Everything You Wanted to Know About NASA's American Iron Racing Series

The roar of a V8 at full throttle is irresistible, and it’s what gives the American Iron series so much of its character. The series enjoys a virtually unlimited supply of donor cars because it is open to any American-made sedan or coupe from 1960 forward, and the power-to-weight ratios keep things simple. Sandwiched between the wide-open rules structure of American Iron Extreme and the more limited Spec Iron series, American Iron provides racers a lot of room for creativity when building a car, and provides close competition on track. “Those older cars with the right driver can be just as competitive as the newer cars,” said Rob Capetz, series leader for the Southern California Region. “That’s the beauty of the power-to-weight ratio.”

The American Iron series was created to meet the needs of domestic sedan racers looking for a series specifically tailored to accommodate modified vehicles that are currently relegated to racing in Unlimited or Spec-limited series. This series is designed to field a large high-profile group of American muscle cars and will unify fields of cars that currently race in other sanctioning organizations. With this in mind, a variety of other sanctioning organization formats (such as standing starts and flying starts) may be employed during the regional racing season and at the National Championship. This large field/open modification concept will provide racers and vendors access to a promotional racing venue containing similarly prepared and appearing cars that can run nearly unlimited configurations.

All 1960 through present, American-made sedan vehicles/body styles certified by the United States Department of Transportation for street use at their date of manufacture. OEM and aftermarket “Body in White” type vehicle shells are allowed provided the body style is the same as original DOT manufacture.
  • 2010 Camaro SS $12,000 to $18,000
  • 2005-2009 Ford Mustang GT $4,000 to $10,000
  • SN95 Mustang $4,000 to $6,500
  • Fourth-generation GM F Body $2,500 to $8,000
American Iron runs on a power-to-weight-ratio formula: 8.5:1 without ABS 9.0:1 with OEM ABS 9.5:1 for 2005-plus Ford ABS.
Minimum weight is 2900 pounds with driver.
Primary fuels permitted are any grade commercially available unmodified gasoline or ethanol blends such as E85. Secondary fuels such as alcohol or methanol injection are not allowed.
$20,000 to $50,000
  • Replacing windshield with Lexan
  • Single- or double-adjustable coil-over suspension
  • SLA front suspension available to replace McPherson struts
  • Aftermarket brakes
  • Aerodynamics such as a G Stream rear wing, front splitter and Race Louver hood vents
Average cost to run a weekend — $2,200 to $2,800

Tires, size, brand and prices
Toyo Proxes RR 275 35ZR 18 $306
Toyo Proxes RA1 275 35ZR 18 $301

Brakes, brands and prices
Front, with stock calipers; Hawk DTC 70 $235
Rear, with stock calipers; Hawk DTC 60, $195

Check the NASA Contingencies page for the latest programs.
Yes. Ford Performance.
  • Fun to drive and fun to race V8-powered cars
  • Affordable parts
  • Class is growing nationwide
  • Large Championships fields
Modifications list can be extensive, thus expensive
  • Factory IRS is permitted. Updating of the 1979-2004 live axle Mustangs to the 1999-2004 factory IRS is allowed.
  • Minimum ride height is five (5) inches to be measured with driver.
  • Lexan or polycarbonate material may replace windshield, rear glass and side windows provided it is installed in accordance with the NASA CCR.
  • Venting, louvers, ducting, etc is permitted anywhere on the car.
  • Front aerodynamic devices are limited to a splitter, air dam, and a maximum of four front dive planes/canards and shall not extend frontward more than 5” beyond the outline of the OEM stock bumper/cover and shall not extend sideways more than 1.5” on each side beyond the maximum allowed track width. Front aerodynamic devices shall not extend further rearward than the front axle centerline. Front wings are not permitted.
  • Rear aerodynamic devices are limited to a wing, spoiler, diffuser and a maximum of four dive planes/canards and shall not extend rearward more than 1.5” on each side beyond the maximum allowed track width.
  • Brake rotor friction surfaces must be iron with a maximum diameter of 15 inches.
  • American Iron vehicles may not use dry-sump oiling systems.


Questions and Answers to Feed Your Curiosity

American Iron is a road race series that calls to mind the legendary pony car battles of the 1960s where Ford, Chevy and Dodge competed against one another to win stoplight and drive-in bragging rights for their brand of choice.
The American Iron Series consists of three classes: Spec Iron, American Iron and American Iron Extreme. SI offers racers running 2005-2010 Mustang GT’s an affordable “spec” build, with direct support from Ford Performance. The AI class is limited by a power-to-weight ratio and other important factors to keep the cars on an even playing field despite including nearly every pony car that has been produced in the United States since 1960. The AIX class is more “gonzo” with big horsepower, true racing slick tires, and much more liberal build rules that make the cars wide open from the green flag.
The best place to get started is the class rulebooks. Everything you need to know is contained in them.

In the back of each rulebook is a contact list for all series directors. Simply send us an email or give us a call.

This is still up for debate. Typically, lighter, less-horsepower cars work well at tracks with lots of turns and short straights while heavier, higher-horsepower cars work better on tracks with few turns and long straights.
Absolutely, however the Camaro and Challenger are not as popular as the Mustangs.
Friday is usually an optional practice or test day, while Saturday and Sunday normally have a practice, qualifying and race session each day.
Yes, races are run rain or shine.
Yes, we encourage you to come to an event, check out the cars and talk with the racers.


Latest American Iron News Around The Country

  • NASA Announces Ford Performance Contingency Program
    on March 30, 2021

    NASA drivers who race with “the blue oval” now can benefit from a new contingency program from Ford Performance. Spec Iron podium finishers in […]

  • Heavy Traffic and Rain at Daytona
    on November 17, 2020

    Daytona International Speedway is challenging enough, but when you add in traffic and wet conditions, the challenge goes up to 11. NASA Florida […]

  • In it and On it Till the End
    on September 8, 2020

    Restarts can present opportunities, and when they do, it helps to be in a position to capitalize. NASA Mid-Atlantic American Iron racer Bobby Byrd […]

  • Get Back to Where You Once Belonged
    on July 7, 2020

    Starts can be your greatest resource, and a cruel mistress. Back in February at Sebring International Raceway, NASA Florida driver Carmine Pace, who […]

  • Steve Revelette
    on March 3, 2020

    Go to any National Auto Sport Association track event and there is always a story or two about the “Spirit of NASA.” The spirit is going above […]


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