IHRA Rule Changes for '98

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 26, 1997 Rule changes for Pro Modified, other classes announced BRISTOL, Tenn. -- International Hot Rod Association officials announced rule changes for several of its race divisions Wednesday. Among the...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 26, 1997

Rule changes for Pro Modified, other classes announced

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- International Hot Rod Association officials announced rule changes for several of its race divisions Wednesday. Among the most anticipated included rule changes for the thrilling Pro Modified division.

In 1998 Pro Modified will allow helix superchargers with 34-percent overdrive for those drivers wishing to utilize blown engines. In the past, only standard superchargers with 50-percent overdrive were permitted.

Since the category's inception, the concept has been to feature supercharged cars against nitrous-injected machines. In the last two years supercharged entries have declined. In 1996 nitrous-injected cars won seven events, while cars featuring blown engines claimed four wins. In 1997 nitrous vehicles dominated the category, taking all eight national event wins. Only two supercharged entries attempted to qualify for the season-ending Snap-on Finals, and both were unsuccessful in their bids to make the 16-car field.

"We hope this rule change will bring back the competitive fire between these two different types of combinations in Pro Modified," said IHRA Tech Director Mike Baker. "During the past season the class started to drift into a nitrous-injected 1963 Corvette eliminator. For the future success of the division we need to have parity between the two original class combinations. That is the foundation of this exciting class."

Several other rules have been implemented in Pro Modified. The class will be opened to additional body styles to offer racers more variety. Truck bodies will again be accepted in the division. However, all proposed body styles must be approved by IHRA officials through a scaled artist's rendering.

Weight requirements will be 2,600 pounds for supercharged entries and 2,450 pounds for nitrous cars. There will be a nostalgia body weight break of 50 pounds for cars 1959 and earlier. While three disc clutch setups will not be allowed at this point, IHRA officials are currently examining the feasibility of making three disc clutch setups available for either combination in the future.

To help monitor the category on a round-by-round basis there will be a five-person Pro Modified committee formed of representative drivers, engine builders, car builders, and marketing consultants. The committee will be selected by the Pro Modified community.

"Pro Modified is the most exciting division in drag racing, and it's the signature series of IHRA," said Administrative General Manager Gary Schuetz. "We want to keep that spirit alive and we feel these rule changes will do that."

The IHRA tech department will take extra steps to see that the rule changes meet the goals of all involved.

"We realize how close the competition was last year and our focus this season will be to keep that same competition level in Pro Modified," Baker said. "The class is going to be monitored very closely and if necessary, action will be taken to ensure parity."

Pro Stock will receive one major rule change for 1998: All engines in the category must display an individual serial number. This rule is made necessary by the close competition in Pro Stock during the last few seasons. The rule will aid the tech department in keeping track of all qualified engines.

In Super Stock Production, limitations have been lifted to allow corporate relationships with regard to engine and body style. Previously, combinations were limited to factory produced vehicle/engine combinations. ‘Production’, a Super Stock class unique to IHRA competition, is a true cubic-inch to weight classification. This change will allow racers to build late model vehicles similar to GT entries, but featuring Production engine rules. Front-wheel drive conversions will be permitted as part of this change to allow modern vehicles to enter a class that was created during the musclecar era.

IHRA reserves the right to make adjustments to all rules at any time if a particular combination is determined to have an unfair competitive advantage.

IHRA racers are encouraged to get the new 1998 IHRA Rulebook for complete explanations of all category rules for the upcoming season. The 1998 Rulebook will be available in late December.

To keep up with all the latest IHRA news and information, check out IHRA Online at www.goracing.com/ihra.

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