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What’s the difference between a Super Late Model and a Late Model Stock

Late Model Stock.
Super Late Model.
Limited Late Model.
Pro Late Model.

If you’re new to short track racing, the distinction is confusing and trying to get answers is often too exhausting. In fact, this website receives no other question more than fans asking to understand the difference between a Super Late Model and a Late Model Stock.

Most fans didn’t even know there was a difference until CARS Tour began promoting twin features for both Super Late Models and Late Model Stocks back in 2015. Until then, many fans just assumed their local Late Model was the same Late Model you could find at tracks all across the country.

Not so much.

So, let’s put the question to rest. Here are the primary differences between the two primary types of Late Models used in the Southeast.

What is the difference between a Late Model chassis and a Super Late Model chassis?

A Late Model Stock chassis is based off a NASCAR national touring car with a steering box, center link and a 51″ truck arm. They weigh anywhere from 3,050 lbs. to 3,100 lbs. Like a traditional Cup Series car prior to the advent of the Next Gen, Late Model Stocks run a truck arm suspension based off a 1964 Chevy pickup. The trailing arms are bolted solid and does not allow for much adjustability. These cars also have a higher roll cage (47″) than their Super Late (39″) counterpart.

Meanwhile, a Super Late Model is a super lightweight aluminum interior car that weighs 2,800 lbs with a rack and pinion, three-link suspension. These cars use 21″ to 24″ trailing arms to connect the rear end to the frame. The trailing arms can have different lengths to help the car turn. The third link drives the car down onto the ground and they are all mounted on heim joints to allow for more adjustability than a Late Model Stock.

What do you mean by rails?

If you run a line down the middle of a car, the perimeter rail Late Model Stock will have the same distance from the center line to the outside of the frame rails on both sides of the car. They are made of three-by-four tubing and designed to have equal chassis on both sides of the car.

In a straight rail Super Late Model, the right side frame rail runs in a straight line, from front to back. Meanwhile, the driver compartment rail sticks out from the center line where the driver is sitting. The right side runs perfect straight from the nose to the tail, thus straight rail. These cars are sometimes called ‘offset chassis’ due to the rules that allow the right side suspension to be up to three inches longer. Most of the significant elements within the car, such as the rear-end housing, engine location and suspension are offset two-to-three inches to the left.

Engines?

A typical Super Late Model engine creates around 630 hp. A Late Model Stock Car engine targets around 515 hp. But the main difference is that Super Late Model powerplants are purpose-built for motorsports competition while Late Model Stocks have engines built from factory parts.

A Super Late Model engine costs between $25,000 and $30,000. Meanwhile, the parts for a Late Model Stock engine, typically purchased from the Harrington Machine Shop in Taylorsville, North Carolina costs around $10,000 and can be taken to an engine builder for assembly.

Overall cost?

A typical turnkey Super Late Model costs around $100,000 while a Late Model Stock equivalent costs around $70,000.

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Judson G.

    April 7, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Can you go down to the Ford Cut-away Car to show us what you mean?

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