The evolution of ARCA’s composite body car will take a significant step forward next month when it makes its superspeedway debut at Pocono Raceway in ARCA’s General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200.
Officials from the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards announced in October 2015 that the composite material, flange-fit body, which debuted in 2015 on tracks one mile and less in length, would be approved for competition on all tracks except Talladega and Daytona in 2016.
The car has already been tested at Daytona International Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway in 2015, and has spent substantial time in wind tunnels over the last several months.
The composite bodies, which greatly reduce the possibility of debris, are a lightweight laminate blend, which weighs less than 135lb (61kg). The 12 individual flame retardant panels are flange-fitted together for easy installation trackside. ARCA Racing Series teams have the option to compete with showroom stock-appearing Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and Chevrolet SS body packages.
With the much-anticipated debut of the ARCA composite body cars at Pocono, the older, traditional steel-body cars are still eligible for competition.
“I have no doubt that the composite car will be competitive on the superspeedways,” said Grayling Call, ARCA’s director of Competition & Race Technology. “As the facts stack up, I’m confident the composite bodies will hold their own against the steel car. The composite car’s already been to the wind tunnel. Per the results, we should be very close.
“One of the biggest differences with the composite car is that the ARCA Rulebook provides for a one-hundred pound weight reduction,” Call continued. “The composite car can weigh 3,300 pounds as opposed to the steel car, which has to weigh 3,400.”
Car counts for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards are up about 10% from 2015 to 2016. The number of composite body cars has also increased, with at least 20 entered in the short track events so far in 2016 at Nashville and Salem.