I’ve been drag racing since my sophomore year in college. Back then you could take any car off the street, compete, and keep your costs relatively low.
But today people are putting more and more money into their vehicles and to stay competitive you really need to keep up with technology. Even though I race in Street ET, a class at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park where all race vehicles are supposed to be registered to run on the street and have 4 DOT-approved tires, I field one of the few true street cars out there.
Between my mortgage, car payments, other hobbies, and living expenses in general, I really don’t have the money or technical ability to be dumping a lot of money in a (semi-street legal) racecar.
I did win a track Points title back in 1990 with a 100% stock Camaro, finished 2 round wins away from a 2nd title in the class in 2003 with a 100% stock Daytona, and 1 win away from a Real Street class title in 2012 with the same Daytona. Fellow racer John Iacono won the Street ET title twice with a 15-second Mustang. But these are increasingly rare examples of a low-budget racer competing today.
So what’s a guy like me to do?
With wins becoming tougher to come by I can’t always count on making money on the track, so I’m attacking costs at the other end. Every winter, Raceway Park offers temporary discounts on their gift cards. A $500 gift card costs only $450 (it used to be $425) and larger cards bring bigger discounts.
Saving 10% on your first $500 in race admissions is a big deal and can supplement a season where win money is hard to come by.
Other tracks, game parks, stores, and vendors offer similar discounts. Buy in bulk or just buy in advance and you can find yourself saving a considerable amount of money. Money that can be spent elsewhere. …like at the track to watch me race. 😉