Box Stock racing means beginners and Honda. SRR runs a locally developed class called Box Stock Honda (The Honda engine got its start in our box stock program in 2006 and takes over from the Briggs Raptor engine in 2007).

Photo1We ask that all of our new go-karters start in the Box Stock class. Box Stock racing was created because go-karting needed a class that was simple and inexpensive, yet very competitive. How does this class make go-kart racing simple? The rules put limits on the chassis, engine, clutch, muffler, tires, and driver experience. These limits also work to make this class inexpensive.Photo8Remember earlier when we said that go-karting was the most inexpensive form of motor sports that exists. This is true, and Box Stock Honda racing is the least expensive type of go-kart racing. What makes it the least expensive? We some what limit spending by using a strict set of engine rules. To summarize our engine tech inspection: you must race an engine supplied by Sugar River Raceway that is wired and sealed shut. You may choose your carburetor jet size, spark plug, crankcase oil and gear ratio, the rest is limited either by rule or the wired up engine parts. That may miss a few rules, but not many. You do not need to be an engine builder or mechanic to get your start in Box Stock racing. We’ve made sure of that with these rules. You say “what about the guy who can figure out how to slip something by the rules?” We hold frequent surprise inspections at the end of the race day. Anything found that isn’t Box Stock gets disqualified. With an engine disqualification the all important season championship points also go away for the day. That can really hurt a competitor’s chances of winning the season championship.Photo11Aside form our Box Stock engine rules our tire rule is the other great cost manager. We use a Bridgestone YDS compound slick 4.50″ wide in the front and 6″ wide in the rear. We have run this tire and tire rule since 1994 and it has been a perfect recipe for use with our track and the speed of a Box Stock kart. It is inexpensive ($175/set circa 2009) wears extremely well, and is extremely consistent.

But the best thing about our tire rule? It really dictates what type of chassis you will run to be competitive. This tire isn’t high grip and a go-kart handles through weight transfer. A hard or low grip tire like the YDS needs a kart that gives or flexes a little bit, or transfers weight easily. Do you know what kind of kart does this best? Usually the bottom of the model line up and almost always anything from 1990 to current. That makes for a huge universe of used karts that can be put into service as your first race kart. This keeps pricing low and nearly 85% of our new karters start on something used. Why? Because they know they can win on the less expensive kart. We don’t need an exclusionary ‘No Foreign Karts’ rule because the tire rule eliminates most of them. These karts are built for high horsepower high grip tires and don’t usually work the best in Box Stock. So be careful on E-Bay or at the next swap meet. You don’t want some motivated seller making you the new owner of something that you can’t even bolt a 4 stroke engine on yet alone make work with our YDS tire rule.

So what does all of this mean to the beginning racer? We’ve developed a class system that negates the need to spend money at a really rapid rate. This is done to allow the natural learning curve to take place without bankrupting or discouraging beginning go-karters. Yes, many people’s budgets can withstand much higher cost racing, but the price limits these rules put in place are also closely tied to our desire to limit complexity (i.e., a flat learning curve means fun, not frustration). You don’t need to learn how to be an expert engine builder to win in Box Stock. You don’t need to have hand eye coordination that could qualify you for ‘Top Gun’ school to win in Box Stock. All you need is the desire to have some racing fun while you learn to drive and tune a chassis.

Along with our engine and tire limits we also keep the professionals out of our beginner class. We have a system that counts wins and determines when someone must move up to the next class. A racer can not be chased out of the Box Stock class in their first season. If they don’t eclipse our 15 race win rule in their first season, or ran less than half of the scheduled races, they may come back to Box Stock with a stipulation. Those with less than ½ of a season get another year of Box Stock eligibility. Those who are over the ½ season rule will then have to leave the class when the win their 15th race during the first half of their second season. They may take their points with them if they wish to go to Super Stock (a Box Stock class for experienced drivers). This leaves one to two seasons for the beginner to learn among other beginners. No one likes to feel like a Christian being thrown to the lions. Get a seasoned go-karter and a beginner racing one another, and betting on the outcome would mean sure money. It also means sure frustration for the new guy. Only the extremely strong willed stay around to become the experienced in a system like that. We find our old and new go-karters much happier when we match skill levels and budgets correctly.

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