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Added: 09 Mar 2016 Category: Older Oval Racing
9 Things that have come and gone from Oval Racing Since 2001
I’ve looked at some of the things that local oval racing has lost during the 15 years since I started NIF2 and some of the things that the racing has gained that remain with us, but what about the things that came and went within that time, here is a look of some of the things that didn’t hang about.

Open Hot Rods/ Slick Cars
In 2011 Slick Cars came to Northern Ireland, from memory it was a Ballymena initiative that would be an “Open” Rod formula for any saloon on slick tyres. The class had been semi successful on the mainland and had brought some old Eurocars, Super Rods together with ex and current National Hot Rods, Classic Hot Rods and 2.0 Hot Rods, equally importantly the drivers raced on a day license for the class and so anyone in Aghadowey’s Hot Rod class could also come to race in them.
Slick cars later became Open Hot Rods and had a bit of a championship in an alliance between Aghadowey Stock Car Stadium’s promotion, Ballymena and Tullyroan in 2012. I don’t think they went on to be part of the 2013 fixtures.

2.0 Stock Cars
From 2003 when Nuttscorner Oval opened, both Nuttscorner Oval and Nutts Corner Raceway ran a Production car class. Nuttscorner Oval ran Senior Production which were a legacy from Portadown and Nutts Corner Raceway ran Production cars which was an established class of their own. I believe there was small differences like tyres, but nothing huge and there was a bit more common sense about back then so you could with a few tweeks race both nights. In 2006 Nuttscorner Oval abolished it’s Senior Production class in favour of the 2.0 Stock Cars which were heavier armoured than a Production car but less than a (proper) National Saloon Stock Car. The class only got up to around 4 or 5 cars which never seemed to come out at the same time and from memory I think was scraped within about half a season. I think Spedeworth later abolished the class at the end of 2014 too when numbers were too low to continue with it.

Speed Stocks
Following a big rule change in the ProStocks in 2012 and I’m sure a bit of Politics between the promotions Speed Stocks came to be in 2013, the class was essentially the ProStocks that had been outlawed as well as a few others. From what I seen of them they only ever had a few cars and I’d actually have expected more outlawed ProStocks to have gone that route, but they didn’t, the class failed to flatter and disappeared at the end of 2014.

The Shale track
As brief existences of a track go it would take some going to last less time than Nutts Corner Shale Arena. The track created a lot of hype in 2009 and within 3 meetings it was closed again. I still maintain shale is a huge leveler and it could have made such a difference to the oval racing landscape had it remained open.

Tyre Softener on F2’s
In the early to mid naughties tyre softener was big business in F2 and big spectacular plums of smoke could be seen of F2’s as the tyres warmed up and the softener came to life. One of the downsides to this was it seemed quite prone to lifting the tar off the track on the racing line. An acceptable level of tyre softness was brought in and everyone became an overnight expert in durometer readings before it was banned altogether and it went away… or it was supposed to have gone away, maybe it’s just become undetectable. While F2’s were the most spectacular with the plumes of tyre smoke there was a point that pretty much every class was using it.

Avon Slicks on F2’s
In the mid Naughties as part of the solution to tyre buffing and tyre softener was the Avon slick, an out and out treadless tyre the F2’s could use. The tyre was only used for a few seasons and then disappeared again I think even before the F2’s moved off Avons altogether.

Tilting chassis F2’s
Around 2005-2009 tilting chassis cars had become the latest innovation in F2’s, there wasn’t a lot of examples of them and most of them came from the Bill Batten workshop, but the most successful example was Ian Thompson’s RCE car which won the 2008 World final.

Internet forums have died of death a little since the incarnation of social networking sites such as facebook but there was a time that if you wanted to discuss and debate the racing you had to log onto your computer go to the forums, check what new posts there was and then come out of it again, no mobile notifications or anything like that. I’ve made some good friends through forums and probably a few enemies, but such is life and it would be boring if we all agreed all of the time.

Oval Racing News
In hindsight I missed Short Circuit magazine from the “Things the racing has lost” and another publication Oval Racing news which started out in a Newspaper type format and ended up more like a magazine came and went within the past 15 years. From memory it was a 2 or three weekly thing rather than a monthly and it had potential I thought.

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