AFCO, who for over 30 years has been an industry leader in racing suspension technology, has worked with drivers from the FASTRAK Racing Series to produce a great spec shock package for Crate Late Models. It is a true “racing shock”, with gas pressure and a Schrader valve and features a tamper-proof enclosure system, all for a great retail price of only $186.99. There are standard valve code and fitment options for the four corners, plus an optional right front and left rear, which should satisfy any customer’s needs.
The AFCO Crate Series spec shock is based off AFCO’s popular 27 series shock. With thousands built every year, these shocks have proven to be very consistent, durable, and repeatable. Because each part number uses the same set of components for every production run, and because the performance specifications are consistent and repeatable, this line of shocks is easy to validate by a single dyno test on an approved dyno. The AFCO Crate Series shock is an economy platform that is inexpensive to maintain for the racer. The average rebuild cost at the end of the season is $50 for labor, oil, and seals. Should the racer need more extensive service, quick repair services are available from AFCO and Revolution Shocks. Low up front and maintenance costs, plus rendering the shocks tamper proof to eliminate high customization fees, makes this an ideal platform for the most cost conscious racers.
“I know I have been telling all of our teams and tracks for two years we are going to do something about shocks,” said FASTRAK Founder Stan Lester, “they have expected it before now, but our priority was making sure we gave them the correct product. Our policy, from day one, has been that I will be involved in the testing process to see it for myself,” continued Lester, “That allows me to look at our teams face to face and say this is the right choice. We have always done testing this way and always will as long as I am involved. The last thing we wanted to do was take a half-worked effort as a solution. I believe 100% this is the correct solution to a very complicated problem.”
Both companies have been working together since December of 2017 to come up with a viable option. During the 2018 season, there have been multiple test sessions at Toccoa Raceway, Senoia Raceway and Virginia Motor Speedway. Drivers from the FASTRAK Racing Series and others have participated in the tests. The drivers’ names will be kept confidential as to protect them from any possible sponsor backlash.
“As the leader in Crate Late Model racing in the United States, FASTRAK understood the magnitude of this project,” said FASTRAK General Manager DJ Irvine, “We not only wanted to take our time and get this right for all teams, but for all teams across the nation. Stan (Lester) takes that responsibility very serious as he realizes this could affect the entire country, not just FASTRAK. The folks from AFCO took it just as seriously as we did. No one involved was going to settle for something that didn’t work.”
AFCO Crate Spec Shock Series Testing Highlights:
– Tests held at Toccoa Raceway, Senoia Raceway, and Virginia Motor Speedway
– Tested on cars 2014-2018
– Driver at Toccoa picked up three tenths by switching from canisters to AFCO Crate Spec shock
– At Toccoa lap times ranged consistently from 13.01 to 13.04. Two tents off fastest lap times.
– Two tenths off fastest lap times at Senoia Raceway
– At VMS: Both drivers on 40-lap used FT200 tires. Took their shocks off the car and bolted on AFCO Crate Spec Shocks. One driver identical lap times to feature. One driver two tents faster.
– All cars tested with 8” spoiler and standard weight
“It was actually pretty funny,” said Clarke Sawyer, General Manager of Virginia Motor Speedway, “After they came in the first time and we looked over the lap times, everyone sort of looked at each other in utter disbelief. These guys were on 40-lap old tires, and just took their stuff off and bolted on the AFCOs,” continued Sawyer, “I had been talking with Stan and tracking the results of the other tests but still wondered what they would do here at VMS. I stood there and watched in myself, no adjustments just bolt on and go. You had to be there to see everyone’s reaction. It really was hilarious.”
The shocks will feature tamper-proof screws. The screws can only be removed using a serialized key from AFCO and Revolution Shocks. This is a “sealed shock” program, which will eliminate the need for custom valving. The AFCO Crate Spec Shock Series is expected to be available in January.
“Obviously, we are going to get some push back from other shock companies and tuners,” said Irvine, “We know that’s coming and that’s why we have kept this quiet. It’s no secret that shocks have become a hot-button issue in our sport. It’s become a deterrent to some people getting into or staying in the sport. We have been forced to do something about after seeing longtime car owners and drivers leave the sport and dwindling car counts at local tracks. We had a team owner tell us last year that he was getting out simply because of shocks. He said he would spend $10,000 on shocks one month and then a month later those were in a bucket in the corner of the shop and he was out buying the newest technology on the market. It’s like he told us “It’s not that I can’t afford it, it’s just that I am not dumb enough to keep doing it over and over.”
The AFCO Crate Spec Shock Series will be introduced into FASTRAK in 2019 as an optional package. Drivers utilizing the AFCO Crate Spec Shock Series in all location on the car will be given a 50-pound weight break and able to have up to a 10” spoiler. Drivers and team owners are encouraged to stop by the AFCO booth at PRI in Indianapolis December 6th through 8th to learn more about the AFCO Crate Spec Shock Series.
-FASTRAK Press Release
-Photo credit: FASTRAK Facebook