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ISCARS DASH Touring to Expand Engine Program

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing

ISCARS DASH Touring to Expand Engine Program

ISCARS Public Relations
February 8, 2007

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - The International Sport Compact Auto Racing Series (ISCARS), more familiar to most as ISCARS "DASH Touring,” has announced plans to give teams the option of running a small block V8 engine beginning with the 2007 racing season, while grandfathering in the current V6.

The series began in 1975 using a four cylinder engine. At its inception, consumer and manufacturing concerns were driven by fuel economy and subcompact cars. “We have come full circle since those early days,” says Randy Claypoole, ISCARS President. “While the consumer currently deals with high gas prices, the rage with small sporty cars has a lot more to do with fad than fuel mileage. Today, there is a vast demographic interest in owning sport compacts.”

In the late 90’s, NASCAR mandated a V6 motor for the series and also a switch from 13” wheels to 15” wheels similar to the majority of full size stock cars. ISCARS began operating the series in 2005 and immediately started researching ways to offer the teams a more economical engine package. In recent years, the cost of the V6 has escalated to more than $30,000.

The rules for the V8 require the engine to be no larger then 310 cubic inches. ISCARS has opted to work closely with the engine builders in determining specifications as opposed to a crate motor alternative. “As a touring series, we are interested in encouraging ingenuity and development, while also controlling cost,says Claypoole.”

The new engine will be less than half the cost of what DASH Series competitors are used to paying.”

The sport compact market is greatly impacted by the after market industry. The highways are loaded with sport compacts tricked out with California lights, flared body panels, wings, neon, expensive audio systems, and plenty of engine components.

It is this after market influence that led ISCARS to consider change.

“We have talked with the manufacturers, and frankly they do not have the funds available for research and development,” says Claypoole. The after market is a multi-billion dollar industry that is thriving and most interested in sport compacts. Popular opinion is that the fans will be excited to see sport compacts with a bigger engine. After all, this is racing.

ISCARS teams will be able to use the “ISCARS engine” in any make or model that fits the sport compact measurements outlined in the 2007 rule book.

ISCARS is eager to expand the models used in series competition. In addition to the Pontiac Sunfire, Pontiac GTO, Chevy Cobalt, Mercury Cougar, and Toyota Celica, the rules are open to adding other body styles such as those offered by BMW, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Ford, and Honda. Any sport compact body style can be presented to ISCARS for approval.

Other notes of interest:

* ISCARS kicks off its 2007 season on April 21st at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, North Carolina.
* There are no plans to disallow the use of the V6 motor. ISCARS will mandate a different carburetor and add weight to bring parity to the two engines.
* ISCARS DASH is the only sport compact stock car touring series competing on circle tracks in America.

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