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How to Get Started in Auto Racing

Posted on August 27, 2020 by Martin Banks

Whether you grew up watching NASCAR or Formula 1, there is something exhilarating about the sport of racing. The only thing more exciting is getting behind the wheel of your own racecar and taking to the track. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as submitting a job application or showing up to a career fair. Here’s how to get started in auto racing.

Make a Plan

Before you start showing up at racetracks with your daily driver and getting laughed off the course, you need to make a plan. Wanting to get into racing is a noble goal that’s too broad to be realistically achievable. You need to make a plan and break it down into smaller pieces so you know what you’re working toward. 

Do you want to drive for NASCAR or just make a name for yourself in local circuits? Do you want to drive someone else’s car or build your own from the ground up? Once you have a clearer picture of the kind of career you want to have in auto racing, it becomes easier to achieve your goals 

Get a Car

Next, unless you get really lucky and land a NASCAR or Formula 1 contract, you’re going to need a racecar. The exact details of your vehicle will depend on a lot of different variables, from the type of race to the rules of the track. You may need a regular car with no modifications or you may have free reign to alter it as you like to get the most out of it. 

Refer to step one before you start shopping so you know exactly what kind of racecar you’ll want to bring home. 

Learn the Rules

Before you ever take your car to the track, learn the rules of the race you’re training for. This can be an invaluable source of information, telling you everything from how much your car can weigh to the kind of safety equipment required. It’s also helpful to understand the rules when it comes to modifications so you can ensure your project car is ready for the track. You don’t want to be disqualified for having the wrong kind of intake or tires. 

Have a Trailer

Once you start modifying your vehicle, the chances are high that you’ll move out of the realm of street legal. You can’t just drive a racecar on the road unless you’re racing stock. For everything else, you’ll need a trailer to transport your car to and from the track.

Make sure your trailer is in good shape and well maintained so you can be ready to go at a moment’s notice. A well-kept trailer will also help you protect your investment. 

Practice Your Driving

This should be a given, but we feel it bears repeating. If you want to get started in auto racing, the most important thing you need to do is practice. Watching NASCAR races and playing racing games does not translate to actual real-world skills. Take your car to the track on open days and drive by yourself and with other people. 

Going into a race without practicing isn’t just going to hurt your standings on the leaderboard. You’re putting yourself and every other driver on the track at risk. Don’t enter a race without driving the course first. 

Be Ready to Work

Getting started in auto racing isn’t as simple as putting in an application at your local McDonalds, but it’s not impossible, either. Be ready to put in the work and anything is possible. 

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