Late Model Stock Car Racing

ARCA at Toledo
ARCA at Toledo | Source
ASA Midwest Tour
ASA Midwest Tour | Source
ARCA Gold Cup at The Glass City 200
ARCA Gold Cup at The Glass City 200 | Source

ABC Bodies

Although rules vary from state to state and from track to track most late model race cars share the same bodywork templates for each competing manufacturer. Prior to 2004 it was commonplace for body manufacturers to push the envelope of what was acceptable in order to gain an aerodynamic advantage. These body shells began to include elongated front ends, wider bodies and extended spoilers. All changes that were within the rules of the sport, but outside of its spirit, so promoters implemented the Approved Body Configuration guidelines.

The rule book addresses areas of the car like front overhand, roof height, wheelbase, quarter panel height and rear overhang. It also standardizes other areas of the car like spoilers and windshields.

For road cars the term ‘late model’ refers to vehicles manufactured in one of the last six model years. It is a commonly used term that covers all types of vehicle.

It's the same in racing, where the term is used to describe racing cars that are built to compete on dirt or pavement, and were either previously campaigned in series like the NASCAR Sprint Cup and the NASCAR Nationwide Series, or built to compete in local racing series up and down the country.

Series

Although it doesn't advertise itself as such, the ARCA Series is perhaps the best known 'late model' series racing in America. The series accepts cars that were raced in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series and equalizes their performance through modifications.

Series like ACT Late Model Tour, PASS Super Late Model Series, ASA Midwest Tour, SRL Southwest, UARA STARS and the CARS Pro Cup Series are regional and national championships that also run to late model regulations.

Local Racing

In local weekly racing, late model stock cars are often the track’s highest division. They are sometimes referred to as 'limited late model' or 'super late model'. The age of the vehicles differ greatly depending on the track. Tracks like Dillon Motor Speedway in South Carolina, accept cars built between 1970 and 2011, whereas other tracks like Old Dominion Speedway in Virginia, only allow cars built in 1997 or later to compete in their premier division.

Late model racing is the premier division at a number of NASCAR Whelen All-American tracks like Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Maine, Houston Motorsports Park in Texas, South Boston Speedway in Virginia and The Bullring at Las Vegas Motorspeedway. It’s also the top division of some ASA Home Tracks like Ace Speedway in North Carolina and Adirondack International Speedway in New York.

ARCA also sanctions weekly racing for late model cars. Flat Rock Speedway in Michigan and Toledo Speedway in Ohio run Outlaw Bodied Late Models as part of their weekly racing program.

Late Model Dirt

Dirt Late Model cars share a resemblance with Outlaw Bodied late models. Both are sleek, wedge like cars with wings rather than spoilers. The flat bodies are cheap to fabricate and easy to manage in tech inspection. They are used in championships like World of Outlaws Late Model Series and Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt. They are also the top division at NASCAR Home Tracks like Lake Erie Speedway in New York and Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin.

The Penske Racing garage in Mooresville, North Carolina. Taken by MrMiscellanious
The Penske Racing garage in Mooresville, North Carolina. Taken by MrMiscellanious | Source

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