RPW Column: Tech Inspection Complete: Chad Jeseo “Officially” Your ’21 Super DIRT Week Pro Stock Champion

Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – WEEDSPORT, NY – The Pro Stock 50 from Super DIRT Week concluded over 24 hours before, but it took until Monday afternoon for the winner to be declared.

That winner is the guy who crossed the line first, Chad Jeseo.

Jeseo, who captured the Albany-Saratoga and Lebanon Valley Speedway track titles, the DIRTcar Pro Stock Weekly Championship and was the top point guy in the DIRTcar Pro Stock Series points after capturing his first ever win during the crown jewel event on Sunday.

Then, things came into question. In post-race tech, each of the top five finishers went through a series of inspections to their cars. One of them was a jig, or template, to make sure their front clips were in line with rules. When it came time to check Jeseo’s winning #25, the jig did not fit.

Over the last few years, manufactured front clip have been allowed instead of a stock Chevrolet Camaro clip which has been used since the class was developed. There are two official places certified to build these front clips, Stone Motorsports and JACR Chassis. Jeseo’s car was impounded after the race and taken to DIRTcar Northeast headquarters in Weedsport, NY to be further inspected.

On Monday, both Nick Stone and Andy Rider (JACR) headed to Weedsport to be assist in going over the front end of Jeseo’s car to see if it conformed to their measurements.

It did.

“Both Nick and Andy are the only two certified through DIRTcar to build these clips,” Jeseo said Monday night, speaking exclusively to RPW. “You can only buy either or. There’s no other option as of right now. I told the officials, if one of the measurements is off for that clip, it’s just like our engine package. You give me four options. I had to buy a DIRTcar-sealed motor from one of four places. In order to race with them, I had to buy one of those four engines, and you have to pick one of two front clips. That’s what I did.”

So how did we end up here? What was the problem with Jeseo’s front clip after the 50-lap event on Sunday?

“Realistically, the template that they had, that they used to tech all of the cars, I believe it became bent by the time it had gotten to Jason Casey’s car on it,” he said. “I’m not 100% sure on that but when it came to my car, it didn’t fit anymore. However, we also never brought it back to check any of the other cars again. They went from positions five to one, with mine being the last to look at.”

When it comes to discrepancies during post-race tech, if officials or a protest want something checked, it has to be a particular piece. That is the interpretation Jeseo had from the rules.

“They have to pick a specific part that they’re teching,” he said. “If it’s the carburetor, they take it. They don’t take the carb and the intake. I asked them on Sunday what is wrong with this car. They said the front clip. I told them I had to buy the one they specified. It’s not altered in anyway and still has the JACR stamp on it. I wanted to pull my motor right there, cut the clip off and let them take the clip.”

That’s not what officials wanted to do, according to Jeseo.

“They were worried that if we cut the clip off, it would spring and the measurements definitely wouldn’t meet the specifications,” he said. “The tech on Monday was more for Andy and Nick to go over things with DIRTcar to figure if I had done anything wrong. Both gathered their measurements from their jigs at home and brought them to Weedsport today to check my car.”

What did they find?

“Nick pulled his out and measured my car,” he said. “He didn’t say anything. Andy did the same thing and didn’t say anything. Nick told them that his jig would fit right on this. They did all of the other measurements, the cross measurements and such, and figured out that their inspection jig had gotten bent somehow. When they lowered the cars down on it, maybe it wasn’t strong enough, I’m not sure. However, it worked okay within the tolerances before it came to my car.”

Had Jeseo’s car ever passed this test before?

“This is the first time I’ve seen it,” he said. “I honestly believe it’s not for the teams, but more for Andy and Nick to make sure they’re building the clips to the specs that DIRTcar put in place. It’s a spec part with a stamp from either builder. The tech wasn’t necessarily against me, but it was because the clip was on my car.”

Both the Stone Motorsports and JACR Chassis measurements for one of these front clips are the same. As stated, they both checked Jeseo’s car and things matched. How did they determine that the inspection jig may have been bent?

“Nick had this cool measurement tool that helped to check these clips to make sure things were perfect,” he said. “They checked the diagonals, from the lower control arms and it was perfect to their specs. I asked them to take that tool and check their template, and it was off. It was that quick.”

Even through it all, Jeseo was grateful that the tech inspection was done and was thorough.

“The inspectors at DIRTcar handled things extremely well through this entire ordeal,” he said. “They did their job and I’m grateful for that. I just know we were running a spec part they mandated and did nothing to alter it. We did as they told us to do, and have since April.”

In an official noticed released on Monday evening, DIRTcar confirmed that Jeseo’s car was deemed legal.

“The Pro Stock of Chad Jeseo was taken to a controlled inspection area for further evaluation,” Dean Reynolds, DIRTcar Northeast Series Director said. “The car was inspected to make sure it was within GM OEM specifications. After measurements were taken, it was determined that Jeseo’s Pro Stock conformed to the specifications and deemed the official winner of the DIRTcar Pro Stock 50.”

Now, it can officially be said. Chad Jeseo is a Pro Stock Champion of Super DIRT Week.

“It feels really good,” he said. “It’s been a long road with a lot of laps and we’ve gone through a lot of cars to get here.”

The car was inspected by DIRTcar technicians Mark Hitchcock and Mike Welch, Stone and Rider. Jeseo and representatives from Jeseo’s team as well as Albany-Saratoga and Lebanon Valley Speedway were also present.

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