December '18

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DECEMBER 2018 THE SHOP 17 I t's that time of the year. Oval track race cars are being put away for the season and new builds and refreshes will begin soon. Rebuilding is more than fixing what broke during the year. It's also time to upgrade. And racers are going to want to know what they can add to their cars that will make them go faster without breaking the bank or the rules. It's the perfect time to look at the circle track market: both in review and what's coming for next season. Our sources talked about the state of this market and outside factors, and proudly presented their new products for 2019. LEVEL OF TRUST With the checkered flag having been dropped for the final time in 2018 for most of the country's local series, now's a good time to gauge the health of the circle track market as it relates to shops. Across the board, insiders are optimistic about the nation's short trackers. "The circle track market appears to have a strong draw of fans," says Jim Kontje, president of Strange Oval. "However, racers are more conscious of how many times they race relative to what they can afford to be competitive. It's certainly not becoming more affordable, so the weekly racers have to be wiser with their dollars, and they are." He's seen "more cars on jack-stands on any given weekend, simply because racers are choosing to race more within their financial means. We are seeing some close competition as a result, but the car counts are down, so improved payouts throughout the field become more important to a weekly racer." Dan Begle, performance sales engineer at MAHLE Aftermarket, likes what he sees. "There are new teams that are coming By John Carollo Another Round A business look at the 2018 circle track market, and what's ahead for next year. Shops are looking to capitalize on the interest in circle track racing at all levels. (Photo by Mark Schaefer/ While sponsors and the economy have a lot to say about the circle track market, particularly at the higher levels, it's also true that many local racers just want to go racing. (Photo by Mark Schaefer/

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