cars and/or trucks do you build at any one time?

A (Jerry Haas): We have four vehicles being built at any one time. As soon as one is finished, we start another. This continues year around. Remember that any of the four vehicles under construction usually is at a different stage of construction than the remaining three. From start to finish it takes us approximately eight to nine weeks to build a vehicle As I said last quarter: The normal person doesn't realize the hands-on, labor-intense work that goes in to building these vehicles. We don't use robots. This is people - - craftsman - - taking pride in their work.

Q: Why do some of the Pro Stock teams buy cars from different chassis builders at the same time?

A (Jerry Haas): I would assume that they want to see if one chassis builder's vehicle is any different than another. Do they work different on the track, etc. Each chassis builder has his own way of building a car or truck. This translates to different performance on the track. All chassis builders have what you might call "trade secrets."

Q: You mentioned last quarter that you are building a new Dodge Dakota truck. How is the developmental work, etc. coming and how soon will we see the new Dodge Dakota on the track?

A (Jerry Haas): We're happy to say that the truck debuted at the last race in Las Vegas. Todd Patterson took the new Dodge Dakota through its shakedown at that race. As the teams gather more data, I feel that the new truck will give Dodge a greater presence at upcoming events. It is aerodynamically slick and comes with a carbon fiber body.

Q: I was reading in the last release that the price of a competed car or truck ran in the neighborhood of $80,000. I would like to know the price of the Chevy S-10 carbon fiber body.

A (Jerry Haas): At the present time the Chevy S-10 does not come with a carbon fiber body but NHRA is moving toward this in the future on all Pro Stock vehicles. The carbon fiber body for the Dodge Dakota pushes $7,000.

Q: If you had to name the most important facet of building a race car (or Truck), what would it be?

A (Jerry Haas): That's a difficult question to answer, because everything you do to a race car is important. One thing that always stands out is all the safety factors for the protection of the driver. At Jerry Haas Race Cars we want to insure that every last detail is attended to prior to any vehicle leaving this shop.

-MS

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Series NHRA
Drivers Todd Patterson , Jerry Haas