Written by Jeff Tyler / Adapted by Rob Cheek



At the pit gate, pay your entry fee, and get your "tech card".



Find a pit spot. The pits get full later, so don't hog up a ton of spaces. Remove any loose items in your car, and fill out your tech card.



When the announcer calls for tech inspection to be open, listen, and go where you are told. If you don't understand, ask someone. If you get there after tech has started, the attendant at the entrance can tell you where to go.



Usually, even a relatively highly modified late model car can pass tech easily. If you're running a 13.99 or quicker, you'll need to have a driveshaft loop and a helmet with you. If you are doing better than a 11.99, things get substantially more complicated. The tech inspector will write your cars number on your side and front windows where it will be visible to the tower.



When the announcer calls for staging lanes to be open, pull into your proper lanes. Smaller tracks only have two. Bigger tracks have different classes split into different lanes. Again, ask, or refer to any documentation that you were given when you paid your entry fee.



Once you are in the lanes, stay with your car.



When it's time for the cars in your staging lane to pull forward and be positioned to race, a track official at the front of the lanes will direct you. It is very, very important to pay attention! Watch the track officials at all times for proper direction.



After you have been paired up out of the staging lanes and pull up next to the timing tower, be ready to go. The track official at the water box will check to make sure your windows are rolled up, seatbelts are on, and if it is after dark, your parking lights are on. Even on a well lit track, it is hard to see you at the other end if you have turned off or not. It would be a bad thing if you broke at the big end of the track, and they sent a pair of Pro Gas cars because they thought the track was clear!



Go around the water box. Do a short burnout to get the dirt off of your tires and heat them up a bit. Hold the brake with your left foot, and goose it with your right for a couple of seconds. You don't want to get near the water. It will run in your tread, be thrown into your wheel well, and drip on your tires and the track the whole run. This is very dangerous for the "Big Boys" running slicks behind you, and could get you removed from the track. Also, don't do your burnout in the water, as it tends to throw water all over everyone and everything within 50 yards of the starting line! The car in line behind you will be very annoyed.



Another thing that could get you removed is running your AC. Water condensation drips onto the track.



When you are told to, Pull your car toward the staging beams. They are not located next to the staging tree! Watch other racers to find where they are located. When you get close, the top set of lights (pre-stage) will come on. Now, slowly creep forward until the next set come on (staged).



Take your time! Nobody will rush you! The starter knows the regulars, and he will realize you are a new face. It is considered a courtesy to wait until your opponent has pre-staged before you stage.



Find the yellow light just above the green, and concentrate on it! Go when this last yellow comes on! If you wait till the green, you will get a terrible reaction time! .500 is perfect, .400 on a pro tree.



If you feel things get out of hand (massive wheel spin or whatever), just back off for that run! There'll be others! Also, if it's your very first time down the track, you might not want to give it 100% the first time. The track is a lot slicker than most roads, so be aware and be careful.



Stay in your lane at all costs. As you get close to the finish line (several car lengths ahead of the Crapstang), keep it on the floor! The first set of beams you see set up are to start the MPH timers. Find out exactly where the end of the quarter mile is!



If you are in the right lane, and the track turn off's are on the left, then the other car has the right of way. Do not turn in front of another car! At the Texas Motorplex this year, a guy in a street car was racing a 10 second car. The 10 second car had trouble on the line, and the street car got to the finish line first, but the 10 second car was now on the way. The street car went for the first turn off, and turned in front of the other car that hit him running around 120 miles per hour. That story should get anyone's attention.



Proceed up the return road, and stop to get your ET slip. Now is not the time to read it, wait till your in your pit. There are a lot of people (kids) walking around, so go slow!



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