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Tobey

Circle track racing

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I gave it a try last night. And it was a blast. Houston Motorsports Park is a 3/8 mile paved oval. They run a fwd class called Eco Stock. I decided to take the plunge this year and see what it's like.

I picked up a 2001 Saturn SL2, had it caged, slotted the right front strut for camber, changed the oil, mounted new tires, and went racing. Tires were Direzza III's; they cost more than the car.

I was third fastest in practice and 4th in the heat race. They inverted the top five, so I started outside first row for the feature. I can't manually select first gear in the Saturn, and I got jumped bad on the start. I need to learn the timing to get a downshift to first. I was in 5th by the back straight.

My strategy now was to stick with the guy in front of me and let him do the hard work and then follow him through on passes. About 10 laps in, we got by the 3rd place car. With 4 laps left, he made it to second, but I wasn't able to follow. But 2 laps later, I was able to make the pass into 3rd when the other driver over drove a corner and slid up a little. I finished in 3rd, within sight of the leader.

I'm not giving up on WRL and road racing at all. But this circle track stuff is actually fun. It was my first time racing a fwd car, my first time on an oval, and the car's first time on a track, and I got a podium finish, a cheap trophy, and some money will be coming in the mail. $60 to enter the race, and I'm into the car for under $3k, including new tires and a tran$ponder.

Circle track, don't knock it until you try it.

20190323_215230.jpg

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That’s awesome. 

Still bummed out they closed the circle track here in Kyle. 

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22 hours ago, robertcope said:

Fuckin awesome.

 

13 hours ago, SpaceRangerJoe said:

This.

Ditto

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Should have mentioned that the huge yellow numbers came from trackdecals.com, and I had help from John at ProAm.

I still have some stuff to learn about circle track racing... 🙂

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I kind of want to try it...after all, my Full Monte started life as a late model asphalt car...

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18 hours ago, Double O 86 said:

"Rubbin' is racin' "  ?

Pimpin' my sponsors!

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do they do DE's there?   I'll be all over that. 

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2 hours ago, lobster said:

do they do DE's there?   I'll be all over that. 

 

I don't know if it is still the case, but a few years ago, you could rent the circle track on an off-day for ridiculously cheap.

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Resurrecting for the final report: 3rd place paid $100. That basically covers my entry fee and gas money for the race.

Next race is May 4. The last one was cancelled for rain.

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57 minutes ago, Tobey said:

Resurrecting for the final report: 3rd place paid $100. That basically covers my entry fee and gas money for the race.

Next race is May 4. The last one was cancelled for rain.

Awesome!  Hey you actually got a little money to go have fun.

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I’m noodling around a dirt track test in a Late Model...embracing my inner redneck!! LOL 

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11 hours ago, Captain Buddha said:

I’m noodling around a dirt track test in a Late Model...embracing my inner redneck!! LOL 

you no noodle.  more like a gnocchi.. 😛

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18 hours ago, Captain Buddha said:

I’m noodling around a dirt track test in a Late Model...embracing my inner redneck!! LOL 

Inner redneck?! Who said anything about inner?! 🤣

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2 hours ago, Hollywood said:

Inner redneck?! Who said anything about inner?! 🤣

Well ya see, this here is what you call a double layered redneck. Outside is tough chewy redneck, inside is soft tender redneck for the ladies, the kids, and generally embracin' things.

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Quick update: made my second race last weekend. My starts still suck. Otherwise, the car is pretty good. I finished 4th, but both 2nd and 3rd got DQ'd, so I went home with the 2nd place trophy. Woohoo! It pays $200.

I've got some damage to repair, though. Ended up with what looks to be a couple inches of toe out after some contact on the 3rd lap. And I just replaced both outer tie rods...

Can I say again how much fun it is? I'd always choose WRL over this, but cheap circle track racing is a good mistress.

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Wow!  That was a relatively small bump to cause that much toe change.   
Best part was the looks from the neighbors when I yelled "MOOOOVE OVER, BACON!" when you moved that guy up and drove through...    

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It took a shot in the heat race too. Maybe the first hit bent it a little, and the second one compounded it. I did have more steering angle on the second hit, so the back of the tire probably took a bigger blow.

 

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Prolly so.  once a tie rod bends a little, it gets a LOT weaker and easier to bend on the next hit..

unfortunately tie rods are a consumable in short track racing.  IMO, I'd much rather they bend than to reinforce them and then wind up damaging steering rack or bending knuckle/upright, or breaking a piece in the linkage and losing steering completely.  then the car becomes a consumable when you nail the wall.

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My old rock crawler Jeep had issues with the tie rod - kept banging it on rocks....LOL....once it bends, it just keeps on bending...especially due to the compressive force on it....so, we came up with a solution....move the tie road BEHIND the axle....so now it is being extended versus compressed....of course, that ended the bending of tie rods....but caused another issue...I sheared some bolts off the steering arm (something about 42" tires? LOL)....quick fix - bigger parts/bolts....so, an idea you might consider if the tie rod becomes an achilles heal (and you have the clearance to relocate it)....

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it's an eco-stock car, so pretty sure they're limited to the factory location on steering.

also it's FWD, so most likely the steering rack is firewall-mounted and thus tie rods are already behind the axle center.

 

Just making some assumptions. 🙂

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