Spring Run, PA_ More than 60 stock car race teams participated in a Nov. 17 rules meeting at the Path Valley Speedway Park and, thanks to their comments, the track has made major changes to stock car rules for the 2002 season. The V-8 Street...
Spring Run, PA_ More than 60 stock car race teams participated in a Nov. 17 rules meeting at the Path Valley Speedway Park and, thanks to their comments, the track has made major changes to stock car rules for the 2002 season.
The V-8 Street Stock rules will permit 1983 to 1988 Camaros, Thunderbirds, Firebirds and Cougars to race with the original 104-inch wheelbase rather than stretching them to 108 inches, and aftermarket dual-plenum intakes will be permitted.
Engine seals will not be required in the four-cylinder mini-stock class and car weight must equal engine size at one pound per cc of displacement.
In the four-cylinder thunder cars 60 or 70 series stock passenger tires up to 14 inches will be permitted with a tread width of eight inches.
Race Director John Winsett of Two Wheel Promotions told teams from each of the three classes that technical inspector Bob Nicholson will have the final word on tech rules.“ Don’t come complaining to Jack (Flowers), Ken (Geesey) or me about tech hoping one of us will cut you a break.”
One major safety change is that all classes must have a kill switch within reach of the driver and a master switch behind the driver that is clearly marked and can be easily located by track workers. Another safety change for the stock cars is that each car must have a driveshaft hoop no more than 8” from rear of front universal and 8” from front of rear universal.“ That should prevent lost driveshafts on the track,” Nicholson explained.
The new 2002 rules include additional minor changes for all classes and are available at the track, at area businesses and on the website at www.pathvalley.com.“ Everyone racing here should read and understand the general rules for all classes and the specific rules for their car,” Winsett said.“ There will be no changes in midstream once our rules are printed.”
Promoter Ken Geesey informed the teams for each class that tech day will be March 9 and the first two points races will be Saturday afternoons on March 16 and 23 before going to the regular every Friday night racing March 29.
“ We had the choice of dropping a class this year or changing the rotation,” Geesey said,“ and the best suggestion we got was that each class have one weekend off every five weeks. So we are going to continue to rotate our starting order and the class that starts last will have the next Friday off, once we go to Friday nights.”
Teams will race four weeks and have the fifth week off.“ Weekends off are a good thing for families, mechanics and those racing on a budget,” Geesey said. That rotation also permits the track to add the 600cc Sprints that raced Saturday nights in 2001 to the Friday night schedule in 2002. The 600cc Sprints and 270cc Sprints will always have the same nights off because some teams race two sprinters, one in each class. A few rain makeup dates will be scheduled on Saturdays, he said.
Geesey also told the teams he has applications available for the Chambersburg Mall racing show that opens Jan. 17. Geesey noted that the 305 PA sprints will again race every other week at Path Valley and that they will always start third in the rotation so that they do not damage the track surface and do not have to be the last to leave every week.
To further speed the show and finish earlier, there will be no extra laps allowed for flat tires in 2002 and teams will be allowed only one pit stop. Winsett warned that,“ There will be no tolerance for speeding in the pits this year. At most you will only get one warning.”
After considerable discussion it was decided that the thunder cars may brace their radiators but that they must be in front of the roll cage. The V-8 Street Stocks are limited to 406 cubic inch displacement and 650cfm carburetors. All three stock car classes must have stock bodies without flat sheet metal. Reflective numbers are prohibited and if the scorers can’t read a car number that car won’t be scored. No sharp edges will be permitted anywhere, on rub rails, bumpers, or inside the car where a driver could be injured.
Because the mini-stock engines require so much internal work week to week, the drivers and mechanics urged that a seal not be required and the tech team agreed.“ We can pump an engine quickly and easily now,” Nicholson said.
“ The goal for everyone here was to keep the costs down and the racing fair,” Geesey said,“ and the race teams and drivers all agree with that. I was impressed at their serious contributions and suggestions and that so many brought notes and even catalogs with parts prices.”
Nicholson said that he will be available to visit and advise teams before the March 9 tech date and that,“ These drivers know what they are talking about and want the same thing we do– fast, safe racing at an affordable cost.”
The seven classes that will race regularly at Path Valley on Friday nights are the V-8 street stocks, mini stocks, thunder cars, 305 PA Sprints, Legends Cars, 600cc Sprints and the 270cc Sprints. The Legends Cars and now the 305 Sprints teams are responsible for their own technical rules and inspection. The Legends rules are set by the national franchise, INEX. The 305 Sprint rules correspond to the Virginia Sprint Series rules.
The 270cc Sprints are the same as the 250cc modified micro sprints that raced in the past with a maximum displacement of 270cc and their rules are virtually unchanged from 2001. The new 600cc Sprints are a true sprint car with a stock 600cc engine. Teams in both of those classes commented extensively during the season. When the track sought to require a fuel cell bladder in the coming season the drivers raised objections that the extremely high cost was not worth a questionable increase in safety, so the track dropped that idea.
For information on the 2002 rules, race teams can consult the website at www.pathvalley.com, or they can email the track at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Path Valley Speedway Park is located in Spring Run PA a mile north on PA Route 641 from the intersection with PA Route 75, halfway between Port Royal and Hagerstown. It is five miles east from the Willow Hill Exit 14 of the PA Turnpike off Route 75.