What Happens At The Track?

Nov. 01, 2005 By ORC STAFF
Some tracks mix the snowmobiles with the motorcycle in the same class, some don’t. It varies by track. The track I race at has not combined the bikes and sleds so I have not had that experience just yet.

A typical day at the track starts with tech-in. Some tracks do this each time you race. Some don’t. At the track I race at they tech in the sled the first time you come and put a tech inspection approval sticker on the sled.

Due to the nature of bracket racing, you have to have some time trials to make a determination of what kind of ET your machine is going to run for that particular days conditions. This is one of the attractive things about bracket racing for the novice. If you’re trying some new clutch or engine changes and you sled is slower than it normally is (been there, done that!!) it won’t matter for that day’s competition. What will matter is that it is consistent. My philosophy is that once I’m at the track, I don’t try and go faster, I try and maintain a degree of consistency. Between races I’ll make my changes. Sometimes it’s faster and sometimes it’s not. Keeping in mind that "faster" is not the main objective of bracket racing. Anyway, the day starts with time trials. Usually 3 time trials but if there are interruptions you may only get two. Some tracks run the time trials by class others take the runs in whatever order people line up to run. Using the information gained in the time trials from your ET slip you then decide what your dial-in or index time will be. This is the time that is input into the timing light computer when you stage for eliminations.

When eliminations start, they are run off by the first round of each class. That way the winners of each round have time to return to the pits and do what they have to, to prepare for the next round of eliminations. The losers load up and go home. Plan on having about an hour between rounds. This will vary based on the number of competitors. As the day goes on, time between rounds decreases because you have few vehicles left in competition.

Pay attention to the announcer. Your class will usually be called to the staging lanes when the class ahead of yours starts their eliminations.

Each competitor must have a competition number that is legible and visible from the tower. There is no rhyme or reason on choosing a number. The racetrack does not assign them. My sled is #743, so chosen because that is the serial number of the sled. NHRA recommends displaying it in 4" high block numbers in contrasting color to the vehicle.



You will also need to put your dial in number on your sled. Again, this must be done legibly and in numbers big enough to be read from the tower. Three common methods of putting on your dial in number are:

Reusable stickers

Shoe polish

Dial in display (available from Summit Racing Equipment ~$50)

I use a dial in display. It is much neater and more professional in appearance than the shoe polish. If you do use the shoe polish, WD40 and Castrol Super cleaner degreaser seem to work very good at removing it.

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