Aerodynamic Equality and Rules Commonality Keys to the Success of the ABC Body Program
Over three years ago, the wheels were set in motion to bring template body racing to a level playing ground for the competitors and manufacturers through the establishment of the Approved Body Configuration Program and its guiding committee. Since then the racing industry has seen an increase in the competitive level of all teams, and the ability of racers to race anywhere in the country with no concerns for the eligibility of their body. Recently, the ABC Committee members reviewed the process to this point, and commented about the innovative body program’s progress.
“Since we started, we have taken feedback from all series and competitors,” noted Five Star Bodies co-founder Carl Schultz. “Through our committee members, we keep in touch with great series like PASS North and South, USRA, Wisconsin Challenge Series and great events like the Snowball Derby, plus many other groups and events. This program is about inclusion and making things better for everyone utilizing a simple rules package and simple tools.”
As with any groundbreaking program, there have been growing pains and adjustments. Champion Racing Association founder and ABC Committee Chairman R. J. Scott points out that the ABC committee is used to continually evaluate the process and come up with ways to make program easier for officials and racers alike.
“Each year we find areas that we can address that makes the bodies easier to install and keep everyone on a level playing ground. We don’t need many more rules or tech procedures, we are just trying to address the key areas, and make sure everyone can hang their body with ease and not be concerned about any advantage they may be giving up by hanging the body as instructed.”
Scott also noted that the committee is currently addressing the way nose and tail sections are being mounted, and establishing a fair and simply way to check that they are on square with the car, as was intended.
Moving to a more common template body (top) from the "wedge" body cars (bottom) has helped get everyone on the same page and made cars easier to race different places. (51 Photos)
Don Nerone of FASCAR is pleasantly surprised with the outcome of the ABC program.
“I’ve seen a number of different initiatives like this tried through the years…different groups trying to get together…and never has it met with the success that this program has,” Nerone noted. “It was obvious that we needed to do something, which made it so much easier for everyone to get on board. Its real simple now, you don’t have to worry about body differences from the north and the south, you just get an ABC body from your favorite manufacturer, hang it just like it comes and per the ABC Rulebook, and you can go anywhere in the country and race and know that you’ve got the same package everyone else does.”
Guys like Charlie Bradberry can take their car and run in a number of different series now without having to worry about messing with the body.
“It has certainly made things easier for all of the sanctioning bodies on board with the ABC Program,” noted ASA Late Model President Ron Varney. “One set of templates and measurements, makes it easier for both the racers and the officials, regardless if they use an ARP or Five Star body.”
For Aluminum Racing Products president Jerry Criswell, the aerodynamic equality of the bodies has been a big selling point for everyone involved.
“Before the ABC program,” Criswell commented, “the manufacturers were in a never ending spiral of re-designing the body from one year to the next, to outperform the other manufacturer. With no common standards, we had to do it to compete…it was just business. For the racers it was a bad thing, because they had to change bodies each year if they wanted the latest and greatest. Now, with the bodies being aerodynamically the same between manufacturers and year to year, it makes it much easier on everyone. No matter which brand you have, you know you have the same quality aerodynamic package.”
From the beginning, the ABC committee was set up to give the entire process direction, and be the eyes and ears for the rest of the people in the template late model industry.
For more information about the ABC Body program or to provide feedback, interested parties can contact representatives at approved body manufacturers Aluminum Racing Products or Five Star Bodies, or contact committee members from ASA Late Models, Champion Racing Association Super Series, or FASCAR.