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The Madden Racing WebPage
#41 NASCAR Featherlite Tour Modified

The Qualifying Game

In this series, you have to qualify to earn the right to race. This qualifying is done in a two lap "time trial" similar to Winston Cup qualifying. Drivers are randomly given numbers out of a "bingo roller". The driver who gets the lowest number has to qualify first, while the driver who ends up with the highest number gets to qualify last.

Qualifying is a real game. As a rule, it is usually better to draw a high number, since it means you will get to qualify after a lot of other drivers have "put some rubber down" on the track. As a result, drivers who go out later in qualifying usually have faster times, since all the rubber build-up on the track has a tendency to help the car's traction through the turns. Higher turn speeds mean faster times. But this doesn't always hold true. NASCAR usually gives you two laps to show your stuff. Your qualifying time is taken as the faster of the two timed laps.

Races are usually started in what they call a "heads-up" fashion, where the fastest qualifier starts the race in the pole position, and the slowest qualifier starts last on the field. Just to give you some idea how fierce the competition is, there are usually 60 cars that show up for an event. Of those 60, NASCAR sets the field size at about 40 cars. So, the 20 slowest cars (still qualifying at over 100MPH at some tracks) go home after making their qualifying effort. In past years, the difference between 20th and 40th place was less than 0.2 sec. Timing is recorded down to the thousandth of a second. The fastest car is usually .3 to .5 sec faster than the last qualifying car. Talk about tight fields! There are many tricks to qualifying...which I might talk a litte bit about if I get some interest.

Oldest Division In NASCAR

This is a photo of a 1973 Modified race. As you can see, these cars still have a lot in common with Modifieds that race today. The Modifieds were the first division created under NASCAR back in 1948.

Modifieds are still open-wheeled cars with very wide sticky tires. The cars are still required to have steel body panels (except for the hood--that can be fiberglass). If you look closely at the sides of the cars, you will see bars that stick out from the body that are about even with the outside of the tires. These are called nerf bars. These bars are used to prevent competitors' tires from running up over one another. There have been cases when racers have "rubbed wheels" and one car has literally been launched over another. The bars allow drivers to rub together without getting airborne--most of the time.

Another similarity is that these cars are light. A Modified's average weight is around 2650lbs, while Winston Cup cars tip the scales at around 3400lbs--you do the math. Although Modified engines do not develop the same amount of horsepower (around 600hp) as the Winston Cup cars(700+hp),keep in mind that they are also 800+lbs lighter.

Modifieds have a ground clearance of about two inches. When you're this low, everything becomes roadkill... With a really low roll center, tons of horsepower, and four very wide and sticky tires, these cars really hook up around the track, making for some close door-to-door racing where lead changes are very common.

Oldest Division In NASCAR

  • Peter Madden------Driver
  • Pete Madden Sr.--Owner/Tire Specialist
  • Nancy Madden----Support & Food
  • Steve Nichols------Crew Chief/Changer
  • Bob LaBonte-------Spotter
  • Don Higinbotham-Rear Changer
  • Dan Ryan-----------Jackman
  • Nate Glidden------Mechanic/Rear Carrier
  • Matt LaBonte-----Front Carrier
  • David Nichols-----Mechanic
  • Ben the Dog-------Mascot

  • The cost of racing

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