How to Prepare Your Sprint Car for Race Day

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After spending weeks or months buying, building, tweaking, and tinkering your sprint car, you’re finally on your first trip to the track. No matter what, taking your sprint car to the track is going to be an equally exciting and overwhelming adventure. After all, regardless of how many times you have tested and tried your sprint car, there is only so much you can learn about it until you hit the track and test your mettle.

Race day is a big day. There will be a lot for you to worry about, which is why it’s all the more important to show up prepared and ready for anything. This article will ensure that you’re ready for your first race day with your new or recently remodeled sprint car.

Clean ‘n’ Grease

Race day is going to be hectic, loud, and dirty. So, before you head to the track, make sure your sprint car is clean and organized. It takes nearly two hours to prepare and wash the car. Start by cleaning out the trailer and restocking all supplies. Then move forward to cleaning your helmets, uniforms, toolbox, etc.

After you are done cleaning, remove all the spark plugs and pickle the cylinders with oil. To clean the fuel injection system, remove the nozzles, and clean them with an ultrasonic cleaner to remove all the dirt particles. Also, use a pressure tester to test fuel system components like the secondary and high-speed pop-off valves and barrel valve to ensure proper fuel flow. You also have to clean the air filters, breather filters, fuel filters, and real axle spine.

Next up is greasing the right things. Clean the kingpins torque ball off dirt and lubricate it with grease. Remove the torsion bars, clean, and lubricate them. You have to also clean and grease the birdcage bearings, the front axle spindles, front torsion bars, and rear torsion bars. Lastly, you should adjust the valves.

Check Your Fluids and Belts

Your sprint car needs to have a proper amount of fluids to performs at its best. So, check your sprint car engine’s vitals for low fluid and top it off with quality oil, coolant, brake fluid, and fuel if necessary. Enough oil and coolant will prevent the engine from overheating.

Most of the tracks have rules regarding fluid leaks. So, it’s always a good idea to inspect your engine to detect any potential leaks that can compromise the track surface’s quality. Some tracks might even decline your safety inspection if they find leak hazards on your sprint car.

Lastly, check the belts to make sure they are all tight and in good condition, and replace any that look worn out. Nothing’s more exasperating than a snapped belt on the race day.

Brake Check

Tires and brakes are two of the most crucial components of any car, and they’re all the most essential when ripping around the race track. Without a fully-optimized brake system, you’ll have a hard time slowing down and entering corners; without the right tires, you’ll have trouble getting traction while rounding them.

Before each and every race, you should check the brake lines for leaks and cracks and fill up your brake fluid, if necessary. Also, check your brake pads as they tend to wear down faster during races. When cleaning the braking system, use a brake cleaner to remove oil, dirt, and other debris; regular cleaning will help the brakes function efficiently. Also, experts recommend carrying spare brake pads for the front and rear and even spare rotors to the track.

Odds and Ends

There are a few miscellaneous checks you have to get done before race day. First, make sure the lug nuts are torqued to the proper spec. Then, move forward and adjust the tire air pressure to a stable level. You will have to take up the trial and error method until you find the perfect air pressure for the race day. Remember, over-inflation will make your sprint car feel squirmy and, in extreme cases, will damage your tire’s carcass.

Also, set your suspension right. There’s no real 100 percent accurate suspension setting, and the ideal level depends entirely on the driver. Two factors will determine the suspension setup that’s right for you—your confidence and outright grip.

Finally, make sure everything—from the hood latch to adjustable camber top mounts—is secure and tight before leaving the pits.

Ready. Set. Go.

Having your sprint car in perfect shape for the race is one thing, but being able to drive perfectly is another. Following this checklist will ensure that your sprint car is ready for the race day. However, be sure that you are fit, both physically and mentally, to get behind the wheel and drive. On the track, you have to be alert and ready for anything. So, stay well hydrated and nourished leading up to the big race.