Hi and welcome back to Auto Racing on the Island. Since it's currently the off-season for Auto Racing on the Island, I think it would be a good time to discuss ways about getting into Auto Racing. The off season is the time for wheeling and dealing for race teams and now is the time to make changes for the 2002 season.
Contrary to popular belief, there are quite a few venues on the Island to get your need for speed, especially in go-karts. However this time we will be dealing with your stock cars and in the next column we'll talk about go-karts.
Every Saturday from Mid-April to the end of September, you can race in the stock cars of Riverhead Raceway, located in Riverhead, less than half a mile from the Tanger Outlet center. In addition to Saturdays, Riverhead holds a Sunday show once a month for the entry-level divisions.
Ok seeing that this could be a fun thing to do on weekends, where do I start? As you may or may not know there are quite a few different classes or we as we call them divisions, running at Riverhead. Many racers have varying theories on where to start. One thing that is strongly not recommended is starting at the premier divisions as you'll find your wallet suddenly getting very light and most likely you probably won't even be making the first couple of shows. So basically you'll be spinning your wheels and burning money at the same time.
The best bet is to start at an entry-level division. Why? Usually lower maintenance costs, which in turn can help you keep racing, so you can learn the ropes of the sport.
On Saturday nights, the best division to enter is a division called the Blunderbusts. What's a Blunderbust? Besides being a funny name, the cars are basically 1970's-1980's full size boats which have been modified with safety modifications and a few racing modifications and race nearly every Saturday Night at Riverhead Raceway. Maintenance costs are very decent, as you will only go through a small amount of tires during the year (tires are your biggest cost during the season). The typical Blunderbust runs as low as $1,000 to $6,000, depending on its history.
If Saturdays are a conflict for you, or perhaps you are not able to afford or are able to race every week, Enduro Racing on Sundays may be the answer for you. What's an Enduro? Basically it's a car ready for the junkyard, but given one more last run in a race called an Enduro. There are three different types of Enduros. Full-size enduros are basically 6/8-cylinder cars with popular models being 1970's Chevrolet Monte Carlos. 4-cylinder enduros are basically 4-cylinder enduros, with popular models being in the late 80's. 4/6-cylinder Truck Enduros basically uses pick-ups, with no particular model being dominant. Either one is a fun way to go. An Enduro race isn't your typical race format however. Basically it's nearly a hundred cars on the track with a 100-lap race. There are no cautions, only red flags for a driver in distress or for a similar situation. This format produces some wild racing, but quite a bit of fun as you can learn without fearing damaging some expensive equipment. Average price for an Enduro is under $1,000.
For more information, or any questions about getting started, please contact me at LongIslandJam@hotmail.com, as I'll try to help you out and get racing ASAP. Next article we'll focus on go-kart racing, a sport not only for the future of the racing, but for all ages as well. Ok until next time, keep burning the rubber!