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Oval Racing


Guest Packard Goose
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Guest Packard Goose

Those of you who raced on the oval at Iowa, how did you like racing on the oval? Were you not so hot on roundy-round racing but received an epiphany at IA? Did you come away still unimpressed? Were you stoked about it going in but left underwhelmed?

There are sometimes pre-conceived notions about things and I know that there has been a bit of disinterest in ovals expressed on the forum. I just wanted to see how those of you who have now done it, feel about it.

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Hmmm.. I believe the Eggboys liked it even though it may have ultimately been what killed the car.

We were not necessarily looking forward to it before the event, but everyone who drove the oval had great things to say about it. From the crew side, that was intense seeing the car every 30 seconds with lead changes etc.

With it so easy to change to the oval at Iowa, one could almost see, shorter sessions that sporatically popped up every once in a while. Talk about a game changer!

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I loved running the oval. It was like a completely different track! Intense & fast, I didn't want to take my hand off the steering wheel to radio the pits. The guys had to do three radio checks on me. Definitely fun especially in the rain.

The downside is our cars are not really set up for the oval and it either tears the cars up or we're going through tires like kleenex at a funeral ($$$). We learned a lot and we'll be more ready for oval action in the future. The other factor is the results of making a mistake on an oval. Many of the road courses we run on it's a short drive on the grass and we're back on the hunt (unless you're Three Sheets and it's up to the axles in every gravel trap at RA :lol: ). On the walled oval, major mistakes extracted a major toll.

It was fun and memorable and I'm glad Chumpcar took the risk to try something different!

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  • Technical Advisory Committee

All of Holy Rollers drivers had a fun time on the oval, I was the only driver on the team who had any prior oval racing experience (2 or 3 races). I was surprised that I got worn out faster on the oval than the roval.

I prefer road course racing, but I would enjoy another event that was run with the oval and roval.

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(unless you're Three Sheets and it's up to the axles in every gravel trap at RA :lol: ). On the walled oval, major mistakes extracted a major toll.

HAYOOOOOOO! That was a cheap shot though Tubby!

Our guys who ran the oval enjoyed it. I was bummed that weather (and wheel bearings) made me miss the oval, and would like to try it some day. I agree with similar concerns about setting our cars up for the oval, wish we had an oil pan baffle or gas tank baffles. But if the event was a pure oval, versus flip-flopping, we could at least set the car up more alignment-wise, to handle the oval and help tire wear.

I also agree with Tubby's comments regarding trips into the wall. Granted our car has hit walls on road courses, but the lack of run-off is a bit scarey. Especially since most Chumps seem to take these endurance races as 7, 14, or 24 hr sprint races.

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It was fun to try and gave me a new appreciation for oval racing, but if I showed up at Iowa next year and there was a choice, I'd vote for all road course. I find the impact on race strategy due to course changes to be both the most interesting thing about it and the most difficult as we have 5 drivers and prioritize equal seat time over optimum strategy.

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As a member of Fine Sausage Racing we were at Newton back in late April. With what we learned at that time we set the car up to save tires in turns 1 and 2. This of course translated well into the full oval as well. I personally had a GREAT time on the Oval. There were always opportunities to pass and make position. Unfortunately, there is also some danger in the high speeds with the oval. I was on the outside of turn 4 making a pass when 2 more cars were making a pass down low at the same time. This got us 4 wide coming on to the main straight. There are lots of "marbles" on the outside of the oval turns. Additionally, it is much more critical that you hold your driving line. A small bump at turn 5 of the road course has a much different outcome than a small bump at speed on turn 2 of the oval. With that being said, I would do it again.

Thanks to Iowa speedway, Chumpcar staff, and all the rest, I had a great weekend.

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I know all of the Three Sheets drivers who had a chance on the oval seemed to like it but as others said, it was hard on the car. I think it's worth doing just for the sake of being something different to balance out what would be 24+ hrs on the really short road course.

Getting out of the car after running both, I thought the road course was more fun but the oval was definitely more challenging because I'd never done it before. I learned a lot either way and started having more fun once my confidence increased.

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Ha ha Greg! Nick has a side hobby of gravel inspecting and he likes to take samples including RA. Nick?

For the Happy hour, we'll show the videos of our close racing at BIR, "rubbin" from both my camera and his and a turn later, his up close inspection of the grass outside turn 3. That Contour is a rocket but seems to end up "inspecting" a lot.

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Guest MaddogTBR

I know all of the Three Sheets drivers who had a chance on the oval seemed to like it but as others said, it was hard on the car. I think it's worth doing just for the sake of being something different to balance out what would be 24+ hrs on the really short road course.

Getting out of the car after running both, I thought the road course was more fun but the oval was definitely more challenging because I'd never done it before. I learned a lot either way and started having more fun once my confidence increased.

Great topic to discuss. I certainly share Alex's comments above. It was great to learn it and I really enjoyed driving it, but I do enjoy the road-race more. In the future, I would welcome some oval time to break up a long race, but let's leave it mostly to road-racing. We knew the oval would tear up the tires, but we weren't quite prepared for for the tire carnage it left behind. Throughout my stint I certainly had the safety concern in the back of my mind. We've seen some chump cars take some serious hits on the road-courses, but are our cars really prepared for a serious crash on the oval? The barriers in the corner would soften the blow, but there's still plenty of bare concrete out there.

Stogie's mind change about it was the best. We drew names out of a hat for our starting order and Stogie picked a full 2-hour stint on the oval. He wasn't thrilled about it and I offered to trade places with him. He decided to maintain our order and he ended up being our fastest guy on the oval and loved it.

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The banking kills our car. Brand new Falken RT615K destroyed in 45mins, went back to using used Star Specs. Had to put in 2 axles and 2 wheel bearings, plus some other suspension failures.

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I prefer road racing for sure, but the oval was a lot more challenging than i thought it would be. And we went through way more equipment. So while the experience was great, I don't think we are excited about more oval track racing. Andit got monotanous after an hour plus, frankly. I think i kind of zoned out and was just rotely hitting my marks and motoring along.

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I think if I could make a suggestion, I would run most of a race on the roval, but end with an hour or 2 on the oval. It makes for some extremely good racing, would shake up the field, and provides an added challenge. Maybe it's not as exciting in the car as it is to watch, but if it's even close, I'd do it in a heart beat.

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It was definitely more work, more fun and more intense than I anticipated... but four/five hours straight on the oval was brutal on the car. We can certainly set the car up to survive more oval stints if they are offered, but like most here would prefer a mixed format versus an oval only race.

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Since I am the only one of our driver on the forum, I will respond. The three drivers who ran on the oval all came back with very positive reviews and really enjoyed the oval.

Personally, I didn't turn a single lap at the race...just hours and hours of wrenching followed by ultimate failure before I got my stint.

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As a former circle track racer for over a decade who has run every class at the local NASCAR tracks, it was an absolute dream to drive an oval like Iowa. That was a beautiful facility that I could never have driven on outside of Chump Car. We were able to setup our Chevette to survive a bit better with tire selection alone but I still pushed the car super hard and ended up destroying a few tires. I still think that the experience and amount of cars I passed was worth the expense. I hope the great show that all of the drivers put on will help get the oval into the regular rotation at future Iowa races.

Big thanks for the promoters and the track taking the risk in letting us do that, it was an experience that I will never forget.

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Guest Clown Shoe Motorsports

I had never run an oval accept for a few laps in a stock car. I was driving the car on the oval Saturday and our motor was limping along on 4 and a half cylinders. I was still able to run laps in the 33's. It was fun, but other cars made me nervous. I kept wondering "haven't these guys watched NASCAR?" I'd see cars start from the outside and run to the inside trying to late apex the corner. I also noticed that people weren't unwinding and tracking out to the wall coming out of the corners.

Like I said, it was fun, but because drivers weren't experienced with oval racing I saw some pretty unpredictable things. That said, I'd do it again! Let's run the full oval at TMS or TWS!!! ;)

-bj

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Guest AWiley1953

IMHO, we need to stay off of ovals unless we start requiring the type of cage that oval track cars have. Not only do you have the wall to contend with, but what if you have a pack of 5 to 6 cars running together and somebody screws up and they all collect each other. Road race cars typically do not have the side bar protection that is required in oval track. Our Opel (because it is an old Mini Stock) has 4 door bars (not two) all tied together with 1/8 inch plate welded to the outside covering the door opening. Also the cage goes all the way from the front bumper to the rear. Nothing happened at Iowa which is great, but you had some pretty fragile cars going awfully fast very close to the concrete.

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Guest weaksauce

yeah, driving the oval with a road coarse line was dangerous. I was picking a lane and sticking in it. i almost killed a few drivers who were starting high, diving in and unwinding out. in a 2 hour stint i almost had 6 contacts the exact same way.

i vote for more oval action in the future...... TMS sounds like a fun one!

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Guest Packard Goose

I don't think anyone is looking to go oval-only in ChumpCar. But the fact that it was exciting to watch and the way it changed the dynamics of the race, combined with how the drivers liked it, make it a possible inclusion into future races. We'll see.

Note: The entire track at IA is lined with Safer Barrier, not concrete wall. From Wiki: "In 2006, Iowa Speedway became the first racetrack to install a SAFER barrier that extends around the outer circumference of the track, rather than retrofit one to a concrete wall in the turns."

Alex, there certainly were issues at Iowa on the oval. Ask Clownshoe, My Little Pony and Team Miaro (the latter slapping the Safer Barrier in T4 going backwards, the former two involved in a hard hit). There was also an E36 that rolled up on its side and slid down the banking.

BJ, I ran the oval in T3 and T4 at TWS recently, and drove T1/T2 today in the truck while looking at new course configs. Chump cars on a super speedway that could stand a re-paving? If the sustained speeds on that banking doesn't kill the car, the turns will bounce every nut, bolt and cotter pit out of the suspension! Maybe we'll try it ;)

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Me likey the oval!

A mix of oval and road course at future ROVAL venues like the Chumpionship format sounds fun to me!

I've only run 1/4 mile Thunderhill Raceway track here locally -- a hoot but....

I can run 2 endurance road races on a set of tires.

If Chumps is about "cheaper" racing -- having to go through multiple sets of tires and wheels

would be a serious adder to the expense sheet that might put my team off.

Let alone wheel bearings, brakes, etc.

Just saying.....

M

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IMHO, the cars vary in mass too much to be safe at racing speeds over 90mph. The mass variance is a lot less of a safety issue@ the road course with fewer cars in the same areas, most going the same direction due to small track width. As the track gets wider, the impact destruction increases.

The ovals are very hard on the RF bearings and tires if they are setup f0r road racing.

Racing is still fun tho, regardless.

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