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Author Topic:   Specialty Fabricating
GnarlyCar
Member
posted September 22, 2000 11:55 AM
Just wanted to post and see if the Specialty Fabricating cars are stomping anyone other than just us Wissota boys. This years Wissota 100 at Cedar Lake Speedway saw 140 modifieds entered, and while at least 9 of them made the 24 car show, I know of only 3 that didn't. Could have been more, those were just the ones I noticed. And if that weren't enough, among the top 10 they ran 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th and 10th, with the 10th being Craig Thatcher (reigning CLS track champ and current Wissota nat'l points leader) coming from near the back of a strong B-feature to get there.

I've been trying to buy one for the last month, but every time I see an ad for one in the race paper they're sold before the paper even comes out..I've called on 3 of them. I even offered one guy half the purchase price up front with the offer to let him finish the season with his and let me take it after, but he flat out won't sell at all. It's looking like I may have to settle for a 3 year old converted leaf car to get into one, but this guy's been smoking guys all season at a few tracks even with that car. On top of all that, the waiting list for a new one is into early March already.

This is the first time in my memory that any car has been so dominant in the modifieds anywhere. These cars seem to be fast on any surface, with any motor. While I don't know a lot of specifics, I do know that these cars are set up radically different from anything else I've seen, with the pull bar and the panhard bar being relatively short and running upwards of 350 lbs of LR bite. Swing arm Z-links with long upper links, short lowers, no adjustment holes on either, RR brakes floated and LR clamped to the tube. Seems to be all about the timing of the wieght transfer, but without blueprinting the thing I doubt that anyone could duplicate it. I'm sure it won't be long before that happens, though.. I've heard murmurs from some people already and have even given some thought to doing it myself. Until then, though, Jay McDonald's gonna ride this tidal wave right to the beach after being lucky enough to find it first.

Are there any chassis builders anywhere else in the country who are dominating like this?? If so, what do you guys know about their set-ups?

Thanks,
Matt


KK17
Member
posted September 22, 2000 12:46 PM
I love the Jay cars. The have the best hook I have seen. They can run up to 5" of stagger on a super dry track. We are trying to get one too, we've got a couple year old pro that works real good, but want that little extra bit like the Specialty cars have. The only thing I don't like about them is the lack of a foot bar. Other than that, they are awesome. Look at Tim Jackson, he has an older Jay car and is 3rd in points, and walks all over guys everywhere.


GnarlyCar
Member
posted September 22, 2000 11:51 PM
KK17,
You're right about the fact that most of them are good drivers, but having raced at CLS each week for the last 3 years I've seen at least 4 guys that I regularly run with go from being backmarkers to big dogs as soon as they got into one of Jay's cars. And yes, they can be beaten..I beat Pat once this year (finished 2nd and 3rd in a B in a race long battle for the lead..most fun I ever had in a race car..spit out my input shaft getting off 4 at the very end of the race and Pat actually bumped me across the line in front of him), and a good friend of mine won his first feature in mods (at CLS in a 2 yr old 4-bar Cobra) this year with Thatcher and Doar running 2nd and 3rd for the last 5 laps... Great race to watch. The biggest thing, though seems to be consistency. It seems that when they're not perfect they're always real close, while most other chassis' are either right on or in the way. I've talked to Pat a lot the last few years, and he's always said they make very few adjustments once they get them close. Gear changes, and occasionally a small panhard adjustment is about all they regularly do with it. I think the consistency comes from the fact that there are no adjustments to the z-link angles, aside from ride hieght. Very few things to confuse yourself with if you start with Jay's base set-up. My 4-bar has 7 holes for each bar alone, and that doesn't start to get into 5th coil adjustments, panhard adjustments, shocks, springs, etc... There's just a lot more to wade through to find the right feel, and quite frankly, I'm tired of working my butt off (OK, I could stand to work SOME of it off...)and still getting beat by the Specialty cars. A guy's gotta give in sooner or later..

To answer the other question, they're built in Fargo, North Dakota, but I don't think they have a website..at least not one that could be found through Yahoo..

My 2 more cents,
Matt

By the way, Scott... where do you normally run?? You mentioned Tim Jackson, you from up toward Bemidji??

[This message has been edited by GnarlyCar (edited September 23, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by GnarlyCar (edited September 23, 2000).]

36k
Member
posted September 23, 2000 10:38 AM
Matt,
we race at Victory Lane Speedway in Winnipeg Canada, Greenbush, Bemidji, Warren, Grand Rapids, and a few others in Minn. Also, Jamestown, Aberdeen, Fargo, and a few others. Would love to come out to CLS, any more races now that the 100 is done? What kind of chassis do you have? Nice talking to a fellow Wissota guy, easier to explain chassis problems with someone who runs the same tires. Talk to you later


Tom Asmus
Member
posted September 23, 2000 06:51 PM
JUst in pesponse to you. I race out in Wyoming, Casper. This was the first year with wissota, I ran IMCA last season. We had 2 Specialty cars come run with us, they did spank us pretty hard but as the season progressed I had the only car that would run with them. They could find lines that possibly were not there. But last race of the season I finally got the setup closer than anyone. That Spec car and me took off and had a half lap led on the pack when the flag fell. So next season I think they can be beat. Later TOM



GnarlyCar
Member
posted September 24, 2000 09:22 AM
Scott,
When I thought you ran Bemidji, I thought you were north a ways, but Winnipeg??!! Holy crap! Anyway, CLS is done for the year after the 100. They used to have one more show after up until about 5 yrs ago, but since then they've shut down right after the 100 every year. But all's not lost..they normally start thier season with a practice day on the second Saturday of April, with the regular season starting the next weekend with a Friday show and a Saturday show. They also run the wissota 50 every spring, I think its the weekend after the opener. If you wanted to come run with us there, you've got 4 or 5 shows to choose from before most other tracks even open.

My car started out as a DRE chassis, but since I bought it 3 seasons ago it's evolved in to something of a mongrel. When I got it it was an old GM 4-link style car, as per old Wissota rules. I took off the stock length upper trailing arms, replaced them with a crude lift bar, and added a panhard bar. Raced it the first season that way, and bought a lift bar kit from Cobra chassis for the second season that allowed a lot more versatility compared to what I had. At the end of that season, I cut the chassis completely off from the seat on back and built an underslung 4-bar car out of it. Guess you could call it a 6-link actually, the brakes are foated on thier own birdcages. I am quite proud of my efforts under there, having designed and built that whole rear end set-up in my own garage. It turned out not at all looking like most of the other duct-tape-and-bubble-gum homebuilts out there and drew quite a few inquiries as to who did the work. I was always very proud to say it was me. It works better than most cars out there, finishing 3rd in points at my Friday track..got beat by a Specialty car and a Cobra, but as any self respecting racer will know 3rd ain't good enough. I'm a lot more racer than chassis builder, so I don't mind setting that car aside to run something faster. My kid'll be in it in 2 years anyway, so it'll be around a while.

You should check out the Red Clay Classic at Ashland, Wisconsin next weekend. A big two day show with onsite camping and a lot of cars (supers, mods, and lates). I've run it the last 2 years, and while not necessarily running great, I've had a lot of fun. It's a real nice track, and the promoters have always seemed very respectable. MelFer runs there every week, and he's a cranky ol' fella (but a he11 of a nice guy), so if he thinks it's OK it must be.

See ya,
Matt


Wauge28
Member
posted September 26, 2000 09:31 AM
Does anyone know how these cars run on the IMCA American Racer with little to no stagger?


KK17
Member
posted September 26, 2000 12:33 PM
SPECIALTY FABRICATING
LOCATION: FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA
OWNER: JAY MCDONALD
PHONE 701)298-9799, FAX(701)298-9799
ADDRESS: 3343 UNIVERSITY DRIVE SOUTH-FARGO, N.D. 58103

DIDN'T SEE A WEB SITE. BUT I GUESS THIS INFO IS BETTER THAN NOTHING.

SLIDE JOB-N.Y. STYLE
Member
posted September 27, 2000 01:41 AM
IF YOU GO TO THE ALLTHEDIRT.COM SITE UNDER CLASSIFIEDS THERE ARE ABOUT 5 OR 6 SPECIALTY FAB CARS FOR SALE. COMPLETE ROLLERS FOR ABOUT $55OO OR SO. A COUPLE 98'S AND A 2000. THE 3RD IN NATIONAL POINTS IS FOR SALE Z-LINK ROLLER FOR $5000.


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