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July 16, 2024 

Race Track Prep
Last Updated: June 22, 2003

As far as performance goes, there are 3 basic principles that affect every vehicle on the road. The first is powertrain output, in other words, how much Horsepower and Torque your engine can produce and get it to the wheels. The second is weight: the less weight your engine has to move, the faster you will get to your top speed. The third is traction. The more time you spend in wheelspin, the more time you lose on the clock. I'll go over what you can do as far as track prep goes for each of these three principles.

1. The first is powertrain performance. I'm going to start by saying if you are having any major engine problems, you shouldn't be racing. It is best to have your engine and transmission in peak shape in order to run good times and not harm your engine/transmission. Make sure you have coolant, oil, and all other fluids in sufficient quantity before going racing. This is pretty much a no-brainer.

2. The second is weight. This is probably the most versatile option when it comes to making your car faster. The more weight you remove from your car, the faster you'll go. For approximately every 100lbs you remove from your car, you gain 0.1 seconds in the 1/4 mile. There are several things you can do to cut weight - it mostly depends on what you are willing to remove. The first is your spare tire/jack, etc. This is the most common thing to remove. Make sure you remove everything in your trunk. Myself and others will often remove both the passenger and rear seats. The passenger seat is a little heavy, so you might want to consider that as an option. The third is yourself: yes, you. Lose some weight if you are overweight. Every little bit helps. The last one involves body parts. This is for the crazier group. Interior door panels, carpeting, headliners, dashboards, etc. All of these are entirely up to you, just make sure you don't remove anything that will make your car illegal to drive or harm you in any way. Also make sure that you have someone you can call if you get a flat tire without your spare tire.

3. Traction is how well your tires grip when you launch. You usually want to lower the tire pressure in the front, and raise it in the rear. Raising tire pressure in the rear will help you have less body flex to the rear when launching, and also lower your drag while moving down the track. DO NOT overinflate your tires. I usually set my front tire pressure at about 30psi, and 44psi in the rear (my max).

A few other misc things you may want to do would remove any Rain-X from your front and rear windows, as the glass chalk they put on your windows to identify you will not stick. Remove and secure any loose articles in your car to prevent any distractions. Good luck, and stay safe!

contributed by: Anonymous Contributor