Martin McKeefery

Driver in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series

410 Ci Super Modified

What is a Supermodified ?concord-practice

The Supermodified is a racing machine unlike any other type of open wheel race car. The Supermodified is a 39 inch high, 168 inch long, 1900 pound fastest short track oval race cars on the planet!

A Supermodified is unique in that it offers exceptional motor placement offset to the left, creating tremendous inside weight. The Supermodified is allowed 24 inches of offset and up to 70% inside weight, which is more than the 57% inside weight allowed in a Sprint car.

The offset and the use of the widest tires of any pavement race car in the world enables the Supermodified to hug the track and make tight clean left hand turns without coming loose. The Supermodified is constructed mainly of 4130 aircraft chrome-moly tubing outfitted with aluminum and steel components. The bodies are made of both aluminum and fiberglass. The majority of the top teams build designs and fabrication’s of their own.

The wings on a Supermodified are very important to the car’s overall performance. The car has two air foils, or wings, one at the front of the car and one on the top of the roll cage. The front wing on a Supermodified is similar to the front wing on an Indy car and is designed to pull the front end of the race car down onto the track, while the upper wing improves the grip of the rear of the race car. Air traveling over the wing creates an area of low pressure below the wing, causing a vacuum like suction to pull the car down onto the racing surface. The angle, known as the “attack” of the wing, is adjusted to help arrive at the perfect balance which “plants” the car in the corners but does not cause it to “stall” down the straight away.

The most expensive part on a Supermodified is the motor. They are powered by monster V8 engines, with 454 c. i.d limits on small blocks and 488 c. i.d. on big blocks. Most engines are comprised of aluminum blocks and heads and run fuel injection and not carburetors. These monster V8’s produce an incredible 800 plus horsepower! The majority of teams’ motors will be at or above 800 horse power, while the lowest will run 700 hp. This creates a power to weight ratio unmatched in open wheel racing. And these motors really thunder, as they have been to known set off some car alarms in the parking lots at many raceways.

Supermodifieds, which run on methanol and not regular racing fuel, normally average speeds of 150 to 160 mph around Phoenix International Raceway’s 1 mile oval, with a top speed of 190+ mph!

The Supermodified is not equipped with a starter, clutch or transmission, therefore the car must be pushed to fire the engines. They run “quick change” rear ends, which enable the teams to change the gear ratios to get optimal speed for the different racing facilities they run at.

A Supermodified is built for speed, but they are also built for safety. Each car is equipped with an on board fire extinguisher within the driver’s reach in case of fire. Each car has side nets and a head brace, a 5 point racing harness, which must be re-webbed or replaced every 2 years. The drivers race in a minimum two layer SFI racing suit, racing shoes and gloves, full Nomex underwear including head sock, and a snell 95 helmet. Arm restraints and a neck collar are also required.

Supermodifieds are sleek ,fast and unique racing machines. A field of Supermodifieds will give you goose bumps as they “Thunder” around the track!

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