Yeah, there is some unsprung weight there. However not much more than a Sprint Car. Hubs, axle tubes and larger birdcages, of course. The weight of a Sprint Car gives it that power to weight ratio advantage.
Late Models can be as light as around 2200 lbs, whereas a Sprint Car has gotten down to about 1250 ? Forgive me, as the we only have one Sprint track around these parts, and they're 360 cars. So, Im not so much up on the specs as I am for Late Models.
Our Late Models here, are weekly rules cars with 360 ci limit, on a 4 bbl 850 carb. They also have a 8500 chip rule. We also have a "Limited Late Model" which started out as a iron motor on a Holley 4412 2 bbl carb flowing 500 cfm. But, they have graduated to the GM 602 and GM 604 crate engines, running Holley 4 bbls. On a big 4/10ths mile, like I-80 Speedway where I work, it's kinda like watching paint dry !! But, there are also tour Late Models that swing thru here, and they're open cars. Big inch motors on big carbs, no chip rule, and they're at the 2200 lb range. Those cars put on a good show as they're practically wide open all the way around.
When the ASCS cars come to town, they ARE wide open all the way around. And they flat haul the mail !!! Brian Brown practically owns the place as he's won every race he's ever entered there, but one !! We've had some non-wing shows as well, the big 410 cars. THAT is some crazy stuff there !!! Dave Darland, Levi Jones, Robert Ballou, Cory Kruseman, et al......put on probably the best Sprint show that was ever at that track. Slide jobs, wheel stands, etc etc.
Interesting story.........when I used to work the pits as the "pit reporter".....we had a TNT non-wing show. Damian Gardner, former winner at the Chili Bowl, was running his car that nite. He had a fuel pump come apart and his car caught fire. Although, none of us knew it till he came to a stop on the front stretch right in front of me ! Only then did a few of us see the methanol fumes that were burning his legs. Which are sure not easy to see !! He climbed out of the car and bailed over the top of the cage with his legs on fire. I guess I just reacted and jumped down off the front stretch wall, and did the best I could to put the fire out. I think I fell off that wall, more so than jumped, but it was an adrenaline thing and I wasnt going to watch that kid burn in front of me and the entire grandstand. I did the best I could to beat down the flames, but it just wasnt going out. I burnt the hair off of my arms and backs of my hands, and scared the living you know what outta me !! It felt like an eternity for the fire crew to get there, and finally, Jack Dover's dad, Marc, jumped off the wall, and used his shirt to help snuff the fire. We got it out, and then, did we realize the car was still burning !!!! If that thing had gone up, all three of us wouldve been french fries right there. The car was only 10 feet from us. Keep in mind that rest of the field handnt yet come to a stop for the red flag. So, we're down on the track with a bunch of cars whizzin' by us at full tilt !!! Finally, they got the field stopped, and the fire crew got there to assess his injuries. THEN, the race director, who's a former racer and a good friend of mine, took me aside and asked to see my hands. In all that action and confusion, I was so amped up on adrenaline, that I didnt even think about that. I was still in a bit of shock and just stared at him and put my hands up, and he said "turn them over". I thought, "oh geeeezzzz, my hands are hamburger right now". I turned them over and he just said "good, you're ok". I looked down and they were a little red, and a little blackened, but no damage !!! Gardner had some 1st degree burns on his feet and lower legs, but he walked away and they took him to the hospital for treatment and he was racing a few days later.
That was a scary deal, for sure !!! Hope I never have to see that kinda thing again, but if I do, I hope I can react the same way. Just couldnt let that kid burn up like that.
Didnt mean to hijack the thread !!
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