Left Rear Spacing-The Great Debate



  By “The Snowman” Wes Snow

This will be the first of what I hope are many technical articles from author Wes Snow, affectionately known as the “Snowman”.  Wes races in the Unlimited All Star series and has kindly offered to share his wealth of knowledge with racers of all experiences.  He does not claim to be a “Know it all”, nor does he expect everyone to agree, but the NW RaceReport where much of his information will be shared on believes that his knowledge will help to make you more competitive.  Everyone has their opinion and not only do we respect that, we promote and encourage racers to think and design a racing routine that works for them, a solid understanding and consistent routine are key to being consistently competitive.  Thanks to the “Snowman” for being one of the NW RaceReport’s technical authors and hope ALL racers will stop here often to pick up tips and tricks that are here to make them more competitive.  Please comment at the end of the article, and like it for us, it’s what keeps us going, Enjoy!  Terry Bridges-NWRR

Left Rear Spacing…. Why do you get 10 different answers if you ask what moving the LR tire out does?  There has been a lot of talk on the internet lately asking this question, with everyone seeming to disagree.  My goal is to shed a little light on what’s occurring when the LR tire is moved out.  Let’s break this down.  Here are 3 simple things that are occurring when moving the LR out:

 1. Moving the left rear (LR) out changes cross weight.  It adds then reduces cross depending on where you start from, and there is a point of no return.  Always scale your kart to see what changed, after making a adjustment.  Don’t go off of what “so and so” told you it would do to your cross, YOU need to check it.  Adding cross generally tightens the kart and reducing cross generally loosens the kart, so changing LR spacing can and will have an effect on your cross adjustments.


2. Moving the LR out changes how quick weight transfer unloads and loads.  Think of the axle as a stick that the wheel is connected to.  The further out you move the LR the quicker the stick will raise it off the ground upon corner entry, also the quicker it will set it down on corner exit.  If your kart is tight in and loose off, try sliding your LR out.  It will unload the LR quicker on entry allowing the kart to turn in better, and load it back quicker on exit,  tightening the kart.

3. Moving the LR out is like reducing rear stagger.  Think of a solo cup.  Put it on its side and roll it.  It turns an arc.  Now think of the cup as being taller or longer.  It now rolls an arc, but not as sharp or tight due to spreading the big end out from the small end.

 A great starting place is spacing the wheel 1″ inch from the frame.  Most karts are set up from the factory to accept this spacing as a good starting point.  Personally start at 1″ most of the time.  Is there a magic place?  No!  Your track conditions, set up, and driving style will decide your best place, being different from mine on any given day.  The 1″ is just a good place to start.  Moving the LR is a great tuning tool if you know what is occurring, just make sure if you’re just starting out, to accurately mark or measure what your changes are and document them, along with the effect it had on your kart and situation. 

Next week we will talk about RR, RF, and LF wheel spacing. In in the future we will come back and get a little more in-depth with LR spacing, & things like how VCG (vertical center of gravity) and RFC (right front camber) can affect it.
Please tune in weekly for more tuning tips.  I hope this was helpful, or at least prompts some thinking.  Please drop me a line and let me know what you think about this article.  If there is anything you would like help with, send the question to the “Snowman” and I will do my best to answer it for you. Until next time, I’m the “Snowman” Wes Snow see you next week.

“Support the Sport”… What it REALLY means…

It goes without saying…there are things in life whether you ask, like, want, or not that “just are”. Choosing to compete in Motorsports is no different there are responsibilities and duties that inherently “come with the territory”.  Hopefully your choice to compete in Motorsports was one from a passionate liking of the necessary work activities required to be successful…that choice also comes with the inherent responsibility of becoming a representative of the sport by default. So in all actuality “Support the Sport” should really read “Represent the sport” for those competing and “Support the sport” for those who are not, such as race fans. The “Just Are’s” meant here are ones to often forgotten from the loss of perspective while competing…It’s easy to forget that all actions and choices made affect more than just the one who made the choice and that no matter what a person is doing, they are always representing something.  “Actions speak louder than words”…words can destroy by themselves so imagine the absolute power that actions have, yet most thinking is done with hindsight.

Support the sport, Represent the sport…that’s not important, what’s important is the way YOU represent yourself, competitors, sponsors, fans, and the sport.  Do that properly and the sport grows, do it improperly and it declines…If it could just be understood that there is more than enough “Whatever it is” to go around and that representing yourself, sponsors, competitors, and the sport selfishly actually supplies less of what is sought!…Represent yourself, the sport, and all your networking’s with an attitude of gratitude and sincerity, and watch things start falling into place…Here are the “Just Are & Just Do Them” things inherited when becoming a racer.


1. You’re a racer, your job is to race…done with the proper focus and precision there is no time for much else, if there is it’s not being done properly.

2. REAL racers want to beat their competitors when they are at their BEST…so do what you can to help them be just that (Meaning in times of trouble or urgent need, not do their homework)

3. Racers no matter how bad, ugly, stupid or unbelievable something may seem of a competitors find something positive and let them know it, if you can’t then keep your thoughts to yourself. Remember, everybody starts somewhere, understands or learns differently, and makes mistakes

4. Racers race they don’t officiate or race direct, and as a racer if you think that all calls are going to go your way, not be missed or other non-pleasing situations will not occur, you should probably find something else to do, the other option is to DEAL WITH IT, don’t waste time moaning and groaning spend that time calculating how to overcome or better your situation. (NOTE: It won’t be any different at any other track, things get missed and things happen and it will occur again, you don’t win every race they don’t get every call..otherwise quit racing and try officiating guaranteed it’s harder than YOU think it is.)


6. Racers if they must speak up understand that there is a right and wrong time and place to express concerns and when expressing do so in a respectful and tactful manner understanding that everyone has a job to do.

7. Racers keep things in perspective…5 years from now or even a year will it really matter?…If it will, then they understand that THEY are the problem. Racers are grateful that they have the opportunity to be able to do something they are passionate about and realize how lucky they are that they HAVE and CAN make a choice..and could always be worse.

8. Racers know that they are either part of the solution or the problem, that you can disagree without being disagreeable, and realize that to aim for perfection is the goal, but nobody or no thing is perfect…including them.

9. Racers understand that “REAL racers speak because they have something to say…Fools do because they think they have to say something.”


Your always representing something, the actions you choose always have an effect on more than just yourself, so before you say something at an event, THINK!  Is it true, helpful, inspirational, necessary and kind?  If so rip it….If not zip it……So get to Respectin’ and Representin’ your chosen style…Racers lead, they don’t follow!


R- respects his fellow competitor, and races him the same way.

A- Is an Ambassador for the sport and Represents it with integrity

C– Is Cool, Calm, Collected, and Caring

E– Educates and Encourages others

R– races with perspective

If Your Race Results Suck, Check These 5 Things…

if your race results suck

In Motorsports it doesn’t matter whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a total “Green Horn” newbie to get the good consistent results or repair results that have deteriorated over time, checking these five things and committing to doing them faithfully is the difference between consistently good results or results that suck consistently.  Continue reading

ProSoundAudioServices Debuts Motorsports Excellence “PaceSetter Profile”

The NW RaceReport is pleased to announce that each month we will be recognizing passionate young racing enthusiasts for their outstanding achievements and contributions with our Motorsports Excellence “PaceSetter Profile”. It will be a way for aspiring young racers and their teams, to get the recognition they deserve and a way for race fans to meet, and find out more about their favorite drivers. Our inaugural profile, we are pleased to announce, is “Racin” Mason Smark from McMinnville, OR. Congrats to Mason and his entire Smark Family Racing team. Home club for the team, is the Portland Karting Association.


Name: “Racin” Mason Smark

AGE:   8


HOME:  McMinnville, OR

TEAM:  Smark Family Racing

YEARS RACING:  2   FAVORITE DRIVER:  Lewis Hamilton    FAVORITE TRACK:  McMinnville Raceway Park   LEAST FAVORITE:   Jackson County Medford, OR  FAVORITE FOOD:  Hot Dogs   FAVORITE SHOW:  Modern Marvels  SPONSOR:  DAVIDSON NAPA AUTO PARTS  DRIVING COACH:  Chris Hatch-Blackstar Motorsports  CHASSIS/#: #7 Swiss Hutless ENGINE BUILDER: Tim Lawrence-Lawrence Racing Engines  CREW: Paul Smark- Dad, Jennifer Smark-Mom, “Factory” Pat Munyon

Mason Smark, a young, up and coming racer from McMinnville, Oregon, is working hard at becoming one of the future stars in motor sports. With just over a years worth of experience under his belt, Smark has shown a marked improvement. The 2013 season was Mason Smarks first season in the Kid Kart division. It wasn’t long before it was apparent that he was going to need more of a challenge as he was starting to dominate the division consistently. Smark family Racing made the decision to make the move up to the Junior 1 division which is home to some of the finest junior drivers in the northwest, with many of them older and more experienced. October of 2013 was Smarks official Junior 1 debut, and his expectations were simple…”Don’t get lapped.” Smark accomplished his goal and then some as he finished third, well behind the leaders, but on the lead lap.

It was a bittersweet debut for Smark who pleased with his on the lead lap third place finish, but wasn’t thrilled that his pace was not that of the leaders, and knew he didn’t want to run that far off the pace for an entire season. So Smark, during the time most take off for some well needed R & R, spent his winter months behind the wheel, putting in all the laps he could at his home track McMinnville Raceway Park, and even ran some indoor oval track dirt events just so he could continue to stay behind the wheel…Smark fared well on the dirt bringing home a win and a runner up finish. After school and on the weekends, Smark was an ornament at the track putting in lap after lap preparing for his rookie debut in March with the NW Gold Cup Series, a regional traveling series that hits three different states and Canada. The start of the 2014 season was tough for the Smark Family Racing team breaking two rear axles in consecutive months. It would be just a minor set back for the up and coming pacesetter, because in his next nine races, Smark recorded a second, a third and seven fourth place finishes…Not bad for a driver who’s goal at the start of the season was to run mid pack consistently by season’s end. By mid-season Smark had far surpassed his goal and was as threat to win in every event he entered from mid-season on.

What started off a little rough, ended what could only be called a stellar rookie season. Mason Smark ended up runner up in the NW Gold Cup Regional point standings with two top three finishes at two of the biggest regional events in the series, a second in Tri-Cites, Washington and a third at his home track in McMinnville, Oregon. He finished third in the Oregon State Karting Championship Series point standings in Junior 1 with his shot at the title coming down to the final race of the season.. Mason Smark is a passionate, hard working young racer both on and off the track and looks to be on his way to a very successful racing career if he chooses to stick with it…and has all the makings of a quality champion… making him ProSoundAudioServices inaugural Motorsports Excellence “PaceSetter Profile”