Maresca does everything possible with the four-link configuration
FONDA, NY – Dirt modifications in the Northeast have gone through many transitions over the years.
From Gary Balough, who arrived at the Syracuse (NY) Mile in 1980 with a ground effects car, to the switch from bars to reels, and even to Kenny Tremont winning a four-link Troyer in the ’90s, the game has changed from many times. .
However, no change in modified dirt racing has been as quick or as drastic as the sudden change in rear configurations from torsion bar to coil springs over the past few years.
Then in 2019, when chassis company Teo Pro Car released an experimental four-link chassis, similar to the one Tremont operated years ago and started winning with. When Anthony Perrego found success with the Teo four-link configuration, it caught the attention of many in the motorsport industry.
One of those who paid attention to Perrego’s success was Mike Maresca at Fonda Speedway. When Maresca and his team unloaded their car from the trailer last Saturday it wasn’t the # 247 he raced last year and won the championship with, it was the # 7mm , his own car.
The new car was a new DKM Fabrications four-link chassis that he wanted to test, and early results were promising, with a third place finish in the season opener Fonda.
When the four-link setup was run under Tremont’s care, he won the 1999 Super Dirt Week race with her, along with others in the area. However, technology has since changed and Maresca believes that modified dirt races are inspired by the latest models for their current technological successes.
“I think we’re starting to pay a lot more attention to what the latest models do and how they work,” Maresca said. “In the 90s I think it was a little different, with the way the cars rolled, the attitude of the car, the shocks, the springs… it’s all very different now. Cars are no longer in place now. If you look at a normal Bicknell car it’s up, compared to even if you watch a video from three years ago, all cars were a lot flatter back then.
“Nowadays the latest models all use four link suspension and the same goes with IMCA and UMP (modified) cars. Even though a lot of them used to handle a three-link agreement, somewhat similar to what the standard modified big block uses today, all of that continues to evolve, ”Maresca added. “We pay attention to it and realize that maybe there is potential there.”
The feel of a four-link suspension compared to a standard bar or coil car is also different and took some getting used to, according to Maresca.
“The whole car is a bit faster, reacting when you go through a hole or go on the gas; everything picks up and starts quickly, ”he explained. “You have to drive a little differently. You hear a lot of UMP, late model, IMCA guys talk about ‘keeping the car on the bars’ and you really have to keep the car on the bars. You can’t completely drain the gas or you may have to brake a little differently to keep the car on its trim. “
There are setup tips to help achieve this, but ultimately it’s up to the driver to push the car, Maresca said.
“When you step on the gas, the car engages and tips over. The left rear body goes up the bars on the left side and it engages the right side, where it flattens out a bit and the car kind of goes down on the right front, similar to a regular car, but it’s a bit more radical, ”Maresca said. “If you drained gas, the car would be a bit flatter. We have things to counteract that at the left rear, whether it’s compression or spring. There are mechanics to help control it, but you still have to do a bit with the steering wheel, gas pedal, and brakes.
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