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How to Get Started in Truck Racing

Posted on January 09, 2019 by Scott Huntington

If you own a truck, you may have thought about taking it racing once or twice. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just showing up at the track and paying the entry fee. What do you need to do to get started in truck racing?

Choose Your Race Type

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Just like with cars, there are different types of races you can enter your truck in once it’s ready. The preparations you need to do will vary depending on the competition. There’s drag racing, where you will need to increase horsepower and torque to blast down a quarter-mile strip as quickly as possible. There’s off-road racing, where your suspension and tires will require a serious upgrade. There’s track racing, drifting, desert racing and even super truck racing, where drivers speed around the track in souped-up delivery trucks.

Your next steps for getting started in truck racing will depend on the type of race you choose.

Upgrade Your Suspension

For most racing, especially offroad, drag and drift, you’ll want to take the time to upgrade your suspension. Stock shocks and struts can’t handle the kind of punishment they’ll experience on the racetrack, and the last thing you want is to blow out a shock or bust a spring while you’re in the lead.

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This is especially important if you’re planning on taking your truck offroad. Leaf spring upgrades will increase your load capacity and reduce the amount of flattening that occurs on the track. Heavy-duty coil springs can take the punishment of even the roughest road without snapping.

Don’t Skimp on Safety Gear

A regular seat belt might be sufficient if you get into an accident while you’re driving to work or the grocery store, but it’s not enough to keep you safe on the racetrack. Be prepared to pour a lot of money into your safety equipment, including things like:

  • Racing gear: Helmets, gloves and race suits will likely be both appropriate and necessary when you head to the track. They even make fire-retardant underwear to protect your precious jewels.
  • Harnesses: Be prepared to upgrade your seatbelt to a five-, six- or seven-point harness for additional protection in the event of an accident.
  • Fire extinguishers or suppression systems: While you don’t want your truck to catch on fire, it’s always better to be prepared. Spring for a built-in fire suppression system if you have the funds, or keep a couple of extinguishers on hand just in case.

Be sure to check with the racetrack officials before you show up to make sure you have all the necessary safety equipment to participate.

Expect to Spend a Lot

Truck racing is not a cheap hobby, by any stretch of the imagination. You might be able to save some cash here and there by choosing used parts or off-brand accessories, but when all is said and done, you will be spending quite a bit of money to make your truck race-ready.

If you’ve never raced a truck before, your first expenditure should be for a racing class. These classes will teach you the rules of the road, how to handle your vehicle at high speeds, and how to safely make it from the green light to the checkered flag.

Truck racing is an excellent way to put your favorite vehicle to the test, but it’s not a cheap hobby, and it’s not something you can dive into without proper preparation. Do your research and upgrade your ride before you set foot — or tire — on the track.

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