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Author Topic:   Would like to start racing....
bmir73
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 34
posted January 10, 2004 09:15 PM  
but I dont know where to start. I would like to run something low cost if possible. I also have no race experience, so I need ideas on what I can and can't use. I thank anyone willing to comment.

racer17j
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted January 10, 2004 10:11 PM  
I agree with 17.Except for the 2 years bit,dont get me wrong if ya got that kinda pateince it will pay off.But if you dont I would at least find some freinds in the pits and watch,get hands on and make good friends at the track.Most racers will help a person get in to this madding way of life.lol The last part I have to say is friends,friends,and friends!!!!!!Gotta have em'And if your married hope she likes it and you after the season is over.lol I hear those front wheel drive classes are a good way to start if they race those somewhere near you. good luck and above all have fun!!

racerguy500
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 168
posted January 11, 2004 07:19 PM  
I would suggest you check your local track for rules and divisions. Then find something used that is somewhat competetive. The rules will dictate what kind of car you might run and what will work the best. And forget the pit for a couple years, get something and go race, it will all be a learning deal so let it develop. don't press it right off and you will get better each week. This ain't NASCAR racer17j, just use your head and have fun, thta is what it is all about. Good luck and hope to be able to help you out too.

wizzard
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 306
posted January 11, 2004 07:35 PM  
thats it go help a freind in the pits.thats what i did helped build a couple cars for my freind then he just give me one of his old cars said it was bout time i got out there

hobby62
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 58
posted January 11, 2004 08:50 PM  
My suggestion is if there is a 2-man cruiser class near by, I would start there. I ran one with my brother for two years, and I learned alot of good and bad about the sport. Another reason is you have someone to share the cost, and it increases the learning curve. Two heads are better than one. Also they are pretty limited on what you can do, so you can take a stock car and a good motor, and do pretty well. Its nice to have a basic knowledge to work off of before you have to worry about stagger,tires, weightjacks, and so on ... Good luck, and dont let it be a buisness, have fun. Lastley, I agree with sideways, some of the most helpful advise came from some of the stock car, and mod guys that parked next to me. It is real easy to get rapped up in what the other guys doing, so do your own thing. I have seen guys so rapped up in how everyones cheating, that they miss what there doing wrong. My favorite quote I have heard came from Jeff Burton. He said He races people the way they race him.

nwdirtmod2
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 68
posted January 11, 2004 10:15 PM  
I wouldn't rush out a buy a car. Start with pitting for someone. They may let you drive there car. That way you can see if driving is what you really want to do. I have been involved with racing for seven years and have no desire to drive.

zeroracing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1875
posted January 11, 2004 10:36 PM  
we have front wheel drive hobby stocks that claim the car for 500. that would be a good class.
also i agree help somebody for at least one year before you start that way you know what is going on, and you get some good experience.

bigcityracer
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 431
posted January 11, 2004 10:36 PM  
quote:
Originally posted by bmir73:
but I dont know where to start. I would like to run something low cost if possible. I also have no race experience, so I need ideas on what I can and can't use. I thank anyone willing to comment.

Your cost will be about double what you think. Not trying to scare you it's just a fact. You will need a trailer ($1200 used) best bet buy a used racecar ($2500) and misc expences ($400) If that sound reasonable, go for it. If you like racing you will never be sorry. It's worth ever penny I spend on it!!


zeroracing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1875
posted January 11, 2004 10:50 PM  
he is right it is at least double it. and upper levels like mods take what you think one should cost and multiply it by 4 or 5.
raceing is very very expensive. dont get over your head in expense, dont by the newest trick part, keep your car simple to start out, then work with it. i see alot of guys just starting out and they spend all kinds of money on trick parts and not have enough left to get more esential parts.
but like i said earlier try to help a team for a year or so and learn, and i agree go for it you will regret it the rest of your life if you dont, but start out as a pit man. the most important thing in racing is knowlegde so find a good team and get as much as you can.
where are you from there may be a team on here that will offer you some help learning in exchange for some pit help.


And forget the pit for a couple years, get something and go race, it will all be a learning deal so let it develop

that is the worst idea on the planet. if you dont know what your doing then try to learn before you go out. yeah maybe not a couple of years but i would recomend at least a year. your learning curve will be much shorter if you help a good team and learn, yeah you may have to wait a year or two to race but you will cut many years off your learning curve. also you may find that you like just hanging out, working on cars, and drinking more. i know alot of guys that prefer that much more, you dont have to spend all the money, and still get some fun.
but either way pit some so you know whats going on.

robhbk24
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 372
posted January 12, 2004 03:41 PM  
if you do buy a car your number 1 priorty is saftey make sure you go above and beyond what is required. i have had the chance to test my equipment on a few occassions and prob wouldnt be here if not for buying everything first class. helmet gloves shoes nomex suit belts and neck collar should be the minimum. 32 thing is maintenece most a lot of races are won by properly preparing your car on a weekly basis. we drastically improved our finishes the second half of this year just by making a couple of copys of the mantence sheet on here and sticking too it.i finshed top ten in every race but two after the first week of july. one week i ended upside down while in 6th the other was our championship race i was in 10th and got spun on the last lap.

racer17j
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted January 12, 2004 04:12 PM  
I would like to thank everyone for the advice. No BS, I really appreciate it.

Eljojo
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 968
posted January 12, 2004 06:12 PM  
Call the track you plan to race at. Tell them you want to go racing and don't know where to start. Ask them if they know an entry level driver who might need some help and might help you to learn.
One of the best friends I have in this world was introduced by a machinist friend of mine. He told me that there were a couple guys who lived near me that were just starting out and needed a few pointers. I called them up and asked if they wanted to come by the shop..the rest is history.
Have fun---and don't take it too seriously! Nascar doesn't send out talent scouts......so get that notion out of your head.

dirtrace
unregistered Total posts: 968
posted January 12, 2004 07:56 PM           send a private message to Eljojo   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/QuoteBBBBBB
geez, maybe I did it wrong, I got 1st,3rd,2nd,1st,1st,1st in that order in my first races of my life.

I got a chiltons manual, circle track magazine subscription,and walked the pits looking at cars very closely, then bought a caged car, that was rough and bare for 300.00.

I was in my car 2700 first race running a balanced 327, and a 500 cfm 2 barrel against 650 dps. I couldnt afford the 650 dp. I built the 327 because I had drag raced. There were B mains in the hobby class when I started. By mid season I was racing in hobby and street stock mains, until it was outlawed.

I had 6 new race tires, 6 new truck wheels, and a lot of time in my car. I towed to the track with a tow dolly that my car would fall off on 2 sharp corners on the way there and back every time.
I tried to pit and help guys but they didnt really need a hand it apppeared so I just looked around in the pits for a couple races. Thats it, because I needed the money to put into my RACE Car not watch other people do what I wanted to do.


zeroracing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1875
posted January 12, 2004 08:11 PM  
if you look around alot most teams will be happy to get help.
you got lucky and did a great job on your car to finish so well but most places the comp is so high that is not very likely for most. and chances are most people will not have that much luck.
i dont like to see people just go out and buy a car then learn it tears up alot and gets alot of people on your bad side. i have been taken out alot by somebody that just bought a car and is still learning.
"i am new at this sorry" or "i cant get my car to do that" is a pretty poor excuse to hear all the time.

dirtrace
unregistered Total posts: 1875
posted January 12, 2004 08:54 PM           send a private message to zeroracing   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/QuoteBBBBBB
zero, why do you need to argue every thing on here??

You gave the guy your opinion above, I gave mine. thats it isnt it?

Ive had 6 pit guys all drive my car, on the same day. 2 were very very fast on their first lap ever, the other 4 could pit for me till the sun didnt rise and they would be no better.

They just plain dont have it!!


zoomy#74
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 34
posted January 12, 2004 10:00 PM  
I would definately suggest going to the pits and helping a team. Also If a they have a compact car enduro class they are usually cheap to get in to. One track I saw them at had the top 3 finishers stop on the front strech and basically the 1st place car could be bought by the other two or someone from the croud for $400. If it sold then they did the same for the 2nd and 3rd place cars. This really helps to keep the cost down. Also, they would stop the race sometimes and the croud would vote to race the opposite way or not. This discurages a lot of time in set-ups. It is meant as a extreme entry level car to gain experience being on the track with other cars, paying attention to the flags, etc. without having to worry about set-ups and big motors. I realize that bombers are supposed to be entry level, but I have seen lots of people getting away with big motors, racing springs and shocks, etc. With the compacts I have a friend that buys a $50 car, does some work to make it safe, plays with the tires a little and wins races. He let me drive one of his spare cars a year ago and it was a blast until someone spun me off of turn two and whacked the front end. Just a hint the mazda 323 is a very good handling car that will do what you want it to. Just My $0.50

bmir73
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 34
posted January 13, 2004 09:16 AM  
Great comments! I thank everyone who has wrote in. I have printed everything that you all have said! Special thks to Bigcityracer for the websites.

chevelle
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 71
posted January 13, 2004 04:17 PM  
My two cents worth is take a year or two and pit for someone, but don't take too long. I signed up to race over ten years ago, the next day totaled my car(on the street)was layed up for 3 months then never raced. Now I have decided to try it, I really regret not jumping in ten years ago.

Scott1975
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 9
posted January 14, 2004 07:04 AM  
What ever you do,buy your first car already set up. I know this from experence , to build a competitive car from nothing cost alot of money even in a bomber class especially when you have to buy parts twice. Also find the beginners class of racing, I started off in street stocks and it is very hard to be competitive in a class where experience plays a key role in winning. If you are married I hope she likes it to, If not you'll probably be going to the track by yourself within the first season. Most people that race including myself will help other racers out at the track, to an extent. But racing is racing and you can't be offended when someone does not give out certain information. Other than that just have fun!

Scott1975
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 9
posted January 14, 2004 07:05 AM  
What ever you do,buy your first car already set up. I know this from experence , to build a competitive car from nothing cost alot of money even in a bomber class especially when you have to buy parts twice. Also find the beginners class of racing, I started off in street stocks and it is very hard to be competitive in a class where experience plays a key role in winning. If you are married I hope she likes it to, If not you'll probably be going to the track by yourself within the first season. Most people that race including myself will help other racers out at the track, to an extent. But racing is racing and you can't be offended when someone does not give out certain information. Other than that just have fun!

24s52
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 122
posted January 14, 2004 08:08 AM  
The first thing I ever did was help hold the hood to get it bolted on then I got in and gassed that cruiser car. Won my first race ever! Talk about getting hooked. Then after that car blew up I helped ever so little build our new one. The more the season went on the more I got my hands dirty. 5 wins that first year. 2 years later I'm track champ and building cruisers all by myself. Now I'm moving to enduro and once again asking for help. Each class is different and as you move up you need more time, $$$, and knowledge. I personally like the hands on experience I had because I didn't act like I knew what was going on all the time. A lot of questions and patient friends got me here and will keep me going. Just my experience.

gahainsey
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 113
posted January 15, 2004 05:30 AM  
Buy Steve Smith's Street Stock Chassis Technology Book. That is what I used to get started. It is impossible to trouble shoot a handling problem if you do not understand the basic theories of race car handling. The book also has good tips on brakes, roll cages and more.

supwitchew
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 122
posted January 15, 2004 06:22 AM  
I agree. I got that book before I started racing last year. It helped a lot.

bmir73
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 34
posted January 16, 2004 10:42 AM  
Thanks again folks for all the ideas! Keep them coming....I can use all the help I can get!

zeroracing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1875
posted January 16, 2004 11:00 AM  
watch reading some books, some information is not correct. if you have some extra money the best thing is to go to a mark bush chassis school. www.rasewise.net they are great.

racerguy500
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 168
posted January 16, 2004 07:24 PM  
Just so I can understand better how long do you have to change a tire before you know how to drive? When it comes to turning the wheel and hitting the throttle you have to learn it when you do it. The same people that race with no abandon will race that way regardless of time in the pits. That is part of the game. Use your head and learn with respect to your fellow competitors. And as said earlier, do take all of the safety measures you can. Get the feel is all you can do. Can't learn that in the stands or in the pits. I guess I am just not sure how you learn all that just by being on the other side of the fence.

zeroracing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1875
posted January 16, 2004 08:08 PM  
helping out around the track give you knowledge on how to set up a car, how to adjust a car. that stuff maybe learned by just going out a driving but it will take a while. without good base for knowledge you will never get fast. i dont care if "you got it" or not, got it does not mean much if your car will not do it. i dont care how good of driver you are if you have your car set up wrong then it will not do somethings, you can not bend or break the laws of physics.
but whichever you do i hate to sound repetitave but saftey saftey saftey, i see alot of cheaply built cages for guys just starting out and well a smart person would not drive them to the staging lanes let alone to the track.
if you do go and drive dont run into people, drive with your head, and try to talk to as many people as you can and get some knowledge.
if you dont know whats going on then your car will not be very fast so learn alot.
at our track there are alot of guys that "got it" and they know very little about set ups and they always put on a good show and tear up alot and make some people mad.

24s52
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 122
posted January 16, 2004 08:49 PM  
A driver that "has it" can make up for a car that doesn't have it. But a car that "has it" won't make up for a driver that doesn't have it. I agree, however, that you must respect those around you. Just starting out can be very exciting, but don't ever be afraid to lift and let that more experienced racer lead you through the track. Once you and they learn how each other drives then everyone will be safer and more competitive. And the pits will be a lot more fun instead of a battlefield. Don't be shy to go over to that guy you slid into and apologize. He might be mad but as long as you try to race instead of demo everyone will see that. Racing isn't just gas and go. Knowledge of the car and it's setup will translate into knowing what you can and can't do on the track. And of course...SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY!

racer17j
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted January 16, 2004 08:53 PM  
we went and pulled a car out of a pasture put a fresh 302 in it roll cage ect. and hit the track. of course we had a lot of help from a late model team such as scales tires and a lot of knowledge. supprised everyone the first night out even ourself. GOD BLESS and be safe...

bmir73
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 34
posted January 20, 2004 02:18 PM  
Thanks again for all the advice! I really appreciate it. bmir73

joinme34
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 33
posted February 02, 2004 03:34 PM  
bmir73, we're in similar positions. I couldn't resist the urge to try my hand at racing any longer. I've had a desire to do so since I was a kid. Probably will be the only 39 year old rookie at the track. Waited way too long but better late than never. I purchased a street stock (entry level at our track) that led the points most of the year and finished 2nd. Purchased complete. Probably spent a little more than would be average but the previous owner who raced for 36 years has been very helpful with information and advice. The car is set up for the track it will be running on and is mechanically sound. He's also provided the set-up information and all the mechanical specs of the engine and so on which if your just shopping around are tough for a newbie to grasp. Our biggest project of the winter is cosmetic, putting on a new body. My biggest concern is to not jeopardize any other racer or their equipment while I learn, but I can't think of any other way to gain that experience. And I am blessed by a wife that not only supports it but basically made the car purchase and said, "your going racing". We'll see what she says by the end of this year??

chevelle
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 71
posted February 06, 2004 10:38 AM  
Spend a year or two in the pits, then get in an entry level class. There are some things you just can't learn from being in the pits. As far as those that complain because a new driver hits them, maybe they should get out of the "ENTRY" level class. Because an entry level class is there as a starting point, to learn. I don't know how many times I've seen guys race the entry level class for years, or drivers that have driven everything under the sun go to an entry level class.

zeroracing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1875
posted February 06, 2004 11:09 AM  
what i dont care for is some guys use modifieds as entry level. i see alot of stuff torn up because of that.
i just about destoryed a car one night passing a lap car that the guy was just starting in. he turned real hard all ofa sudden and we hit my rf to his lr and i took his roof off. and landed drivers door to drivers door before we got done.

joetaylor
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 640
posted February 09, 2004 05:06 PM  
I have read all of the posts and am impressed with most of it I started out doing figure 8 races/demos if any thing it taught me how to drive a loose car it was watered down clay / mud you had to steer with throttle but I did learn the hard way their is no short cut when it comes to safty. I took a year off and helped my brother with his SS I could watch his car and tell what he needed to change / loose/ tight you have the idea at same time started building my own car first night out won my first heat race the car was perfect made one change and no one had to tell me what to do felt real good...

My brother still askes my what the car is doing and what can we do to change it real good fealing almost as good as racing lol

------------------
U LIFT U LOOSE

bmir73
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 34
posted February 09, 2004 11:20 PM  
This seems to be one topic that may never die. Thanks again to all above who took time to offer a little help to a rookie. Keep'em coming!

towmandan
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 370
posted February 10, 2004 07:07 AM  
Ive been dirt racing for 13yrs and I drew the poll for my first race and got passed by six cars the first lap and it didnt have anything to do with not having it because I went on to win track champion more than once in later yrs but I was just a spectator prior to that and thought it looked easy but I didnt know anyone that raced till I met friends at the track....what some of us are trying to tell you is dont be the guy that spends the moon on a new car and crash the first night out and quit in the first month because you cant afford to keep putting it back together do some homework, set some goals and have some reasonable expectations..Good luck and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.....Towman

cobb
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 131
posted February 11, 2004 02:41 PM  
i just kinda "ended" up with my first racecar. get a ministock, make sure it's safe, and start in the back for the first few races until you get an idea whats going on. the best way to learn is to do it.just stay out of the way until you learn

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