Powergrid Adjustable Links Visits Winner’s Circle In NASA American Iron
The Powergrid Adjustable Sway Bar links debuted on the #4 Mustang of Dean Smeltzer in the NASA American Iron Series Races on July 16 and 17 at Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, Michigan.
“Chip came to me hoping that I would be able to test his new Adjustable Sway-Bar Link System on my American Iron race car”, stated Smeltzer. “I was sitting 3rd in points at the time and had no intentions of jeopardizing my position in the standings with any part that might screw up my handling or even worse, break. After listening to his explanation and the benefits of his product, I decided to take a look at them. (Upon inspection of the links) You could tell that it wasn’t just thrown together with miscellaneous pieces, but a well thought out assembly. I decided to take Chip up on his offer and install the parts on my car.”
“I always ran my front sway bar links slightly loose,” continues Smeltzer. “Years ago I was told that tightening the links could create bind which could worsen a Mustang’s understeer problem. Anyone that has ever tracked a Mustang knows that understeer is a big problem. I knew that running loose sway bar links couldn’t be the optimal solution but it was the only one I had at the time. Once the new links were installed, it was very easy to neutralize the sway bar.”
“Gingerman was hot and slick with temperatures in the 90s. My first practice session, I took it easy just to make sure everything felt right. The car felt tight, predictable and pretty neutral. I have plenty of laps at Gingerman but it was my first time there in my new car. Although Gingerman is primarily a right hand turn track, there are a couple of left hand corners that can really slow you down if your car isn’t handling correctly. Luckily the car felt equally as good in the right handers as the left handers, so I decided not to make any adjustments to the links.”
Qualifying came around and it was time to really push the car. Qualifying went really well but after the tires got really hot, the car seemed to have a little understeer when accelerating out of the corners. Although the handling wasn’t perfect, it was good enough to grab the pole by nearly two seconds a lap (1:31.7) and set a new American Iron qualifying record at Gingerman. Understandably I decided not to make any suspension adjustments.”
“The temperature kept climbing all day and by race time, it was close to 95 degrees. After a few laps of the race, I could tell the track had really gotten hot and slippery. Towards the last quarter of the race, my understeer problem had gotten worse. The problem was controllable but it took a lot of throttle modulation to get through the corners quickly. Although I won the race by a considerable margin, I decided to make a change for tomorrow’s race. I needed to get rid of the understeer.”
Dean and Chip put their heads together and agreed on making only an adjustment to the Powergrid Link System in anticipation for Sunday’s track conditions.
“Sunday morning started out with overcast skies and slightly cooler temperatures. The track had much more grip than yesterday and the car felt great. I could tell right away that the front was sticking better but the true test would come when the track got really hot later in the day. By qualifying time, the sun was out in full force and turned the track into a sauna. I qualified again on the pole, but all the times had slowed down because of all the heat in the track. Even though my times were slightly slower, the car felt much more comfortable and the front end was planting much better.”
“The race went off without a hitch. The car felt much more neutral than the day before and I am convinced it was because of the adjustments we made to the front sway bar. The front tires were sticking better and it was easier to accelerate off the corners. I ended up winning by a half lap margin, so it was another great day. My first wins of the year and it felt great!”
“I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Powergrid’s Adjustable Sway-Bar Link System. I already had a great suspension system on my race car but the new links made it even better. Every time you can take a variable out of your suspension setup, the easier it is to make the correct adjustments. Having a solid connection between the lower control arm and the sway bar guarantees consistency from the first corner of the race to the last. I don’t have to worry about the sway bar binding or affecting my corner weights which can cause handling problems. I now have the option of changing the rate of the front sway bar which made a noticeable difference in my last race or make separate left/right link adjustments to optimize specific handling problems. I know they will be on the front of my race car for a long long time.”
Congratulation, Dean! Thanks for being the first winning member of the Powergrid Team!!!