2850F West 40 Hwy
Blue Springs, MO 64015
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First Time at The Track
Whether you think your prepared or not, we all have made idiots out of ourselves at one time or another for not following the rules, knowing the etiquette, or just being a newbie in general. But it doesn't have to be that way! The local track is not a scary place, and there's no need for you putting off entering your first race. Take a page from our collective experience, and then take the plunge and hit the track. You'll wonder why you didn't go sooner.
WHAT DOES THE TRACK PROVIDE?
Indoor Pit Tables, 110Volt electrical (8 outlets per table), chairs (comfortable), Bright Overhead lighting (so you can see), Air hose (blowing off your car), AMB transponder system (personal transponder compatible), Autoscore (computer lap counting system), Restroom (self explanatory), Vending machines (drinks and snacks), Fun (everyone has fun here). Experienced and Friendly Staff (to assist with any of your needs). WiFi Internet connection.
HOW QUALIFYING WORKS
The idea of qualifying is to turn in the fastest time you can, so that means you are racing the clock, not the other racers on the track. That doesn't mean, you'll be on the track by yourself, but racing the clock rather than the other racers is certainly an important thing to consider. If you are driving side-by-side with another car in qualifying, it is better to give each other a little room rather than try to out-race each other. Your position on the track is irrelevant, and trying to race somebody will only make things harder on both of you and open up the possibility of a crash. If you don't allow the obviously faster cars to get past you in qualifying, you certainly won't make any friends at the track and you'll end up slowing down in the process. You will probably encounter one of two different types of qualifying, either heads up racing or IFMAR-style starts (also know as staggered starts). In heads-up racing, qualifying will be just like a race: the starting horn will sound, and you're off. With IFMAR-style qualifying, the tone will sound and the announcer will call off the drivers name one by one. When your name is called, it is your turn to go. Don't worry; your race timer will not begin until the very first time your car crosses the line. Likewise, be sure to keep racing at the end of the race until the announcer says that you are finished. Qualifying heats do not end until the first time you crossed the line after your own race clock has expired. At the end of all the qualifying sessions, your position in the actual races (know as "mains") will be determined by your single fastest qualifying run. When running 5-minute qualifiers, for example, a 23/5:05 would mean you did 23 laps in 5 minutes and 5 seconds, which would be faster then a 23/5:12 - the same number of laps, but taking 7 seconds longer. Once you have read a few qualifying printouts (often referred to as "heat sheets") you'll get the hang of it.
HOW RACING WORKS
Hopefully, you already have a good idea of how racing works. The starting tone sounds, and you drive like crazy until you take the checkered flag! Actually, there are still a few things to be aware of. First and foremost, your fellow racers will judge your character by how you behave on the track. It doesn't matter if you're a good or bad driver from the get go, but how you treat the other drivers makes all the difference in the world. Your first few times at the track, don't expect to go out and win; do your best, but spend your time learning the feel of your car and the nuances of racing. Don't make potentially hazardous maneuvers during a race that could wreck other cars, and be careful to let faster cars pass you easily if they should come up behind you. By doing this, not only will you make friends among the other drivers, you will gain the reputation of being a calm and honorable competitor. That reputation can and will follow you for a long time, so you don't want to mess it up right away! When your first race is over, don't be afraid to approach other drivers and ask them for advice about your driving or anything you may have done wrong. We were all beginners at one point or another, and most everybody in this hobby is more than happy to share their experience with others.
FOLLOW THE RULES
You will find at the track, rule restrictions are generally pretty relaxed for rookie classes and people racing for the first time. Still, it pays to find out what the rules early on, and follow them as soon as you can. Things like body and wing height, engine or motor limits, tires, and even traction additives are all typical restrictions that the track may observe. Before turning on your radio or car, make sure to talk to the operator, to make sure you're not making a racers faux paus by running that hand-wound stock motor you found on eBay.
There are a lot of little dos and don'ts that you'll pick up as you spend more and more time at the track. Some of them are very important, while others are just common courtesies that everybody is expected to observe. They aren't that hard, so pay attention!
See, it doesn't sound so bad, now does it? By just reading this guide, you're well on your way to becoming a grizzled old track denizen. Now that you have gotten this far, it's time to hit the track! Even if you don't plan on becoming a serious racer, take your car or truck down and turn some laps - you might just like it more than you thought you would.