There are a few things that I feel need to be made perfectly clear to some folks. First off, although I was one of the 12 people that voted on the 2008 rules at Hilltop, the things you read on this site are not statements from Hilltop Speedway, unless clearly stated as such. This site is not the "voice" of Hilltop Speedway or any other track, and it never will be. This is MY site, filled with my opinions and verifiable facts. I've been known to "call them like I see them" and that's exactly what you'll find on this site. Unless you're new around here, you know that I don't sugar coat anything, so if you can't handle that, I suggest you turn away now.
Now, back to those rules and the voting process. Believe it or not, not one person involved with the rules committee is "out to get" any racing team or to "kiss the ass" of any other team. That's why there are 12 people involved in decisions, not 2 or 3 people. There were a few options when it came to doing something to improve the Pure Stock class. Some options were more drastic than others, and the final result was probably the least drastic option discussed. Now, I know some teams seem to think that either no changes should have been made, or the rules should have been opened up even more. If those people were truly honest with themselves, they'd realize that those approaches have already been tried for years. As the rules expanded over the years, car counts went the opposite way at area tracks. That's just not good for the sport, or the future of this class. Some teams are now also calling for more strict engine rules to help cut costs, and I would have to agree with that idea, but can you imagine the uproar if that happened this year too? Will it happen in the future? I have no idea, but many racers seem to be in favor of it. It's clear that something needs to be done to protect the future of this class, and the few changes made this year are a step in the right direction. If more change is required, I'd hope that area tracks would do whatever it takes to make this class as big as it once was.
The most talked about changes made this year involve clearing up the rule describing the engine location, and requiring a stock firewall in the stock location. The old engine location rule included a second line that only lead to confusion and teams choosing to "interpret" the rules their own way. The first line has always stated that the engine is to be located in the stock location. Feel free to verify this with the unchanged rules from WCS. I'll also be happy to provide a copy of Hilltop's own rules from 2007. The second line mentioning the balljoint has now been removed from the Hilltop rules for 2008. I don't actually consider this a rule change, just simply clarifying a rule in the exact same way other tracks around the country have done. Now, does that mean that anybody that moved their engine back is now being "punished"? Does it mean that by locating the engine in the stock location and requiring some teams to install a stock firewall instantly turns their car into a Cruiser car? Give me a freakin' break!
As verified from recent comments from racers themselves, and personal experience, it seems that some have decided that there are no real cars out there to build a real Pure Stock out of, so they chose to stretch things a bit more with aftermarket chassis and such. There may have been some gray areas in the rules over the years, but I don't think this area was one of them. There's a reason there are different classes at every track, and each class has it's limitations. That brings me to those who say "Pure Stock is just a class name", so we should be able to run whatever we want. I don't care if you name the classes or number them, they're separated by the rules that spell out those limitations I mentioned. The trouble starts when the line between classes begins to blur. For instance, if the Modifieds were allowed to have all the parts allowed on the Late Models, would they still run with the Modifieds? Anybody that witnessed the progression of Cruisers to Super Cruisers, to Pure Stocks at Lakeville over the years should surely understand this. I welcome you to search the rules online for dirt tracks around the country for Pure Stocks, Pro Stocks, Street Stocks, ect., and compare them to our local Pure Stock rules. You'll find tracks that would require our area Pure Stocks to run with the Limited Lates. Yet some have the guts to say that our local Pure Stocks with engines and firewalls in the stock location are now Cruisers. If that's the case, those same people might be surprised to learn how many "Cruisers" have finished ahead of them over the years. That's not meant to be a slam, it's a simple fact.
I suppose the bottom line is that if somebody is convinced that they're not going to make the changes required to be legal at Hilltop in 2008, there's probably nothing anybody could do or say to change their mind, and I wish them the best no matter where they choose to race. However, you'll also never convince me that the required changes couldn't be done over the winter, or that these changes would stop those same teams from being just as competitive as anybody else out there. I could make the case for why teams might choose to race at Hilltop where the rules are clear, but the choice is up to the race teams of course. It's just plain silly to fight over it at this point. There are much more important things in life, and it's time to move on. Hopefully this be my last comment on this subject.