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November 9, 2016 - Just one week after bringing the 2016 Lucas Cattle Company ULMA race season to a close with its tenth-annual championship banquet, ULMA has released its 2017 car class rules. Input from drivers and track personnel were taken into consideration when the board recently met to finalize rules. In the end, board members unanimously agreed some rules needed to be reined in to stay true to the ULMA vision.

Rule changes of any type are often an emotional topic and ULMA fully realizes not everyone will be in favor of the proposed changes as banquet attendees were recently reminded. However, as controversial as some of the changes may be viewed, board members were all in agreeance that changes were necessary.

Some rules revisions include engine-related areas such as Castings and Fittings and Machine Work. For the 2017 race season, modifications to the block are not allowed. In preparation for the future, drivers and engine builders are reminded that “Raised Runner Heads” will NOT be permitted in 2018.

One of the most affected areas comes with the new tire rule, which takes effect June 1, 2017, when tire grooving, siping, or needling will NOT be allowed. Tires may still be ground within confines of the tread. A zero tolerance policy will also be in effect regarding cold and hot tire durometering and tire altering in general. The June time frame allows drivers to use their current stock of tires on hand. The Hoosier D-55 WRS-2 Spec Tire or Hoosier D-55 WRS tire remains the partnership tire between ULMA and Hoosier Tire Midwest.

Although the general weight rule of 2,350 lbs car and driver remains intact, the requirement for cars with aluminum heads to add 50 lbs of weight in front of the mid-plate has been removed. The Mitchell Machine Bullet Tranny with internal clutch has been added to the list of approved aftermarket transmissions. Additional changes were made in the area of shock location and wheelbase. Rules revisions also include several safety related recommendations to drivers.

The ignition portion of the rules received the biggest overhaul for the coming season. Only MSD 6AL or 6ALN ignition boxes will be permitted. Crane or other brand ignition boxes will not be allowed. The ignition box power supply wire must be hooked solely with an independent connection. A 7,600 or less RPM rev-limiting chip rule has been implemented for 2017. A zero tolerance policy will also be in effect regarding any driver caught altering the rev-limiter or ignition system in any way as to defeat/manipulate the rev-limiter rule.

ULMA as an association began a decade ago and from the beginning worked hard to establish a good rapport with tracks, drivers, and fans. At no time has ULMA ever charge an affiliated track a sanctioning fee. As the association heads into its second decade, the association sees no reason to change its way of doing business and will continue to work in the best interest of late model racing with affiliated tracks, drivers, and fans.

One of the mainstay affiliated tracks for ULMA in its first decade has been and still is Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri, which recently released its 2017 tentative race schedule. ULMA late models will again serve as the premiere weekly racing division at the state-of-the-art facility. There are 13 race dates for ULMA competitors beginning April 8th through August 26th. In the coming weeks and months ahead ULMA will continue to build the 2017 race dates and will make announcements when additional dates are confirmed.

While scheduling has its own unique challenges in ensuring the best possible race dates for drivers, the association will work diligently to ensure the best availability for tracks, promoters, drivers, and fans.

Visit www.ulmaracing.com for the 2017 car class rules and additional association information. ULMA is also active on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ULMA-United-Late-Model-Association. ULMA plans to release details for the 2017 season in the coming weeks and will make announcements through its website, Facebook page, and media outlets.

Sam Stoecklin
ULMA Public Relations