Two years after Five Star Race Car Bodies unveiled their new body at the PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis, ARbodies unveiled their new look to the goers at PRI Thursday morning.
The body has been approved for a handful of different races and sanctioning bodies for 2020 including the American-Canadian Tour, Granite State Pro Stock Series and Northwest Super Late Model Series, among others.
The new body was introduced to a large crowd of onlookers that included several drivers. Former Granite State Pro Stock Series champion Devin O’Connell was one driver that was on hand for the unveiling.
“It’s really, really good looking, I’ll tell you what,” O’Connell told Speed51.com. “They implemented that old roof really well and gave it a really good modern look. I’d love to see this get ABC approved, the day it is you’ll see me get a reskin package for it, it’s beautiful-looking. I’m excited to see what it can do on the race track.”
After having seen the new Five Star Body on track for a full season, O’Connell thinks the new body designed by ARbodies will have a similar on-track introduction with no discernable advantage. He also mentioned another aspect of the body that he is a big fan of.
“The new Five Star kind of blew my mind with how even it was with the current ABC body. I was kind of against it at first until I saw it on the race track at Richmond for the first time,” he said. “There really wasn’t an advantage so I think this will be very even with it. They made a couple changes to keep the old roof so racers can save a pretty astronomical cost. I think it’s going to be very even with the current body.”
Fellow Northeast driver and American-Canadian Tour winner Bryan Kruczek was also a fan of the new body, noting the cost savings that come with it. He mentioned most of the concerns he would have with it were addressed after seeing the new Five Star body for the first time in early 2019.
“I think it’s good for the racer, cost-wise and mounting-wise it’s going to be good. It’s a lot less work to mount it and change things over. You’re already starting with the roof so it’s pretty much a reskin kit,” Kruczek said. “It should make it easier with everybody.”
“I trust these guys. The numbers should match up equivalent. My biggest concern was seeing the two different bodies and how they match up on the track nose to bumper,” he added. “If one was going to be way bigger than the other and if you touch a guy is it going to spin a guy out and cause a problem with that. Northeast-wise where we race, I don’t think it’s going to make a big difference, maybe Loudon would be one thing, but numbers should match up.”
ARCA/CRA Super Series champion Greg Van Alst received a certificate from ARbodies for winning the championship this past season. He talked about the new body with the idea of technical inspection and what racers and teams do to get the most out of their cars.
“It’s all in the way they’re hung. It seems like the newer bodies don’t have as much manipulation to them as what you can do with the current bodies and that’s where the racers and the officials and the body manufacturers all clash heads because we have three different views of a body,” Van Alst stated.
“You can do things with a body that can go through tech and makes it fit a template, but it manipulates what the original ABC was supposed to do. That’s what racers do, we try to find every grey area in the rulebook. For a team like ours that hang our own bodies and whatnot, I like that the manipulation is not there on these newer body styles, whether it’s this one or the Five Star. At the end of the day, we’re all going to find something, no matter what they come out with.”
Super Late Model drivers weren’t the only ones on hand to check out the new body for themselves. ACT-style Late Model racer and two-time Milk Bowl winner Jason Corliss also had to get his eyes on it during the unveiling. He echoed the sentiment shared by other drivers on it, but acknowledged any differences in the bodies may not necessarily be a bad thing.
“I think it’s going to be close to the ABC stuff. There’s some stuff that visually you think might have some advantages, but until you get on the racetrack and actually race them side-by-side you don’t really know,” Corliss said. “I think it’ll race very comparable to Five Star and the current package. There might be some advantages here and there but that might be a good thing for short track racing to have a couple body styles out there, make the racing a little more exciting, especially in some of these Crate divisions like the one I race in. It might be good, we’ll see how it goes.”
The new body debate recently reached Late Model Stock racing, with NASCAR having approved the new Five Star Body starting with last month’s Myrtle Beach 400. Having recently switched to Five Star from AR, former NASCAR Truck Series driver Timothy Peters talked about the new bodies and the progress being made.
“We debuted the new 10-2 Five Star Body at Myrtle Beach on our car and we were happy with the performance of it, and those guys did a great job for us in the short relationship that we started,” Peters stated. “You can’t disregard what AR’s done for us over the years. I’m sure that they’ll work hard and I know Five Star will continue to work hard. I think both of them are good looking bodies.”
Stay tuned to Speed51.com for more coverage from the PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com