Last week, the ABC Committee approved the “next gen” body for competition in the 2021 season. For the CARS Tour, this means both of their divisions of competition – Late Model Stock Cars and Super Late Models – will utilize the new body in the coming seasons.
During an interview on Speed51’s “The Bullring,” CARS Tour Series Director Chris Ragle discussed the transition and his excitement to move into the next chapter for Late Model bodies.
“There are a lot of things we need to do to improve or focus on in the Super Late Model world in racing. I think it’s great that we’ve gotten this all taken care of and we’re ready to move forward.
“It’s something that’s done and resolved. From the CARS Tour side, we couldn’t be any happier that it’s all done and set.”
The NASCAR Weekly Racing Series had already approved the next-generation body for Late Model Stock competition in 2020, with the CARS Tour following suit for its Late Model Stock Competitors. This development gave the series extra incentive to push for the body’s approval in Super Late Model racing.
“We were probably a little less vocal than others on it,” Ragle admitted. “We stuck together as a group. As time evolved and the CARS Tour, especially once the Late Model Stock body was approved (by NASCAR), we were a big proponent of moving ahead, getting a resolution, getting it approved and moving forward. “
While the “Next Gen” body manufactured by Five Star Race Car Bodies has been approved for 2021, the new Revolution body revealed by ARbodies at the PRI Trade Show has not received approval from the ABC Committee.
“Once again, I think it kind of comes down to all options from all parties were talked about. Now there’s a standard, whether it’s ARbodies or any other company, there’s a way if somebody wants to be a part of the ABC Committee,” Ragle said. “I really hope AR follows the same ways and continues forward with a new body that’s in line with that. At the end of the day, AR is a great partner of ours, too, and we’ll continue that. The ‘old body’ is not going away any time soon. It’s not a disadvantage or inferior product, on both sides with ARbodies and with Five Star. At the end of the day, we still want people to utilize every body, both new and old bodies, just come and race.”
The ABC Committee approved Five Star’s next-generation bodies for competition in 2021, but offered series the option to implement the body to aid in major repairs in late 2020, an option which the CARS Tour is examining.
“Here in a couple of weeks, you’ll see the new body on the Late Model Stock side, which was approved last year for us. We don’t know the timetable yet, but we’ll probably look at getting the Super Late Model body out there this year.”
While Ragle felt it was important to approve the new body as the sport and the world changes, he noted it was also important to make sure the groundwork was in place for future, similar changes and alterations that result from the evolutionary process.
“We were ready to go for it, but I think initially the process of how it came, and once it got past that, getting some definitions of how things like this could work out and be brought into the industry moving forward. We’ve had the same body for 15-plus years. As time and technology and everything else evolves, what do the next 10 to 15 years look like?”
Ragle still fully expects to see the old-style body frequently on the circuit, and ultimately hopes that the move will allow the most racers to compete in their events and draw fans to the action.
“The old body is not going away any time soon, and it’s not at a disadvantage. Whether people are running Five Star, AR Bodies, old or new, it doesn’t matter, we want people racing.
“It’s not going to put more people in the stands. It’s not going to bring out more race cars. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what body you run, just come race.”
Race fans who missed Ragle’s interview on “The Bullring,” which also included discussion of the upcoming 2020 season and events such as the Peach State Classic at Gresham Motorsports Park, can listen to the archived video from the show by clicking here.
“The Bullring” airs every Monday starting at 7 a.m. ET from Studio 51 in Concord, North Carolina. Fans can watch each week on Speed51 or Speed51’s Facebook Feed presented by Five Star Race Car Bodies.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo