Special thanks to Jason Politte, driver and owner of the Politte
Racing Dwarf Car
Q. Please describe your race team as it currently exists.
A. We're a front runner who could always use more resources. Last year we
were able to capture our first two wins and ran as high as third in the points
before we had some engine problems. Ultimately fell back to sixth in the points.
This year, we were always up front but ended up having problems finishing races
while trying to get our new engine worked out. Best finish was third this year.
Q. What is your series sanctioning/licensing organization, e.g., NASCAR, SCCA,
USAC, etc. and their address and phone number of the organization:
A: Arkansas Dwarf Car Racing Association, P.O. Box 598, Sheridan, AR. 72150
Q. Name of Class?
A. Dwarf Cars
Q. Brief description of the class: Is it a spec class? Spirit and intent of
the class, etc.?
A. The Dwarf Cars originated out of Arizona, but their popularity quickly
spread to the rest of the country as well. The class is not a spec class, and
it's intent is to help keep racing somewhat low cost. The cars are 5/8's scale
and modeled after the old NASCAR modifieds. It's a fun and competitive class
that, in this area, primarily races on 1/4 mile clay ovals with a couple of
shows at the 3/8's and 1/2 miles clay tracks every year.
Q. How many races do you run per year? How many races does the series offer?
A. We only got to run about 9 races this year, but the A.D.C.R.A usually
races every weekend from March until October. Approximately 30 races.
Q. Is the series national, regional or local?
A. The series is local to Arkansas, but we get a few from TN. that run with
us on occasion.
Q. Some of the tracks where the series runs?
A. West Plains, MO., Tri state speedway: Fort Smith, AR., I-30 Speedway:
Little Rock, AR., Beebe Speedway: Beebe, AR., Independence Speedway: Batesville,
AR., Thunder Valley Speedway: Fayetteville, AR.
Q. Is driver licensing necessary to compete? If so, through what sanctioning
body? What is involved in getting such a license, and are there different levels
A. No, but to run on a regular basis, and for points, with the association, a
ADCRA competition license must be had. Pay the membership fee, and have the car
tech inspected. Only one level of licensure.
Q. Other fees (excluding entry) necessary to compete:
A. At the big shows, sometimes, there'll be a Car entry fee.
Q. What is the race format? Nightly, weekend, etc.
A: Race mostly on Saturday nights, but every once in a while, there'll be a
Friday night race also.
For this next question, think back to when you were first looking into the
series, and apply what you know now. With these answers, you're trying help
those new to the class and give them an idea of what a car will cost them.
Q. What is the cost of the car, complete and ready to race, without spares:
A. For a good, entry level, get your feet wet and learn the class- you'll pay
about $2,000-$3,000 . To run and finish in the upper 50% of the class with
reliable equipment- about $3,500-4,500. And your chances to win are good if you
drive it right will cost you about $6,000-$7,000
Q. Where can someone find a car like the one you describe?
A. Classifieds in the local paper, and Racer's auctions. We have one every
year in Little Rock, AR. at the Expo Center.
Q. What about engine costs; cost of new motor, cost of good used motor, cost
of rebuilding and freshening, average cost of good motor maintenance between
races, little extras that you might want to add, do you need another engine at
the ready or can you race with one, etc.?
A. A brand new motor would probably cost around $5000, but I've never priced
one. Our association rules state that the motor must be two yrs. old before
being legal to run, so we don't see too many new motors in these cars. A good
used motor can be found at a cost from anywhere between $2,000-3,000. Regular
motor maintenance includes changing the oil and spark plugs at regular intervals
which costs around $35. Extras are a bigger radiator if it's a water-cooled
engine, and a bigger oil cooler if it's an air cooled engine. Go with both if it
uses oil and water for cooling. Only one engine is needed to go racing, but
having a spare is nice.
Q. Now chassis cost: How about a plain chassis without wheels and tires; cost
of roller, little extras that you might want to add; what extra parts do you
have to keep on hand for a night/weekend of racing, etc.?
A. A bare chassis will run from $1,600 to $1,900, depending on who builds it.
For a roller, the price goes up to around $3,000 to $4,000. For the extras, go
with good equipment, such as coil over, adjustable shocks, and it's always nice
to be able to run aluminum wheels instead of steel. It's always a good idea, to
have extra heim joints, tie rods, axles, and wheels.
Q. Wheel and tire cost: cost of wheels, cost of tires, cost of different
types of tires, if applicable (rain, dirt, asphalt, etc.), how often would you
replace?, what parts do you have to keep on hand for a night/weekend of racing,
A. One can pick up steel wheels for these cars at about $30-40 a piece, but
the optimum is to run aluminum wheels. We run Hoosier dirt stocker tires with a
durometered compound of 50 when cold. They go for about $80 a tire. Race recaps
from Marsh Racing Tires can be bought for around $50 a tire, but they're not as
consistent on the track. Tires can be run a whole season or more, depending on
your budget and luck.
Q. Cost of other essential equipment: Jacks, chassis and/or alignment tools,
engine tools and testing equipment, special trailer needs, etc.?
A. A regular hydraulic roller jack that is bought from any auto. store for
about $30, can be used. Ideally, it's nice to have a shop jack on hand, since
it's quicker and easier. For a cheaper one, look on spending around $80-100.
Hydraulic frame straightening kits are also nice to have. Look to spend anywhere
from $200-500 for one of those. As far as the trailer goes, some guys like to
use a big enclosed trailer, but it's not necessary. We just use an open trailer
with two runners for the wheels to go up, and it's a little longer than the car
itself. Perfectly suited for a dwarf car, and it's light and easy to pull.
Q. Average cost to prepare car between races?
A. Nothing except fuel and labor, if nothing happened to the car the weekend
before. The labor includes going over everything on the car to make sure it's in
good working order.
Q. Other racing costs: Entry fees per race, costs related to practice dates;
series entry fees, sanctioning body fees, membership fees, etc.?
A. Entry fees at area tracks are around $18 per person, and play day's cost
$5 per person to get into the pits. A.D.C.R.A. membership fees are $25.
Q. As an estimate, how much would you say it costs you to race for an entire
A. This season has been quite a bit more costly for us than the norm. On
average though, I would say around $1,500-2,000.
Q. Publications specific to the sport (perhaps published by the sanctioning
body), publications you recommend for someone getting into the sport, your type
of racing, where someone can acquire the rule book, etc.?
A. Final Lap magazine has a publication that can be ordered and also found on
the net at http://www.finallap.com They have
articles on all motorcycle powered racecars. I have the national rules posted on
my web page, but all local associations usually have their own set of rules, so
it's best to get in contact with somebody from the area.
Q. General recommendations for anyone getting interested in driving in your
series, if an advanced series, where to begin the climb up the ladder to your
level (perhaps the exact steps to take and the timeline), should they go to
races, who can they talk to, etc.?
A. Anybody that's interested in getting into dwarf cars needs to go to pits
during the races and talk to a few of the people that race them. Everybody will
most likely be more than happy to help somebody out and grateful to see interest
in the dwarf cars. I've never seen more than one class of dwarf cars so
everybody gets lumped in together. The best thing to do is buy a used car first
and learn about the racecars with that car. Then, once one feels confident that
they know how to work on these cars and set them up, they can move up to a
better and faster car.
Q. Miscellaneous: Do you need crew or can you race on your own, general
temperament of the racing atmosphere, i.e., highly competitive and stressful or
helpful and encouraging?
A. No crew is needed, but it's nice to have at least one person there to help
with loading and unloading the car and the various other things that need to be
done between heat and feature races. The atmosphere at most race tracks is
always competitive, but at the same time most of the drivers will go out of
their way to help someone get back in the race.
Q. Finally...To help those who might begin to pursue getting involved in your
series, please complete this sentence as it relates to your series and your
competition experience: "If I knew then what I know now, I would
A. "...started racing when I was younger.