I ran into Sam
Old Dominion Speedway this past
Saturday night. Sam was the 1981 Street Stock (Grand Stock) champion
at ODS. After the races, Sam was standing around talking with Terry
Butler, another former Street Stock driver, chatting away about the
?old days'. Sam is still an active competitor at Myrtle Beach
Speedway but seeing those two talking together got me to thinking
about the original ?street stock' series.
The Steer Stock division started in the
mid 70's as an entry level division. At the time, the late model
sportsman and limited sportsman divisions were the top draws and they
were quickly becoming more and more expensive to run. The Street
Stock division was designed to give drivers an inexpensive way to
Early drivers included
future LMSC champs Danny Bennett and Billy Earl; Street Stock champs
Tony Lowe and Wayne Loy. Sherrill Pardue started his racing career
in the Street Stock division, driving a tomato red 1965 Dodge Dart.
Today's grand stock car
shares almost nothing with it's ancient ancestor. The street stock
cars were almost completely stock with a roll cage inside and a few
other safety modifications. Today's grand stock is a purpose built
race machine that is practically identical to a late model stock car.
The old street stock
cars raced with 6 cylinder engines on skinny street tires and the
fields were huge; 28 cars was the norm and over 32 was not unheard
of. The field would barrel off into turn one and the street tires
would scream and chirp beneath the heavy load of race car.
The cars would wiggle
and slide through the corners and drivers would battle lap after lap,
side by side. Fans would scream and cheer and drivers would yell and
cuss; all in all it was great fun.
This past Wednesday a
meeting was held at
Old Dominion Speedway to pass out
rules for the new U-Car series. Already there is talk of several
folks bringing these cars to the track and word is the fields will be
quite large. The cars must be stock, with some safety modifications.
Those are pretty much the rules. An inexpensive way to go racing,
it's touted as the newest, greatest concept to ever come to
short-track racing. The tracks who have already started running this
series are considered the saviors of short track racing.
Well not to burst
anyone's bubble but it sounds a whole lot like the mid-70's to me and
that is just fine.
We'll call them U-Cars, but to
me they're Street Stocks and they should be a lot of fun to watch.