The Legacy Car is a three-quarter scale replica of a Sprint Cup car and is powered by a four-cylinder MAZDA B-2200 truck engine that produces approximately 125 hp. The cars use a standard MAZDA five-speed transmission. The cars weigh about 1,400 pounds dry, but for competition must weigh a minimum of 1,675 pounds with driver.

The Allison Legacy Series is a spec series designed to minimize costs and place the emphasis on the driver instead of the equipment. While there are regional series that utilize the Legacy Cars, the main attraction is the touring series, which consists of 23 races at 11 tracks in three states.

The series typically draws 25-30 competitors at each event. This is impressive at a time when a lot of Late Model divisions are struggling to draw 20 cars. The high car counts make it extremely competitive.

A new Allison Legacy Car costs $18,800. You can pick up a good used car for around $12,000 to $13,000. -J.G.

The Upside: You can get the feel of what it takes to run a full season in a touring series and gain experience on larger tracks.

The Downside: The biggest complaint about the series is the cost. The price of a new car, $18,800, is expensive, especially considering that a couple thousand more would buy a 400 hp Limited Late Model.

The Allison Legacy Series

Mini-Stocks, Rookie-Fours, Mod-Fours, Pony-Stocks, you name it. The four-cylinder class of racecars has a multitude of names, but they have a singular purpose: They allow racers to get into the action on the cheap.

Of course, there will always be racers in every class who find new and inventive ways to spend loads of money on their racecars, but-at least in the Mini-Stock class-that won't always help you win. The general baseline for the Mini-Stock class is a compact or fullsize chassis outfitted with a carbureted four-cylinder engine. By far the most popular choices are the Ford Mustang and Toyota Celica. You may occasionally run into a Ford Pinto-which make good racecars if they can be found-Chevy Cavaliers, and a compact pickup when they are allowed.

Price is held in check in this class by limiting the amount of upgrades allowed on both the chassis and engine. Normally, all bracing on the chassis has to be done through the rollcage, all suspension pickup points must remain in the stock locations, shocks must be stock replacement, and the entire drivetrain must be of the same type that originally came in the car (so no quick-change rearends in your Mustang). This limits your tuning options, which makes it easy to get in and get racing without requiring an engineering degree to properly set up your chassis. But it can also be limiting if you're trying to prepare yourself to race Late Models in the future. Likewise, the engine must usually use the stock block, cylinder head, and intake manifold.

When preparing this story, we spoke with three different engine builders-Esslinger Engineering, KT Engine Development, and Johnson's Racing Engines-which all specialize in the most popular engine in Mini-Stock racing, Ford's 2.3L four, and they all gave approximately the same answer when it came to costs. A complete engine built to be competitive, but without going to extremes, can be had ready to race (from carburetor to flywheel) for $6,000 to $6,500. This includes a cast crank (no problem with the limited horsepower), forged steel rods, forged pistons, a race spec camshaft, and a quality valve job. You can do it for less, but this range should get you a quality engine that should get you into the thick of the action and last 15 to 20 races before needing to be refreshed.

A car can usually be built for $3,500. And the major cost here will be the safety components such as a quality racing seat, fuel cell, and gauges. Quality of construction varies wildly in this class because there are many newcomers, but a competent car builder should be able to produce a quality racecar without breaking the bank.