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"STAGGER"

THIS MONTH WE'RE GOING TO DISCUSS WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH REAR TIRE STAGGER AND HOW IT AFFECTS YOUR VINTAGE RACER. STAGGER IS HANDS DOWN THE CHEAPEST AND EASIEST WAY TO ADJUST A RACE CAR AT THE TRACK WHEN YOU'RE PRESSED FOR TIME. IT IS ALMOST A NECESSITY FOR YOU GUYS WHO HAVE TO RUN STOCK TYPE LEAFS FRONT AND REAR AND A REAL RACE WINNING COMBO FOR THE MORE MODIFIED CLASSES OF VINTAGE RACERS.

FLAT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, THE MORE REAR STAGGER YOU ADD THE LOOSER THE CAR WILL GET WHETHER IT'S YOUR VINTAGE RIDE OR THE TRICKEST INDY CAR! ALSO THE MORE YOU CLOSE UP THE STAGGER THE TIGHTER THE CAR WILL GET.

YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN YOU ADJUST FOR SOMETHING YOU AFFECT OTHER THINGS, BUT I'M GOING TO TRY TO KEEP THINGS SIMPLE HERE! OK, OK, LET'S TALK REAL WORLD APPLICATION.

THE EASY THING TO FIX IS WHEN THE CAR DOES THE SAME BAD THING IN ALL THE CORNERS. IF IT PUSHES ADD STAGGER, IF IT'S LOOSE CLOSE UP THE STAGGER. I JUST WISH IT WERE THAT EASY!

LET'S SAY YOU'RE TIGHT IN TURNS 1,2, AND 3 BUT YOU GET AROUND 4. FROM WHERE I SIT I'D ADD REAR STAGGER. WHY? BECAUSE YOU'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO PICK UP SPEED IN 3 OF THE 4 CORNERS! AS FAR AS TURN 4 IN THIS EXAMPLE IT MAY NOT AFFECT IT MUCH OR IT MIGHT MAKE YOU SIT UP IN THE SEAT, BUT YOUR OVERALL LAP TIME WILL INCREASE EVERYTIME, AND ISN'T THAT WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT!!!

ONE THING I WANT TO SAY RIGHT NOW IS, WHAT WORKS FOR THE GUY PITTED BESIDE YOU WON'T WORK FOR YOU WHEN IT COMES TO VINTAGE STOCK CARS AND THAT'S WHAT I LOVE ABOUT IT. NO COOKIE CUTTER CARS HERE!! EVERY CAR HAS BEEN BUILT BY A DIFFERENT INDIVIDUAL WITH DIFFERENT SKILL LEVELS, ATTITUDES, AND IDEAS.

WHAT SHOULD YOU START WITH FOR REAR STAGGER? WELL THAT'S A REALLY GOOD QUESTION. THE TRACK SIZE, CONDITION, AND CONFIGURATION ALL COME INTO PLAY. I WOULD SUGGGEST 3/4" OR LESS FOR A 1/2 MILE OR MORE, 1" ON A 4/10, 1 1/2" ON A 3/8, AND 2" OR MORE FOR 1/3 ON DOWN. REMEMBER THESE ARE ONLY STARTING POINTS. EACH CAR AND DRIVER ARE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS. FOR EXAMPLE AT THE WEBSTER CITY VINTAGE REUNION WHICH IS RUN ON A 1/2 MILE WITH TIGHT CORNERS, FLAT, AND DRY SLICK YOU'LL FIND MOST OF THE GUYS RUNNING 1/4"-0" OF REAR STAGGER WHILE SOME ACTUALLY HAVE TO RUN REVERSE STAGGER TO GET AROUND.LET'S FACE IT THOUGH, IF YOUR CHASSIS IS FAR ENOUGH OUT OF WHACK THAT YOU NEED TO RUN REVERSE STAGGER TO GET AROUND ANY TRACK YOU NEED TO SPEND THIS WINTER WORKING ON THE CHASSIS!! WHILE ON THE OTHER HAND AT RIVIERA RACEWAY IN NORFOLK, NE WHICH IS A TIGHT 1/3 MILE WITH REAL BANKING I RUN 4 1/4"-5" OF STAGGER!

IF YOU RUN ON A TRACK THAT ALWAYS GOES DRY SLICK YOU ARE GOING TO WANT TO DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF STAGGER IN THE FEATURE TO TIGHTEN THE CAR UP. NOW HERE IS A QUESTION FOR YOU. IF THE TRACK GOES DRY SLICK AND YOU WANT TO CLOSE UP THE STAGGER DO YOU DECREASE THE SIZE OF THE RIGHT REAR OR DO YOU INCREASE THE SIZE OF THE LEFT REAR? I LIKE TO INCREASE THE LEFT REAR. WHY, BECAUSE WHEN THE TRACK GOES DRY SLICK YOU WANT TO RAISE THE CAR FOR STARTERS. ALSO BY INCREASING THE LEFT REAR YOU ALSO ADD CROSSWEIGHT OR WEDGE WHICH WILL ALSO TIGHTEN THE CAR UP ON EXIT. IF YOU INCREASE THE LEFT REAR YOU WILL CLOSE UP THE STAGGER AND ADD CROSSWEIGHT BUT WILL ALSO INTRODUCE MORE BODY ROLL WHICH GIVES YOU MORE SIDE BITE WHICH IS DESIRABLE ON A DRY SLICK SURFACE.

FOR A TACKY TRACK YOU CAN JUST REVERSE ALL OF THIS TO GET YOU AROUND THE CORNER AND DOWN THE NEXT STRAIGHT.

WELL, THERE YA GO. I KNOW THIS ONLY SCRATCHES THE SURFACE BUT HOPEFULLY IT WILL MAKE YOU SIT BACK AND THINK THE NEXT TIME YOU NEED TO ADJUST YOUR VINTAGE RACER!


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