(All Corners, USA) – In 2002, various groups gathered to give the racing industry guidance on a national standard for an asphalt late model body shape. At that time, the ABC Body Program was formed to oversee a body shape control program. The nation was instantly unified, and the yearly cost of competition for highly competitive teams went down, as a new body would not be released every year. With the implementation of this late model body shape program, teams would no longer be required to purchase the most up to date and increased performance body every year.
For 17 years, one shape has stood the test of time and allowed racers to travel across the country in pursuit of fair and equal competition. In recent years, various short track stakeholders have made it known they felt it was time for a new body shape.
The introduction of a new body shape has been a long process. The various parties have now come to the table with compromises and are ready to move forward.
Sanctioning bodies that have led the ABC NEXT GEN unifying effort are some of the top groups in the country and include: Champion Racing Association, Southern Super Series, ARCA Midwest Tour, CARS Tour and the SRL Southwest Tour. Today they are announcing that the new shape they will allow in 2021 is the wind tunnel and track tested, ABC NEXT GEN body, as initially introduced by Five Star Race Car Bodies. Their hope is that other tracks and sanctioning bodies will join them in establishing this new national standard.
While Five Star has already gone to market with this particular body in some areas, the ABC Next Gen committee continues to work diligently with AR Bodies in an effort to keep two manufactures in the program, even arranging to provide AR with the necessary builder’s templates. This is consistent with the process used in the original ABC body, where AR Bodies used builders’ templates drawn from a standard, approved shape.
The original ABC bodies produced by AR and Five Star and the new ABC NEXT GEN body are the only bodies that will be approved for competition.
It was important to the leadership group that a single, new shape be identical aerodynamically to the current ABC body. These leaders did not want racers to purchase a new body because they thought it was necessary to be competitive. The ABC NEXT GEN leaders are confident this has been accomplished, given that the new body style has been proven, through extensive wind tunnel testing and a year of on track competition, to be aerodynamically equal to the current body.
Additionally, many in this effort have demonstrated their commitment to a shape control program for late model racing since the first days of the original ABC group, and that commitment goes even deeper with two key enhancements for the ABC NEXT GEN body. First, this most recent effort improved the design of the body panels that greatly reduces the potential for overall body shape manipulation. Second, a more complete set of inspection templates and dimensions have been developed for both racers and tech officials, in order to maintain body shape parity for all racers.
The ABC NEXT GEN leadership group has agreed that the body will be a part of their 2021 rules packages. Some of these organizations may opt for a late 2020 season implementation to aid teams in need of major repairs later in the year. Racers should check with their individual sanctioning bodies to confirm their specific roll-out plan for the ABC NEXT GEN body.