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iRacing Guide: Understanding The Street Stock Series’ & Cars

The definitive guide to understanding the street stock series and cars in iRacing.

Looking to get acquainted with oval racing for the first time but not sure how? The iRacing Street Stock represents the perfect starting point for fledgling oval stars to get a handle on cars similar to the vehicles used in the various NASCAR series. 

The Street Stock is essentially a road-based muscle car tuned to work on a variety of oval race tracks, from large NASCAR Cup venues like Charlotte Motor Speedway to short tracks like Langley Speedway. It’s where you will start your journey and where you will hone your craft as a rookie racer in ovals looking to progress up the ladder.

This article will allow you to work out whether oval racing is right for you, and how best to prepare your driving technique for the switch to the left-handers. 

The Cars

The iRacing Street Stock is one of the closest oval vehicles included in the service to a standard street car. The chassis is taken directly from a road car, though the usual steel bodywork has been replaced by a sturdier and cheaper plastic body. The suspension and engine have also been heavily upgraded to ready it for competition.  

While heavily enhanced, the Street Stock 5.8-liter V8 engine is similar to the ones included in road-going muscle cars. It produces a handy 375 bhp and 360 lb-ft of torque, not as much as some higher-level oval machinery, but easily enough to get you used to tackling the banked curves. 

The Street Stock features very little in the way of aero, so pretty much all grip is generated from the tyres and its mechanical setup. Its 3,400-pound weight figure ensures it is lazier in its movements than many circuit cars you may have already run, so time needs to be given to get on top of this. 

The Rookie and C Class fixtures both run to a fixed setup, so there is little to be changed other than the steering ratio and brake bias, although this in itself can help you a lot. Having a higher steering ratio helps to scrub the front tyres less, making it easier to not overheat them and thus reduce wear during the race while winding brake bias backwards helps to turn the nose into the corner by helping the rear to rotate. 

As of Season 3 2024, things are changing for the trusty racer. iRacing has introduced a pair of new bodies for the car, ensuring fields contain more variety than in the past. The original body iRacers have gotten used to is now known as the Panther C1, with the new ones being christened Casino M2 and Eagle T3. You can read our other guide covering the brand new street stocks here.

What License Is Needed To Race

Being a rookie series, the base Street Stock fixture is accessible to every player on the service. You can therefore jump into any race without gathering experience elsewhere first, though driving standards can be patchy due to the varying experience levels between the drivers you’ll be sharing the track with.

To reach the C Class Street Stocks fixture, you’ll need to make a good run through the Rookie one to first achieve a D Class oval license. From there you’ll need to gain experience running cleanly in championships like ARCA, Late Model Stocks or maybe Modifieds to reach C Level, where you’ll gain access to the higher-rated SS fixture.  

Race Series Format

Rookie Street Stocks

The Rookie Street Stock is run as a single-driver race, with a brief three-minute practice session leading into five-minute qualifying. This grants you two flying laps for each driver to set their best times, which will then decide the grid for the race. The race runs over several laps rather than time, with the total race time taking around 15 minutes. 

Every race will be subject to realistic weather, which can have an effect on the track condition and temperature, which will determine the level of grip out on the track. As oval races don’t take place in the rain, every race in the Street Stock will be held in dry conditions but could be daytime or night which really affects lap time.

  • Races run for around 15 minutes
  • Five-minute qualifying that grants two laps decides the grid position
  • Cautions and Lucky Dog are disabled
  • Each event is set to a realistic weather forecast

C Class Street Stocks

The C Class series runs in a similar format to the Rookie version, with both having the same practice and qualifying format. Both also run to realistic weather conditions and are each fixed setup. This is where the similarities end, as there are a few key differences between the two;

  • C Class races run for around five minutes longer
  • Caution and Lucky Dog rules are enabled
  • Larger roster of tracks, including paid ones

Series Costing

The Rookie Street Stock Series features a calendar made up completely of free tracks, while the Panther Street Stock vehicle is also offered free of charge. This means that having a basic iRacing subscription will provide you with all the content you need to run the full season without any extra expenditure. 

The Street Stock Rookie Series actually has 4 tracks on rotation over the 12-week season, consisting of Charlotte Motor Speedway, Langley Speedway, USA International and Southern National, so you can really get to grips with these 4 tracks and start to build your iRating and Safety ratings whilst not spending a penny.

The C Class Series features a mixture of free, legacy (which are reduced-cost tracks) and paid circuits. The legacy tracks usually cost $4.95 whilst the normal paid tracks are $11.95. All in the C Class series will cost between $60 and $70USD.

What’s So Special?

The Street Stock is ideal for drivers new to oval racing, or for drivers moving over from road racing, as its slower and lazier movements allow more time for the car to be gathered up should it become unsettled. Its softer suspension setup compared to higher-end oval vehicles also helps in this area, as it won’t be thrown off course by bumps on the track or from other drivers so easily. 

As the lesser-powered and heavy Street Stock doesn’t accelerate as fast as other oval vehicles, carrying momentum is key to achieving good lap times. Being smooth on the throttle is key to this, as you don’t want to be lifting at the same time your rivals are accelerating on the corner exit.

Dealing with backmarkers effectively can be key to winning and losing too, as wasting too much time behind a slower car will allow your rivals to catch up. Being decisive but clean is key when dealing with slower traffic, a tactic that is best practised in one of iRacing’s official practice sessions. You can then make mistakes and learn the limit of the car before putting you’re safety rating, or pride, on the line. 

Does Looking After Tyres Matter In Street Stocks

As is similar in most racing series, be it road course racing or ovals, saving your tyres effectively across the race distance can help you to continue going forward on the run to the chequered flag. The shorter format of Street Stocks generally means conserving rubber isn’t quite as important as in some of the faster machinery, though it can still help in the C class series. 

The rears tend to be the weaker point, especially as it can be tough to get the power down due to the inferior tyres used compared to higher-ranked fixtures. Being smooth on the power is key here to prevent spinning them up, which overheats them and causes them to wear faster. The hotter they are, the easier it is to lose traction, so spending a lap or two being extra vigilant and cooling them down is important to prevent the situation from spiralling out of control.  

  • Getting used to the weight transfer of the Street Stock in practice will help to understand how to control the car smoothly during the race to conserve your tyres
  • Smooth throttle and steering will take unnecessary force off rear tyres, helping to protect rubber across the race
  • Focus on having fun, rather than on purely scoring results at first; speed and smoothness will come naturally with experience 
  • Only four tracks make up the 2024 Season 2 Rookie schedule, allowing multiple chances to improve at each venue across the season to help learn the car and race format

To Conclude

The Street Stock is the ideal platform to learn the basics of oval racing. The slower and lazier Street Stock allows racers to find the limit in a safe and controllable manner, while also being quick enough to catch you out if not paying attention. Being able to apply the patience and smoothness needed to succeed here will be valuable as you move up the oval ladder. 

Just remember, having fun is the key early on. Making continual progress is the main target, and this can only be achieved with seat time and persistence. If you are just starting out, focusing on your safety rating is key to getting out of rookies, so it’s not about winning every race but finishing cleanly.

If you need to know how to get out of the Rookie Street Stocks fast, look no further than our extensive guide right here, which goes into depth on how to get out of rookies, with video guides of all the tracks involved in the Street Stock season.

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