In the same category, there are extremely few homemade Modifieds anymore. Practically everyone buys from a manufacturer. Popular manufacturers include Lightning, Lazer, Chamberlain, Bob Pierce, Harris, MastersBilt, Rocket, Dirt Works, Speedway Motors, Smiley's Racing Products, and JR Motorsports. You will note that a number of these builders also build Dirt Late Models.

In order to operate one of these machines, a trailer is required. No semi here-an inexpensive open trailer will do. Among other things, there is also the necessity to be able to tune the engine, replace A-frames, and square the rearend-or to at least know someone who can help with these tasks.

At some tracks, the Modifieds are a support class and often aren't even required to qualify. And for a majority of Modified teams, the crews are mostly volunteers.

Modified drivers will tell you that these cars handle well with a correct setup. Most will tell you, though, that economy Modifieds are over-powered and lack adequate tires for the horsepower produced. Even so, on shorter tracks, these cars turn laps very close to the times recorded by the top classes. A majority of the tracks that these cars run are between a quarter- and half-mile in length.

Relative to other expenses with these cars, tires are often the major expenditure, with the sanctioning bodies having a tire rule. However, many other local tracks may not have such a rule.

Most Modified veterans advise that it's best to start in this class with a used car. Also, when you are preparing to tow to an unsanctioned track, first call ahead to determine if there are any rule variances you should be aware of.

Front Clip UpgradeRoger Winget, a race car fabricator from Springfield, Ohio, suggests an interesting development for these vehicles.

"The stock front clips used in these cars are very old and are getting harder and harder to find in junkyards," says Winget. "Many of them are unsafe as they have been sitting out there rusting for years."

Winget suggests using an existing aftermarket Howe Limited Late Model front clip (Howe No. 358-801) to replace the stock clip. "It's not going to create a new class, but will be stronger and longer lasting for the Modifieds," he explains.

Chas Howe explained that the $481 piece is a direct bolt-on. Currently, no Dirt Modified series has approved the piece, but it's probably just a matter of time.

Speedway Motors
P.O. Box 81906
NE  68501
Howe Racing Enterprises
JR Motorsports
801 SW Ordanance Rd.
IA  50021
Smiley's Racing Products
Roger Winget