Question About Racing For Cheap

Discussion in 'Short Track Racing' started by Hunter Duffy, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Hunter Duffy

    Hunter Duffy Guest

    Here is my problem, I am 14 years old and I am really into oval racing. I've had iRacing for about a year now and I am doing well in that. I also help out with a Legend car at my local track. What I want to know is where could I get started racing for as cheap as possible. It doesn't have to be oval tracking, but it would be nice if it was. Thank you in advance!
  2. VaDirt

    VaDirt Dirt Track Fanatic

    A great place to start, in my opinion, would be u-cars. See if your local track runs 'em, and try it out. Out here there are a number of young guys and girls running them.
  3. Stewart Fan

    Stewart Fan Team Owner

    I'm really not trying to be a troll here so don't think that. But if you wanna race you have to forget the word "cheap".
  4. Hunter Duffy

    Hunter Duffy Guest

    Haha that is very true, I should have said "Racing on a slightly lower budget"
  5. Speedbowl14

    Speedbowl14 Tony Stewart and the Waterford Speedbowl

    Bingo. Hope college wasn't on your mind.

    Give me some tracks close to you. Not all tracks run legends or Bandos, but if that is at your local track I'd do that. No mechanical information required, as I think there's a catalog that you get all the parts from and they're easy to install.

    If there aren't INEX divisions, try the u-car/hornet class. Sure you'll need some mechanical knowledge, but with those you can bump, bang, and really go at it. Legend cars are almost as bad as modifieds. Just one wrong tap and you'll send a guy straight into the wall. Heard of and scene a lot of nasty crashes with those cars.
  6. Hunter Duffy

    Hunter Duffy Guest

    Actually the closest track is Waterford, I help out with the 04 Legend car (Now SK Modified). But I think I'm going to start out with karts at norwalk.
  7. Speedbowl14

    Speedbowl14 Tony Stewart and the Waterford Speedbowl

    Oh man, you're serious! Well that's great. I'd love to see you at the Bowl... if we have one next year. Dylan Izzo's Legend car is 04, correct?

    Well, you're options are pretty limitless. I'd try and get an X-car for Waterford. If not, get a Legend and run it at Stafford on the 1/4 mile or Seekonk. Waterford is too big for Legends. Those things are a roll cage with sheet metal on top. No crumple or give whatsoever. You can get away with that on the smaller tracks though. Its smart to start with go-karts. Don't just hop into the big boy shoes. Talk with others around the pit area. Find out where they got their car. Knowledge and relations are king in racing.
  8. Hunter Duffy

    Hunter Duffy Guest

    Oh yeah didn't the bowl go bankrupt? And yeah 04 is Dylan Izzo
  9. Speedbowl14

    Speedbowl14 Tony Stewart and the Waterford Speedbowl

    ugh...I don't even wanna talk about it. If you wanna race in 2015, plan on Stafford or Seekonk.
  10. Hunter Duffy

    Hunter Duffy Guest

    Haha, I think I'm going to stick with the Karts for a few years and then maybe move into a Bandolero or a Legend car. I guess i'll see where it all takes me.
  11. gone

    gone Team Owner

    After being in your shoes years ago (young, not a lot of experience or money) and trying to break in, I'd suggest starting in karts. And in those, a "stock" engine class. No racing is cheap, but "stock" engine karts is about as cheap as you can go and still run a vehicle that is designed for racing. A UCar may be cheaper to build than a kart, but it also requires a full sized tow vehicle and trailer. You can put the kart in the back of a pickup truck or even the trunk of a large car if you want.

    Legends cars are a handful to drive, and really tough if you don't already have some racing experience. They need to be set up almost perfectly or they're uncompetitive, and slight bumps can require parts replacements or even frame straightening / clip replacement. They control the parts sources so you either pay full retail or take your chances with used stuff.

    If you decide to try a kart, you don't have to buy a brand new chassis. However, don't buy one that is more than five to seven years old because their technology evolves quickly and because the chassis are designed to flex - which also causes them to fatigue. Don't buy a kart that has had a serious wreck - find somebody you can trust who has karting experience and who won't profit from the sale to look over used karts with you and help you make a good decision. Expect to pay around $2500 - $3000 for a new chassis, $1200 and up for a good recent used chassis.

    For "stock" motors, I put that in quotes because most of them actually are modified somewhat. Some tracks have a "Predator" class that is truly stock (governor and all) but there are Predator classes that allow some modifications too. Usually the "clone" classes are slightly modified. The deal here is that unless the motor is box stock you'll need motor building experience before you can modify your own motor legally and effectively, but you can buy motors from an engine builder. A truly stock Predator costs around $99 (with coupon) at Harbor Freight. A "clone" will cost $600 - $1200 depending on who built it (still talking "stock" engines here) but to start out you don't need a $1200 engine. A modified Predator costs about the same as a clone. There are other "stock" engines raced too, so before you buy anything you should pick a track to race at and ask them for their rules etc. Since you are 14 they'll probably place you into a Junior class, and that class could specify a certain engine as well as a certain sized restrictor plate.

    You'll need some other parts and tools too, depending on class rules. A good place to get more information is the karting forums on

    Best of luck, and hope to see you at the races!
    Clutch and DUN24 like this.
  12. SpeedPagan

    SpeedPagan The iRacing Guru

    I always toyed with the idea of real life racing, but I'm not really a fan of racing classes that don't allow chassis adjustment because if is truly representative of real life racing, then those strictly stock classes have cars that handle like a brick with all the fun of driving a brick.

    I wouldn't mind racing in a class that allowed chassis adjustment, but had a crate motor which cannot be modified.

    Of course, there's also the fact that I can't drive stick because I never learned how to. :p
  13. gone

    gone Team Owner

    Many tracks allow chassis adjustments in their lower classes, although usually not much to Ucar type classes. You can also run an automatic transmission in a lot of classes. But racing is not a bad way to learn to work a stick... unless you're road racing you'll probably not shift very often.

    You can adjust racing kart chassis, especially the modern ones. But except for the top "shifter" classes, the karts have "automatic transmissions" (centrifugal clutches). Still allows you to get a feel for making adjustments and then finding what works or not.
  14. DUN24

    DUN24 Skeptical of the Spectacle

    Good luck. And good on you for getting into the sport while you are young. Also pretty cool that you and @Speedbowl14 are local.

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