So You Want To Go Stock Car Racing
By Michael Leone (c)
You've been to the races and you're thinking "I could do that!". Here are a few practical tips for someone who wants to get started in circle track stock car racing.
1. Understand the budget- Racing will cost everything you earn and all you can borrow! I kid a little, but not very much. Once the racing bug bites you'll be spending big money, probably for a long time to come. The obvious costs are tire, gas and wear on the engine (and crash repair). Remember the hidden costs that add up like: hauler gas, pit fees, food for the day, NASCAR license, helmet, fire suit, tools, trailers, etc. Start in the lowest division that you can, one that costs half of what you think you can afford. It's easy to move up a division, pride keeps most people from moving down if they are in over their head.
2. Buy a front running used car- Trust me when I tell you that you will spend twice as much to build a car than you think, and you will spend three times more than you could have spent to buy a good running car. You will get nickeled and dimed to death when building a new car. Every new car has a period of "working out the bugs", which will put you out of practices and maybe races. Seat time is the most important thing when you are starting out. Buy the car right after the race, don't let the guy bring it home and take his goodies out of it.
3. Mechanical troubles that everyone has when they start out- It's predictable, the new guy shows up on the track for the first time and overheats in the first practice. He spends the rest of the day trying to figure out how to fix it, ends up loosing every practice session available to him. He starts at the rear of the field and drops out after 5 laps. Once he gets that solved and gets up to speed he starts throwing power steering belt off, which knocks him out of even more practices and races. Nothing is more important than seat time and nothing sucks more than scrambling under a hot hood trying to get the car fixed for the next practice session.
4. Have the car 100% ready before you leave the garage- You should be able to roll your car off the trailer and onto the track. Time is limited at the track and you want to concentrate your efforts on turning laps and tuning the handling of the car.
5. Have good help- racing is way to hard to do yourself. Get your friends involved, the kid next door, students from the trade school, anyone. Put an ad in the paper for help wanted. There are lots of people out there who would love to be involved, they just don't know where to start. Maybe offer to pay their pit fee and feed them some sandwiches, it would be the best money you spend all weekend.
More Stock Car Tips: http://racingsecrets.com/street_stock_racing.shtml