Modified racer Cory Crapser knows what he’s doing behind the wheel. As proof, just consider his three Wissota national championships.
Crapser is pretty unique among racers because he actively competes in two different classes at once. After years racing Modifieds in the B Mod class, Crapser moved up to the A Mods–but never stopped competing in the B Mod class. At Deer Creek Speedway’s Fall Jamboree, he was one of the busiest guys on the property, racing an helping to maintain a car in both the A and B Mod classes. And he did well in both.
So when we had the chance to check in with Crapser we wanted to ask him about what it’s really like racing the two classes at once and the differences between them.
One Dirt: To the uninitiated, a B Mod and an A Mod look pretty much the same. After all, we’re talking about Dirt Modifieds with a stock front clip. What are the practical differences, and are they significant?
Crapser: No, they really are a lot alike. The front ends are the same. It’s the rear suspension that’s the big difference between the two classes. Typically, the B Mod uses a three link and the A Mod has a four link like a Dirt Late Model. I guess that can be kind of tricky for different guys, but the three link for the B Mod is easier to work with because there are less adjustments you can actually make so you have less opportunity to get yourself in trouble.
Crapser: Yes, there is some truth to that. Anyone buying a new Mod chassis, there is a Late Model connection there. And things are advancing pretty quickly. An A Mod that was pretty fast three years ago is more like a good B Mod today in terms of speed.
OD: How about the crates, which are becoming pretty popular in the B Mods, and the more powerful built motors in the A Mods?
Crapser: I don’t have a lot of experience with crates. We do have a concept motor rule in Wissota, and I have run one a couple of times. It really is different for me. It is good price-wise, but the driving, there is more to it than you might think. It’s not that you are going out and racing as hard as you can anymore. It feels so terribly slow when you are out there, especially if there is no one else out there on the track with you. But the motors can be pretty fast when driven properly. It’s probably just a noise thing. They aren’t making as many rpms, so your ears and your head tell you that you’re going slower. I just don’t have a lot of experience running them myself.
Crates can be a benefit, but it kind of depends on where you race. If you race a lot on really dry slick tracks, those crates can help drive-ability. If I raced on those surfaces a lot, I guess I probably would have one too.
OD: What’s the difference between an A Mod and a B Mod from the driver’s seat? Do the the differences in spoiler height affect your driving style?
Crapser: Honestly, I’ve never felt a big difference myself. We have been back and fourth a lot. We raced with a two-inch spoiler and no spoiler, and we even had a five inch on a couple weeks ago at a race. I don’t know–I guess it’s one of those things where you know it’s going to help so you put it on. And the spoiler looks cool. But I don’t think it’s a make-or-break thing with the spoiler differences.
As far as driving the different cars, you might think that they’d be more different, but they seem to drive a lot alike to me. But I do drive the same brand chassis and practically the same setup. The A Mod handles better, so it feels like it’s not actually going as fast. Because if you drive something that’s right on the edge all the time, it doesn’t matter how fast you are going it feels like you’re flying. The A Mod has a bunch more side bite and a bunch more traction, so it doesn’t feel as fast because you are more in control.
Most of the handling advantage on the A Mod comes from the rear end. The tires are the same and the front ends are the same.
OD: How about the cost difference between the two?
Crapser: The big difference in money between the two classes is the motors. Everybody is on the same transmissions. Safety wise the cars are basically the same. Even the difference in the rear suspensions between the two classes–if you are buying good stuff you are going to spend about the same either way. And I don’t think the maintenance is much different between the two. If you take care of your stuff, let’s face it, it takes money to properly maintain a race car. You can run better shocks on the A Mod, but you don’t have to to be competitive. In our program we are running the same shocks on three corners of both cars. So you can spend more there if you want to.
So the motor really is the big price difference between the classes. That’s especially true if you are running a crate engine in the B Mods. Basically, your A Mod motor program is going to be double.
OD: So is the B Mod still a good class for inexperienced racers looking to grow their skills and move up?
Crapser: Yes, absolutely. I think the issue with the B Mods lately is guys have gotten stuck in the class. Not because they can’t run the A Mods. They get those B Mod cars figured out, and they start running well and don’t want to give it up. If they jump to the A Mods they have to face that learning curve again. A lot of guys will blame it on the money, but I think that it is really about worrying that they cannot compete. Because nobody want to do bad.
But I do think the B Mods are a very good place to learn as a driver. They aren’t so different from the A Mods that you aren’t starting from scratch if you do make the jump.