Story By: JEFFREY AHLUM / GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – The management of Big Diamond and Grandview Speedways have together reached a decision on the topic of the left side pan hard bar suspension for 358 Modified and 602 Sportsman race teams that compete weekly at both raceways.
The Rogers Family who promote and operate Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa. and Jake Smulley who promotes and operates Big Diamond Speedway in Forestville, Pa. have recently held conversations between the two Speedways regarding what has become a hot topic in local auto racing – the left side pan hard bar suspension that has become a common and popular set-up for Modified & Sportsman teams over the last couple of seasons.
Both Speedways have thoroughly discussed the topic and have decided to phase out the left side suspension set-up, by allowing racers to use the left side suspension for one more season in 2024, before all race teams must return to the previous standard right side suspension set-up to begin the 2025 race season.
As was the case in the gradual switching of the Sportsman class from open motors to the GM 602 engines, the gradual phase out is being done as a consideration to race teams that have already begun preparing their equipment for the upcoming 2024 racing season.
Grandview Speedway competition director Brad Missimer stated that “We wanted to be fair to all competitors about making a switch. We needed to give them some advance notice and time to prepare since a lot of race teams are already preparing for next season. We realize that this suspension set-up needs to go eventually.”
Big Diamond Speedway promoter Jake Smulley was also looking to make a change as well for his race track stating that “I am on the same page as Grandview on this issue 100 percent.”
The left-side suspension set-up has become a somewhat controversial issue regarding how the suspension has made for several dramatic changes in local stock car racing, changes that have been noted by both track promotional teams over the last couple race seasons.
The left-side suspension allows the race cars to really ‘hook-up’ to the track, by allowing the cars to transfer weight from one side to the other during a race upon entering and exiting the corners. This constant twisting has been causing an extra strain on the drive line parts on all race cars. Track managements noted a sharp increase in the number of broken drive shafts and the yokes that are attached to the drive shafts.
Teams that survive without broken parts during competition, have had to replace strained axles and yokes far more frequently than in the past, some as often as every two races.
Track managements also noted that numerous times, driver’s cars tend to wash out entering the turns, causing the drivers to inadvertently run into each other causing hard feelings or more mishaps.
Track management is looking to put the driving back in the hands of the drivers.
With the advance notice now, race teams will know what to expect this season and how to prepare for the following season without any question to the direction the two tracks will be taking.
Race teams with any questions can call Grandview tech officials Cliff Quinn at 484-357-2587 or Ed Scott at 610-298-2408.