International Sport Compact Auto Racing Series (ISCARS) DASH Touring, Sanctioned by the American Speed Association (ASA) has survived and is now looking to arrive.
Leaning heavily on the long history built under the sanction of NASCAR, known to many as the Goody's DASH Series, ISCARS stepped up to rescue the series that many thought had all but disappeared. Birthed in 1975 as a "sub-compact" division at the North Wilkesboro Speedway, the Series then identified with the insurgence of gas saving cars. As time passed, the series evolved to super speedways, 15 inch wheels and the Iron Duke V6.
Fast forward to the new millennium and the higher cost of that particular engine, the economic struggles of recent times and ISCARS meeting the challenge of creating a new identity, the sport compact stock series may have finally come into it's own.
At the onset of the forming of ISCARS, the new name launched a re-branding effort to connect with the Sport Compact rage brought on by a well defined demographic known as Tuners, Drifting, and Sport Compact drag racing. ISCARS set out to be the missing link to a short track stock car version of the fast and furious connection to sport compact auto racing.
During the last few years of NASCAR's sanction, the series was used as a stepping stone for Toyota's entry into the top tiers of NASCAR. ISCARS first Champion (2005) was in a Toyota Celica remaining from that era.
In the early years, Datsun (Nissan) was winning races when the series was known as the Baby Grands and then the International Sedan Series.
ISCARS founder, Randy Claypoole, determined to redefine the emphasis to Sport Compact. "We are not a late model touring series," states Claypoole. "We are focused on enhancing the unique profile of being the only sport compact professional stock car touring series in America. It is our niche in the pond of grass roots auto racing."
Claypoole admits it has been a challenge to survive the economy. "Everyone has felt the pinch. It was tough on us, since a competitor has to have a car specific to our rules. We do not have the luxury of a team taking a car from a local racing division, making a few adjustments, and entering our races. Our resurgence has been a chicken and egg process."
ISCARS has focused on increasing car count and finding a new generation drivers to participate. And amazingly, that is exactly what has happened during two years of national economic recession.
Now ISCARS is set to unveil a new look, which promises a budding future.
"For five years we have listened to and shared ideas about engines, body parts and identity," adds Claypoole. "Finally, someone put it all together in one place and said check this out. This particular piece includes a Honda four cylinder, fuel injected engine which boasts a total cost that is more in line with the cost to fully prepare a popular V8 crate motor."
With the help of a determined car builder, ISCARS will unveil a new sport compact body style complete with flared fenders and a wing on the rear deck that also fits the ISCARS' template of affordable and cool looking.
Field of Dreams? Hope so. Build it and they will come? Think so. Wanted! Drivers, who love sport compacts, tuners, drifting and fast. The Rage! ISCARS DASH Touring is giving enthusiasts the chance to do it in a sport compact stock car on a paved oval near you.
Current chassis and the V6 engine remain eligible. The new body will meet the need and the demand for a modern look. The four cylinder fuel injected engine offers an affordable alternative. ISCARS has developed a thorough plan of transition that will allow time for adjustments. And, efforts are already in progress to encourage manufacturers to build engines to represent their brand.
"We are very proud to sanction the ISCARS Dash Touring Series and support Randy Claypoole and his team on bright future," Dennis Huth, ASA President said. "This is a very unique and fun series and we encourage everyone to get involved and be a part of what they have planned."
And every new step taken promotes the same message of being a working man's professional racing series.
Oh...want to see the new car? ISCARS DASH Touring, Sanctioned by ASA plans to unveil the new look at this year's Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show, held in Orlando on December 10th through 12th. Stop by the ASA booth.
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