Drivers of IMCA Modifieds looking to spend less cash but still stay competitive have an option that will debut at Nodak Speedway tonight.
Sport mods, also called B-mods, will hit the track for opening race night at Motor Magic on the North Dakota State Fairgrounds.
One of the most known drivers in the race may be Minot's Jeff "Hot Foot" Hooker, who started racing a sport mod in support of Geographical Center Speedway, which is Rugby's race track.
Hooker desribed a sport mod as "lower budget."
"Budget-wise, it's the best deal," Hooker said. "Guys move up from stock cars into them."
Hooker said horsepower for a sport mod is considerably less, meaning they won't go quite as fast. However, Hooker did say fans may not see much of a difference other than the few seconds the cars hit the straightaways.
"I suppose in the straightaway, it would be five to 10 (mph less)," Hooker said. "It's more of a momentum thing (around the turns)."
Sport mods have become increasingly popular at smaller tracks like Rugby and Thunder Mountain Speedway in Bottineau. Jamestown Speedway, and tracks in Grand Forks and Fargo also runs sport mods.
"It's gaining strength," Hooker said. "You look at tracks like Rugby and Bottineau. A-mods didn't work there. There just wasn't a lot of car travel that way. Once they got B-mods, the car counts climbed again."
Hooker said a sport mod and a regular mod look almost identical when parked next to each other. However, the sport mod has a few unseen differences.
"It has a different rear-end setup; it's rear suspension, front suspension stuff," Hooker said. "The B-mods are kind of patterned (internally) off the hobby stock cars. The motors in the hobbies work in B-mods.
"They're gonna look pretty similar."
The talk about B-mods seems to be picking up after the Nodak Race Club announced it was going to add the class to regular points racing next year. With Minot adding the class, Hooker said he thinks more tracks will follow suit.
"Minot tends to be the trendsetter in classes," Hooker said. "There's plenty of these cars out there. ... It's no big secret."
Hooker intends to drive a sport mod and a regular mod tonight, but said he's still thinking over whether or not he'll do both next year.
"We're still putting a plan together," Hooker said. "The B-mod is definitely fun. It's probably where I should be, financially. It's very competitive."
Nodak is running six classes of racing tonight. Along with adding B-mods, NOSA sprints will also be racing.
On Monday - the final night of racing in 2011 - the track will have the regular four classes, and NOSA sprints will also be back.