Peter D Motorsports

Dwarf Car Co

Sport Modifieds
The idea of building their own car is to many racers just as much fun and as good a reason to get into racing as driving the car. Sport Modifieds have all the looks of a more expensive IMCA Modified with the costs being just a bit higher than two really good Street Stocks. That is true if you are willing to build the car yourself.

There are some chassis builders who are offering this car as a lower-cost alternative to an IMCA type of Modified. You can even buy the rollcage bars bent and notched ready to weld together for about $1,000 if you're so inclined to build your own chassis. From the stands, the cars are identical in appearance to an IMCA Modified. If you get under the hood or the suspension, you'll find a stock GM metric frame and stock rearend under the car. No Ford 9-inch rearend, no four-link suspension, no fabricated A-frames in the front. Nor will you find a $10,000 engine. What you will find are the stock suspension parts you would find in a street car. Although some of the associations that race these cars are allowing some aftermarket A-frames to be used on the front end, for the most part the cars are equipped with OEM-based suspension components.

The engines are highly regulated with the intent to keep costs down. No aluminum blocks or heads. No roller anything! No porting, no lightweight rods. Flat-top pistons with four-valve reliefs cut into the crown are mandatory and no lightweight cranks allowed. The engines are really lightly modified V-8s. You're allowed either a two-barrel Holley carburetor or a Quadrajet.

Keeping the costs under control is the goal. You are allowed any cam, but it will be limited by the heads and the stock rocker arms. No need to put a monster cam in the engine if you don't have the components that would allow a monster cam to do its job. You're allowed an aftermarket HEI distributor and headers. The cars are making around 300 to 350 hp in race trim. They seem to be fairly reliable and engine failures rare. You have a choice of using an automatic transmission or a manual transmission. The rules require you to use an OEM single-disc clutch and OEM flywheel.

The racing is tight, and due to the fairly narrow tires and very equal power, a premium is placed on driver skill. It's not uncommon for a good driver to beat out a car with more power just because these cars require a good bit of driver control. These are momentum cars and if you drive with the tail hung out, it may look cool and be a good bit of fun, but it's not always the fastest way around the track.

Conversations with the racers find the cars start at $17,000 for a factory built car ready to race. Most of the racers are quoting a cost of $7,000 to $11,000 to build a race-ready car. Nothing beats a full field of racers having a blast racing. This class of racers seems to be gaining popularity in the Southwest and Central states.-J.Hill

The Upside: The class is growing and the parts to build the cars are plentiful and very reasonable from a cost perspective. The rules that govern the suspension and the engine are open enough to allow the backyard engineer enough wiggle room to have a great time playing with setups.

The Downside: Even in cost-conscious divisions, there are racers who will find a way to circumvent the rules and still spend money. This type of activity can cause the technical inspections to become longer and more invasive.

Dan's Racing Supply

Street Stocks
As a beginning racer, you have nothing but options. The only limitations are your level of dedication and your budget. With many Saturday night racecars, the starting point isn't what one would consider a purpose-built racecar, but a modified street car.