Strange Oval – Late Model “Racing axles with a twist”

Strange Oval – Late Model “Racing axles with a twist”

Perhaps some of you have seen our write-up specific to the Midwest style open wheel modified’s? The response was quite good so we thought we would address this same topic – specific to late model racing axles. Our main objective is to create a clear separation between the normal late model racing axles available and our Strange Oval “wrap axles”.

Late Model Axles

All the late models racing axles – whether you’re using a crate, steel head, limited or open motor – generally use the exact same diameter for both the left & right side rear axles (1.200” shaft O.D.). If you took the same car and switched from a crate motor to an open motor would that be the only thing you’d change before you hit the track again? Certainly some adjustments would need to be made in order to tune the chassis for the more powerful motor….no?

In addition, nearly 100% of the time your left rear axle is a shorter in overall length than the right rear axle; especially the asphalt cars, which can have over an 8 inch difference between the 2 rear axle lengths, while the dirt cars can range between a 2 and 4 inch rear axle length differential. The bigger the difference between the two rear axle lengths the larger the difference between these 2 axles “twist rate” or spring rate. So for example, using the same diameter rear axles (standard 1.200” O.D.) with a 4 inch length difference (left-to-right) equates to a difference of 15% in the axles spring rate. So considering the asphalt late models often times have an 8” difference in the 2 rear axles; that equates to at least a 30% difference in the 2 rear axle’s spring rate.

So what does this translate to in terms of performance on-track? Well, the power should be equally distributed to the rear wheels on acceleration. When one of your rear axles is 4” to 8” shorter (which remember translates to a different rear axle spring rate) the shorter of the 2 axles will put the power down while the longer axle is still twisting to a degree. This creates an inherent “throttle push” since it’s always the left rear axle which is the shorter axle with the stiffer spring (twist) rate hence, it’s the left rear that will respond a tic before the right rear.

Also, the lower the horsepower the more the standard 1.200” diameter (O.D.) axles are over-kill. The axles will have virtually “no give” or twist because there’s simply not enough torque to twist the 1.200” diameter axle. This makes it very difficult to correctly modulate the throttle on corner exit without breaking traction to both rear wheels. The standard axles are made to a diameter of 1.200” (O.D.) simply so they would not twist – twisting meant they could break.


Strange Oval considered the different type motor’s, which translates to a wide variance in ft. lbs. of torque to the rear wheels, as well as how the different axle lengths contribute to the varying spring rates (torsional twist rate). We look at the tire types and the various track conditions in order to offer axle diameter combinations that range from 1.100 up to 1.200” (axle shaft O.D.) in .015 increments. We always us a smaller left rear axle diameter compared to the right rear axle diameter so, although the LR is the shorter of the 2 axles, it has a lower spring (twist) rate. This equalizes the torque to both wheels and eliminates that inherent “throttle push” we mentioned earlier.

Furthermore, you can “adjust” the axle diameters – by making the LR & RR axle diameters further apart you can make the car a tic loose on corner exit to varying extents. Essentially, axle diameter stagger can compensate for up to an inch (1”) of tire stagger. So, if your currently running 3” of tire stagger you can drop it to 2” and it will still feel like 3” of tire stagger. This is great for racers who are looking to increase your straight-line speed! This offers a means to fine tune the chassis that many may never have considered.

WE WANT THE AXLES TO TWIST – WE MAKE THE AXLES TO TWIST – the more the axles can safely twist, the less likely the tires are to break traction. This noticeably improves forward drive. The proper axle diameter combination provides the driver with a smoother and more manageable on-throttle corner exit and “bite” off corner. We can mate the LR & RR axle diameters (O.D.) to respond (twist) at the same rate OR use combinations that can achieve varying levels of “loose” as mentioned earlier.

We fully intend for our axles to twist……..and twist a lot. A typical Strange Oval Wrap Axle can twist up to 80° without ever approaching failure……Why? Today alloys are sooo much better; heat-treating & manufacturing processes have been refined and racing has simply evolved. Are you running the same shocks you did 10 years ago? Heck, on some tracks a crate motor can out-perform the bigger motors. The mind-set of “bigger is better” doesn’t apply anymore. At Strange we know about racing evolution and keeping pace with it; we’ve been making axles for 50 years, longer than any active racing axle manufacturer in the U.S.

Now, if there is anything here you have questions about or want to understand better, you can visit our website in the area of Late Model Racing Parts & Racing Axles: .

If you’re looking for some ideas as to the various axle diameters we recommend for the Late Models you can find them here: . Just pick whether it’s for a Dirt or Asphalt Late Model from there.

Want more info? – Give us a call on our toll-free line at 800-653-1099.