4/29 UPDATE – VINTON (IMCA) – IMCA has announced that maximum rear tail heights for Stock Cars will be set at 42 inches and at 40 inches for Hobby Stocks.

The rule goes into effect on June 1. Height measurements will be enforced across the top of the rear tailpiece in both divisions.

“The rear tailpiece mounting rule, along with the rule that doesn’t permit any rear bumper bars to be lower than the tailpiece, has always controlled this issue,” said IMCA President Brett Root. “The height of aftermarket tailpieces has always been in the 20-23 inch range and we do not permit additional plastic to be mounted to the bottom of the tailpiece. All of these issues control the rear trunk height. However, creative personal interpretation and ignoring some of these rules in combination with adjustable body mounts has forced IMCA to publish a dimension that all cars will be required to follow.”

“Due to the different body makes and models IMCA permits in the Stock Car division, 42 inches is plenty of rear tail height in that division and 40 inches for the Hobby Stocks is plenty of tail height in that division.” 

Root also noted that Stock Car or Hobby Stock bodies can no longer be mounted on adjustable mounts.

“Adjustable mounts need to be welded solid after June 1 as well,” he said. “We’re not going to chase this issue all year long and allow it to get even worse before 2022. After June 1, 2021, any violation of these rules will result in a two-position post-race deduction.”

– ORIGINAL REPORT –

VINTON – The International Motor Contest Association has a problem with its stock car division that it’s planning to address on or about June 1 with a mid-season rules change.

In last Friday’s April edition (click HERE) of Inside IMCA, the official publication for IMCA members, the sanctioning body’s president, Brett Root, wrote the following:

“As always, I strongly encourage you to read columns in this and every newsletter written by Executive Director of Competition Dave Brenn and your divisional director.

“These columns are the best way to communicate with you when there’s a rules issue that needs explanation or clarification. It’s better to read them and be in the know than to get to the track on race night and find out you have something to fix before you can get on the track.

“We are admittedly chasing some serious concerns with the IMCA Stock Car division at this point and time. I personally hate adding, editing or changing rules during the racing season. However, the outrageous direction some appear willing to take the IMCA Stock Car regarding body rules is going to result in just that.

“Adjustable body mounts on any IMCA Stock Car will be a thing of the past very shortly, as will Stock Car deck heights that make them look like a John Force Top Fuel Funny Car. We believe we’ve had these issues addressed for years with existing rule wording. We’ve even disqualified racers who have tested our will, interpretation and enforcement of that very wording. However, some seem to think they need dimensions, so we will likely oblige.

“If the rear deck of your IMCA Stock Car measures more than 40 inches tall, you should be taking a very hard look at how to achieve it, because a rear deck height rule is coming to IMCA Stock Car racing by June 1, 2021. Let this serve as your fair warning.”

For many racers, this news may have come as a surprise because it was the first time the issue of rear deck heights has been brought up publicly in 2021. But, according to racers in the division, the height of certain rear ends has been climbing for the past several months, forcing the IMCA to take a stand to maintain the stock nature of the division.

In his own column in the April edition of Inside IMCA, Competition Director Dave Brenn had this to say:

“Some rules infractions are far too common and never seem to improve. Too many cars are coming right out of the chassis builders shop, the body builders shop or the racers garage with bodies that are too low, too long, too tall and too a whole lot of things. Add in some shocks and setups that don’t return to ride height after the race and this all adds up to a far too common conversation in post-race tech inspection. Some people win or finish in tech a lot, and you know who you are, and think about how many times we’ve talked about the same issues over and over. Something had to change and it has.

“For 2021, IMCA has added a fourth penalty option, deducting two spots, to the tech inspector’s manual for some of the most commonly repeated rules infractions. Ironically the most common infractions appear to be the easiest to correct but people aren’t. Post-race deck height, nose too low, ground clearance too low and wheelbase too short are some two spot deduction penalties for Modifieds and SportMods. Nose too low and wheelbase more than one inch difference left to right are a couple for Stock Cars and Hobby Stocks.

“Whatever is causing your deck height to end up too high or your nose too low at the end of the race, fix it. When you make setup changes to your car, be sure to check your wheelbase and ground clearance afterward. Every conversation in tech can’t be about what’s still wrong with your race car.”

The comments also caused concern for racers whose rear decks are already below 40 inches. Would they have to come up? Others wanted to know how the 40-inch maximum would be measured. In the interest of seeking clarity, Iowa Racing News reached out to the IMCA with the following questions:

  • How long has the rear deck height been a major issue of concern for IMCA?
  • Was there a single incident that triggered the decision to make a rules amendment in the midst of the season?
  • Are there any specific chassis builders who have caused this problem to get worse?
  • Where would the 40 inches be measured?
  • Will there be a minimum height, as well?

We received the following response from Root himself:

“IMCA’s concerns with this issue have been well documented and well researched. We intend to proceed as planned and as I commented.

“Most IMCA Stock Cars are well within this dimension and those who are not, know why they are not. As do their chassis builders.

“We don’t make these decisions based on social media comments. We make them based on the best interests of the division and those who are licensed IMCA Stock Car competitors.

“Any future rule details will be outlined in the IMCA Newsletter, the IMCA website and in official IMCA press releases.”

Iowa Racing News has also reached out to U.S. Racing Association headquarters in Webster City regarding how they may address the issue of rising rear deck heights. As of this writing, there hasn’t been any response. We will update this article when we hear back.

(Photo by Richard Keech [Click HERE for more])

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