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Author Topic:   Understanding Class Racing, Part 1
Buff Daddy
Gearhead

Posts: 308
From: Enon Valley PA USA
Registered: Feb 2000

posted 09-24-2001 01:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buff Daddy   Click Here to Email Buff Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am posting this to help some who may not understand the type of racing that Alex, Tony or myself do. This is an article I wrote for a website, and I am copying and pasting it here.

"Very often, while in the pits at an NHRA or IHRA National or Divisional meet, I am asked "What do all the letters mean on these cars"? Well, the cars I am referring to are Stock and Super Stock Eliminator cars. I try to give a good description of what it means, without trying to confuse them. So, here in general, is an overview of just what makes up Class Racing cars.

We'll start with Super Stock Eliminator. S/S, as it is known for short, is made of several different sub-divisions. These include traditional S/S, SS/GT, SS/Modified, SS/Modified Compact, SS/modified Experimental, SS/Mod Truck, SS/GT Truck, SS/Modified Stock. I'll try to now break down each of these divisions.

A) Traditional S/S is for 1955 and newer automobiles (I can't say cars, since I know of one El Camino from the Northwest), foreign or domestic, factory built. A minimum of 50 units must have been built. There are 32 sub-classes in S/S. SS/A (stick) and SS/AA (automatic) through SS/P and SS/PA. The cars fit in a certain class, based on factory shipping weight, divided by advertised horsepower. This is the number used to determine what class a car "fits" in. SS/A, the top class, is comprised of cars that "break" at 6.00 to 6.49. If your cars shipping weight divided by horsepower falls in this range, this is what class your car will run. The classes run in .5 (half) pound breaks down to SS/I and SS/IA, then it is 1 (one) pound breaks down to SS/P and SS/PA. If the car breaks at 9.75, it will run SS/H (stick) or SS/HA (auto trans). Now, after you have arrived at the number to determine what class you fit, you take that number and multiply it by the NHRA horsepower rating. Then, you ad 170 pounds, for the driver. This number is the minimum weight the car can cross the scales at. For an example:

Say you have a 1969 Camaro, with a small block 327, which is factory rated at 250 HP. The factory shipping weight is 3200* pounds. Take 3200, divide it by 250. The number you get is 12.8. Upon checking your NHRA Rulebook, you see it will fit into SS/K (manual trans) or SS/KA (automatic). NHRA rates many engines different from factory, to maintain equity in each class. This particular motor may have an NHRA rating of 260. So, take the 12.8 and multiply it by 260, and you get 3328. Now add 170 for the driver, and you get 3498. This is what you must cross the scales at. Every single car/motor combination is classified the same way. The best way to determine what your particular car/engine fits, visit NHRA's online classification guide at: http://www.nhra.com/tech_specs/classification/

B) SS/GT
Super Stock/GT cars are by far the most popular (as in quantity) in the overall S/S Eliminator. The general idea of SS/GT is similar to that of traditional S/S, except for a few differences:
1. SS/GT is reserved for 1980 and newer foreign and domestic 2 door sedans and convertibles only.
2. Front wheel drive cars are allowed to be converted to rear wheel drive, allowing all of Detroit's latest models to be showcased.
3. Corporate motors. Unlike traditional S/S, the mating of corporate motor/transmissions to cars are allowed. You may run a Chevy motor with a powerglide in a Pontiac, Oldsmobile or Buick. 8 cylinder motors only.

The classification is the same as in regular S/S. Weight divided by HP, multiplied by NHRA HP, and add 170 pounds. Classes run from GT/A and GT/AA (8.00 to 8.49) and run in .5 pound increments down to GT/M(A).

C) SS/GT Truck

Same rules apply here as in SS/GT, except it is for trucks only. 1990 and newer pickups, 1/2 ton maximum. 4 classes make up SS/GT Truck

D) SS/Modified Stock

One of the sub-classes absorbed into S/S from the defunct Modified Eliminator. These car-only classes are for 1967 and newer machines. FWD conversions permitted. There is one major difference between the rest of the classes and the ones outlined above. They are classified by weight-to-cubic inch, rather than weight-to-horsepower. The bigger the motor, the heavier the car. More engine modifications are allowed in these classes. SS/MS is limited to a single 4 barrel carb. Sticks and automatic cars run together, with a weight break given to automatic-equipped machines. SS/MS has 4 classes.

E) Super Stock/Truck Modified
Same as above, except for 1990 and newer 1/2 ton trucks. No Sport Utility Vehicles permitted. 4 classes of trucks from V-8's to V-6's.

F) Super Stock/Modified
Another sub-class from the former Modified Eliminator. These classes are also weight-to-cubic inch based. 7 classes or cars, and these are the fastest and quickest cars in all of S/S Eliminator. The SS/AM National Record is currently a brutal 8.28 at more than 160 mph. Classes may run dual 4 barrels, and more modifications are allowed here than in any other sub-class of S/S.

G) Super Stock/Modified Experimental
SS/MX is for more purpose built race cars. These are the only classes where full chassis, lexan and non-functioning windows are allowed. V-8's are not allowed in these 4 classes.
SS/DX allows for turbochargers, and the record is a blistering 8.33 at well over 150.

H) Super Stock/Modified Compact
Last but not least are the SS/MC classes. A variety of cars/motors are allowed in these classes. As the name suggests, smaller cars abound. However, I only know of about six cars in the entire country in these classes.

That is a (very) general overview of what makes up S/S. Next week, I will go further into some of the basics of S/S racing, with a complete list of classes, and their respective Indexes, how they race and qualify, and more specific details. If you have questions, feel free to e-mail the author. See you next time."

Also, I will let Alex and Tony further fill you in on their particular cars, as they can do that much better than I.

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Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 11493
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 09-24-2001 03:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very good Mike. This will help many members better understand the type of Drag Racing that Tony and I do.

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator
NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00 & '01
Fleet of FoMoCo products
Moneymaker Bio
US Class Nationals link

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Hans olsson
Gearhead

Posts: 145
From: Eskilstuna Sweden
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 09-30-2001 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hans olsson   Click Here to Email Hans olsson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When do we get to see Part 2 ? S/SS racing,it doesn?t get any better than that

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  • 71 Mach1 351c
  • E/SA 11.89-110
  • F/SA 11.92-110

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Buff Daddy
Gearhead

Posts: 308
From: Enon Valley PA USA
Registered: Feb 2000

posted 10-02-2001 12:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buff Daddy   Click Here to Email Buff Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK, part 2

"
*Part two in a series on how to better understand NHRA and IHRA Class Racing*

Last week, I broke down S/S Eliminator and it's various sub-divisions. This week, we will go further into this exciting class.

OK, so now you have your car built (to the strict specifications of the sanctioning bodies) and know what class it fits, and are ready to go racing. You load up and head out to the NHRA Divisional meet nearby to try your luck. But how exactly is S/S run?

Every class in Super/Stock must qualify, based off how far under it's respective class Index it runs. What is an Index? When first started, it was supposed to be a class average of everyone in that class in the country could run. Nowadays, most everyone can run well under their respective Index. All racers in S/S qualify no more than 128 cars. In some of the bigger races on the East Coast and Midwest, it's important to be able to run well under in order to make the show. After qualifying and time trials are completed, the ladder is established (just as in the Pro classes), and cars are paired up based on that. The concept of S/S racing is basically the same as bracket racing. The cars dial in (predict how quick they think they will go) and try to run that number. The closest one to their number without going faster wins, provided they have a better reaction time. You must dial in at or quicker than your class Index. Even if you can not run that fast. You may "dial under" as far as you want. The race is contested as a bracket race, with handicaps, dial ins and breakouts, in single-elimination tournament-style racing. It takes an awful lot of talent to win. As a result, many of the more successful Class racers are also world renowned for their bracket racing talent, both on a local, regional and National level. Cutting a light, and running close to your dial in is the name of the game, and it's not easy to do. The only time the "bracket" rule does not apply is when two identically classed cars race. In that case, it is run heads-up, no breakout, first-to-the-finish-line wins, just like the Pro's do. Lets say, for example, you have a SS/JA '69 Camaro 350. Should you race against a SS/AM car, you will dial your car in, as will your opponent. Should you, however, run up against another SS/JA, it's run just like Pro Stock or the Nitro Classes. Baddest car wins. Herein lies the attraction to many in Class Racing. The satisfaction of being the quickest in the country (or at least on the property that particular day) in their respective classes. At Divisional meets, National "Open" series and other designated meets, racers may attempt to set individual class records. This is the ultimate achievement to many. To have the quickest car in the country. Racers must first break the existing record and then back it up within 1% of that ET within the designated time frame. They must be torn down and pass legal certification to prove the legality of the car/motor/etc. When verified, they are the new class record holder. Another pinnacle of Class Racing is Class Elimination's. At designated National Events, Class Elims are held to determine the fastest in each class. All identically classed machines run each other heads-up no breakout to see who is the baddest. However, driving talent is still important, as often three to four cars are within a tenth, placing critical detail to driving ability as well as a fast racecar. Thus, the fastest car does not always win. Winners receive a trophy, signifying they were the Class Champion at that event.

So, in closing, S/S racing has something for everyone. For those who strive to be the fastest, and spend many hours fine tuning their cars for optimum performance, and who live for being the "baddest of the bad". Also for those who are not as fast but display considerable bracket racing skills, and constantly hone their driving prowess weekly at their local track. A select few fall into both categories. The bottom line is, no matter if you can run a tenth under your Index, or more than a second under, anyone can win at class racing with a combination of skill and luck. The two main reasons outlined above, and of the previous statement, S/S is a very popular class among the competitors. See you all next week."

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Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 11493
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 10-02-2001 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator
NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00 & '01
Fleet of FoMoCo products
Moneymaker Bio
US Class Nationals link

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Buff Daddy
Gearhead

Posts: 308
From: Enon Valley PA USA
Registered: Feb 2000

posted 10-03-2001 01:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buff Daddy   Click Here to Email Buff Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm trying not to get too in-depth, trying to KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). For the most part, these are just the basics of the cars, class structure, racing, etc. Alex and Tony are the ones to ask for more in-depth detail. Next week, part three will cover Stock Eliminator. The following week will be the IHRA classes (where they have unique classes unto themselves). Just ask Alex about the SS/PDQ~17/OU812-*69^HIKE classes. The final chapter will be an overview of the classes, differences between all of them, and some profiles on some of the biggest names in the sport (Fletch, Biondo, etc). Keep tuned in...maybe there will be a quiz later. High score gets a free pass in my C/Pure Stock Camaro. LMAO!!

------------------
Mike Carr :)
Stock Eliminator, NHRA 1302 / IHRA 330
Street ET 1302, Quaker City Raceway, Salem OH
E-mail: [email protected]
AOL IM: MikeCarr STK1302
My Website: http://www.zing.com/album/pictures.html?id=4294779923
are headers, NOT street walkers"--Jim Fontana, S/S racer.
"I AM the game, you DON'T want to play me!"--me ;)

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Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 11493
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 10-05-2001 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yikes! The IHRA SS alphabet classes.

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator
NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00 & '01
Fleet of FoMoCo products
Moneymaker Bio
US Class Nationals link

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Buff Daddy
Gearhead

Posts: 308
From: Enon Valley PA USA
Registered: Feb 2000

posted 10-08-2001 12:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buff Daddy   Click Here to Email Buff Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chapter Three:

"This week, we will cover Stock Eliminator. It is basically the same as Super Stock, except all cars here are original, factory produced cars and trucks. No hybrids, corporate motors, FWD conversions, etc. They are for 1960 and newer cars and trucks. Classes run from A/S (stick) and A/SA (automatic) down to W/S and W/SA. The cars are classified the same as in S/S. Shipping weight divided by advertised (factory) horsepower. That number tells you what class it fits. Multiply that number by the NHRA rated horsepower, and add 170 pounds for driver to arrive at your minimum weight. There are 3 separate sub-classes within Stock Eliminator. Stock, Stock Truck, and Front Wheel Drive Stock.

1) Stock. Stock is for the traditional muscle cars. Everything is in these classes. The late model EFI cars also have an unignorable presence, especially the 5.0 Mustangs, 305 Camaros, and LT and LS-1's. Down in the lower classes, you will see the V-6, inline 6, and 4 cylinder powered machines. Basically, if it was built, you can run it in Stock. There must have been 500 units produced and showroom available to be permitted in Stock Eliminator. This disallows certain combinations, such as Hemi Barracuda's and Darts, Ford Thunderbolts, Hurst AMX's, and the like. Also, the lowest weight break is 8.00 pounds per horsepower, so anything with a weight/power ratio better than this can not run in Stock Eliminator.

2) Stock Truck. Reserved for 1980 and newer 1/2 ton maximum. Classes are from AT/S(A) through JT/S(A). A and B are for all wheel drive. C through J are for 2 wheel drive, and J is for four cylinders only.

3) Front Wheel Drive Stock. Is for 1978 and newer, 4 and 6 cylinder FWD cars only.

Stock is just that. You are very limited into what you can and can not do to the car, motor, etc. Much more so than Super Stock. The differences between the two we will discuss later. Stock is run the same way as Super Stock, in regards to dial-ins, breakouts, Class Elimination's, Record Runs, etc. Great racing, off the bottom bulb, flat hoods and 9 inch tires. Like the saying goes, my friends--"Stockers Are Way Cool!"

See you all next week. There, we will introduce you to some of the unique-to-themselves IHRA classes of Stock and Super Stock. Some of these cars you will not see anywhere but in IHRA. Until then, feel free to e-mail the author with any questions. "

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clevelandstyle
Gearhead

Posts: 178
From: Connersville, IN
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 10-08-2001 09:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for clevelandstyle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK, I've got a question. I've heard of corporate motors, but what are they?

By the way, I love stock class. They boggle my mind!

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Dave_C
Gearhead

Posts: 432
From: Gadsden, Al
Registered: Aug 99

posted 10-08-2001 11:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dave_C   Click Here to Email Dave_C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When corporate motors are allowed you can put a drivetrain in the car from the same corporate mfg in a car that didn't have it from the factory.

Example: putting a 427 chevy and powerglide in say a Buick or Pontiac that may have had a 455 / Turbo 400 from the factory.

Later,

David Cole

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clevelandstyle
Gearhead

Posts: 178
From: Connersville, IN
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 10-08-2001 11:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for clevelandstyle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OHHHHHHH!

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