How FOX Is Winning The Circle Track Suspension Game

Image: Josh James

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Faster Lap Times With FOX

Any manufacturer interested in motorsports racing has an address along Gasoline Alley in Mooresville, North Carolina to solidify its dedication to competition, and FOX is there. For decades, circle track racing has been one of the most accessible sports in the United States. With more than 40 years of podium celebrations in motocross, snow, desert racing and mountain bike, FOX Factory entered the circle track shock-making arena in 2014, racking up 5,000 main event feature victories in eight years.

Circle track racing is extremely popular In the Midwest and South Atlantic region, with the ability to race three to four nights a week during the season. Super DIRTcar Modifieds are one of the premier racing vehicles in North America, and the only major race car type running big block engines of up to 467 cubic inches displacement. Minimum weight for these cars is 2,500 lbs. with 650 to 800 horsepower, topping at 160 mph. With all this power, the right suspension and tune can make or break getting on the podium.

Dan Ebert is FOX’s Circle Track Segment Manager with an impressive racing and tuning pedigree, making him ideally suited to advance the suspension needs of FOX Factory drivers like Nick Hoffman and Erik Rudolph. In 16 years Ebert compiled over 200 wins on multiple tracks and series championships. He understands how grass roots racing works: starting on the lowest rung and making your way to the top takes patience, hard work and persistence.

FOX’s Circle Track Segment Manager Dan Ebert has taken his fair share of big checks and podium spots.

“The constant evolution of speed and technology is the allure and appeal of circle track racing for drivers and fans,” Ebert explained. “Race cars are so incredibly advanced when it comes to engines, chassis, suspension and track conditions; just because you were fast one week/day/race doesn’t mean you will be the next. The ‘never sit still’ approach and constant need to develop and stay ahead is what drivers and fans live on.” 

Ebert and his crew provide track side tuning support at various races throughout the year, as well as test sessions where they meet with different drivers and teams to help tune their shock absorbers.

“This is one puzzle piece of many on a winning racing program,” he added.

Superior in adjustability, 2.0 Aluminum Reservoir shocks offer the unrivaled performance and technology FOX is known for.

The 2.0 RC1 and RC2 shocks provide remarkable versatility and precise tuning to ensure maximum traction and the fastest lap times in the slickest conditions at any track. To conquer constantly changing track conditions and multiple track setups, each is also equipped with a Low Speed Rebound shaft for on-the-fly, precise rebound tuning.

With FOX’s proven track record and vision, its engineers have taken piston design, body thread design, coil-over hardware, low-friction seal technology and large gas chambers with base valve options to ensure every FOX circle track shock is the best in every condition.

Nick Hoffman at the 2021 season opener in Florida. Image: Josh James

“What’s fascinating about racing is constantly getting a report card, every week,” Ebert said. “Track results tell the story. So, being a competitive company, we’re constantly driving development. Most ideas and technology begins with a want or need. We work closely with dealers and racers on what we need to be better or what can make their life easier.”

Read stories behind FOX’s motorsports racing results here.

According to Ebert, FOX’s circle track piston design is strictly for performance.

“Body thread pitch and coil-over hardware was driven by commonality, performance, and easy adjustability,” he added. “The low friction seal packs give drivers more confidence in slick track conditions that are hard to hook up the tires. 

“Depending on the application or corner of the race car, gas psi can be used to tailor driver feel and handling. With this, our base valve design option allows the driver to run low gas psi in the shock on slick conditions to help with feel and grip. This should translate to faster lap times.”

“Racers like to know they have the best and are competing with/against the best,” Ebert explained. “The proof is in the results, and in circle track dirt racing you will find FOX at the top.”

The opener of Florida Speedweeks for the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds at Volusia Raceway Park in early February saw the top 3 finishers in different chassis brands all equipped with FOX 2.0 steel base valve bulb shocks. There were 92 cars that tried to qualify for the 50th running of the DIRTcar Nationals that night in Florida.

Night #1 saw an all-FOX podium with Curt Spalding and Tyler Nicely rounding out the top 3. The night before, Nicely won the first feature with Nick Hoffman winning the second.

The UMP Modified-portion of Florida Speedweeks wrapped up with Hoffman crowned high points champion. Hoffman won three feature races across six days.

For 2021, FOX Factory drivers include Brett Hearn – Big Block Modifieds; Dale McDowellLate Models; Chris FergusonLate Models; Nick Hoffman – UMP Modifieds and Erik Rudolph – Big Block Modifieds


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