Kauai Raceway Park – Front Gate to Finish Line
- Show up early. At the gate get into the right side lane for “Racers”, pay your entry fee, and get your “tech card”. You’ll need to pick a “car number” to identify yourself.
- The speed limit in the pits is 5 MPH at all times.
- Alcohol is prohibited in the pits at all times for everyone: drivers, crew and spectators.
- Find a spot in the pits. 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. Write your car number on the passenger side of the windshield in white shoe polish. Make sure your numbers and dial-in will be visible from the tower.
- When the announcer calls for tech inspections, drive to the staging lanes before the tower.
- Usually, even a modified late model car can pass tech . You will need a Snell 98 helmet, closed shoes, long pants, and a shirt to race.
- When the announcer says time trials are open, drive to the staging lanes. Once you are in the lanes, stay with your car.
- Don’t run your AC. Water condensation drips onto the race track.
- When it’s time for the cars in your staging lane to pull forward, a track official at the front of the lanes will direct you. Watch the track officials at all times for proper direction.
- After you have been paired up the track official at the water box will check to make sure your windows are rolled up, helmet and seatbelts are on, and if it is after dark, your lights are on.
- Don’t start your burnout until directed by an official. Make sure you are all the way on the track and facing directly forward.
- Go AROUND the water. You don’t want to get near the water unless you have slicks. It will get into your tread, be thrown into your fenders, and drip all the way down the track.
- 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. Don’t do a John Force-style burnout spinning the tires through and past the starting line, forcing you to back up.
- Line up for the starting line. Cars with racing slicks should line up right in the middle of the track. Cars with street tires should line up outside the groove, either to the right or left.
- Pull your car toward the staging beams. They are about 25’ before the tree itself. 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 about 7 more inches until the next set of lights comes on (staged). (It is considered a courtesy to wait until your opponent has pre-staged before you stage.) If you backup at the starting line you will be disqualified.
- As soon as you and your opponent are both staged, the three large, yellow lights will count down to start the race. Go when the last, bottom yellow comes on! If you wait to see the green light, you will get a terrible start!
- 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 all the way down the race track.
- If you are bracket racing, don’t lock up your brakes at the end of the track in an attempt to not “break out”. Locking ’em up is dangerous
- Since the track’s turn offs are on the right, the car in the right lane has the right of way. Never turn in front of another car if you are in the left lane.
- Drive up the return road, park in your spot in the pits, and walk to the bottom of the tower to get your time slip. There are a lot of people and kids walking around the pits, so go slow.
- During time trials you can see how fast your car runs. Before elimination racing starts you must decide on your dial-in time and write it on your windshield.
Winning at ET Bracket Racing
Cars are separated into “brackets”: Pro ET for the really fast race cars, Muscle v8 and Sport Compact are for the fastest street cars, and Street ET is for the rest of us. Since each of these categories contains a wide range of cars, you are handicapped based on a time that you predict you will run. This is called your “dial in”. The racer who runs closest to their dial-in, without going faster, wins the race. If you go faster than your dial-in, you “break out” and automatically lose the race.
For example, if you dial in 15.80 and your opponent dials in at 15.25, you would get a .55 second head start down the track. Whoever gets to the finish line first wins.
The staging lights measure how long it takes you to leave your staged position. This is called your reaction time. In bracket racing your reaction time is very important. Your ET is measured from when your car starts, not from the green light. So a fast reaction time can’t ever cause you to break out. If your reaction time is much better than the other driver’s you will probably win your race.
A perfect reaction time is .500, which is exactly when the green light comes on. If you get under .500, you “red light” and lose the race. If you take longer than .500, you will take longer to get to the finish line, and may lose the race.
Your reaction time is printed on your time slip. It is just as important to practice getting a good reaction time as it is a quick ET.