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918 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if this topic has been discussed before, but advice for a newb, what kind of equipment, tools, spare parts, or other essentials does everyone pack on a night to the track? I plan on trailering the car, so swapping tires wont be an issue. Thanks for everyone's input!

4,970 Posts
It really completely depends on your car. I have a check list for my car but yours will be different. My list is pretty long, and 98% is never needed.

What I use constantly are:
Cold drinks
Fire suit
Air gauges
Laptop computer
Battery charger
Window marker

What I rarely or never use are:
Electric impact
Spark Plugs
Waste gate parts
Fuses and electrical
Soldering pencil
Ignition parts
Bolts and nuts
Charged Battery
Clip leads
Timing light
Spare crank trigger
Spare wideband sensor
Spare TPS
Spare MAP IAT sensor

I finally took to just keeping all my race stuff in one area. Now that I use an enclosed trailer that pile is always in the trailer.

918 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply, I figured to bring my winch, just in case, and my trailer is open deck with no real room for everything I WANT to bring!

367 Posts
I only go to the track for fun. Last night I learned a valuable lesson. It was a last minute decision to go with no real prep time. I loaded the car and left all my tools. I took am air tank and pressure gauge, that was it.

Drove two hours to get there and was unloading. Buddy finds a nut lying under my car. I crawl under the car and found that is had come off my upper control arm, the bolt was fixing to fall out. I had to ask to borrow tools to fix it.

I will never go without tools again, or a pre-inspection of the car.


3,184 Posts
There's always that time when you don't have the tool you need to make a repair at the track. Been doing this stuff for over 20 years and it happens all the time. Now that I'm older and not wanting to work as much as I used to, if it's broken, I load it and go back home. The basic stuff I keep is enough to change a tire on the trailer, or a bulb or basic wiring stuff to fix a light or trailer brakes. That's about it, though. A good item to keep with you is some bar's leaks for radiator leaks, some repair tape, gas, a quart of oil and maybe an oil filter, and a basic tool set to do real basic stuff. That's about it.

I used to get stressed about forgetting stuff to do a transmission overhaul at the track but I guess I grew up. Doesn't bother me to go back home, or at the least, ask another racer to borrow something. Some guys are jerks and dont' loan stuff out but I ain't that way, I've loaned almost everything I had to help other racers, and it's usually bit me in the butt in later rounds, but it don't matter. It's frustrating either way at first but you get over it.

Unless, of course, you've got John Force's budget and sponsorship; in that case, take a spare car and at least 3 of every major component. I'm just not that serious anymore.

Preinspection lasts all week for me. So does preparing mentally and eating right for a few days ahead of the race; then loading up on foods the night before because I don't eat much on race day. I go a little overboard on preparation of the vehicle and the tow rig but as far as taking every tool I own, forget it. If it's broken beyond a spark plug or a loose nut behind the wheel, it goes back home. Some of the heads up racers are so serious that they've got to take everything, including a 50 person starting line crew.....

2,682 Posts
for us just to go test

we need
trans cooler
drain pans
tools (we work out of the trailer at the shop so everything is with us at the track)
trans fluid
air lines
data cables
cooling fans
fire suit
brake clean
video cameras
push car
few hundred pounds of ice

extras we carry
head gaskets
valve cover gaskets
ignition box
coil (few)
few extra sets of plugs
push rods
Co2 regulator
waste gate
tons of AN fittings
tons of AN line
trans valve body
extra computer
extra fire suit
V band clamps
extra set of rear wheels and tires
extra set of tires
few spares for the trailer
2 extra batteries for the car

im sure im forgetting stuff

918 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the great responses, I believe I'll take a basic tool kit, air tank, winch, computer and datalog equipment. Not being as competitive as most, any more than tightening a nut or bolt and I'll suck up my pride and take it back home. I almost forgot about tow rig and trailer maintenance as well!

157 Posts
I bring a Leatherman, umbrella and a Chair + water and cofee for drinks.... In luxury mode I bring a table to Place my coffeemug on, too.

If it's street car, I prefer not driving With soft street drag tyres, so I need a Jack to change them out. Bringing the drag rears and Wheel wrench....

Also bring some cable ties and some other small good-to have items.

However; after car has been in use for 3-4 years, and everything like rockers, spark plugs, plumbing etc all looks good, I do not carry much spare parts. Maybe a plug or two, and a plug wrench. Tools for setting rockers and removing valve covers... have used them once as a rocker came loose. Not happened again thereafter.

And don't forget the necesarry paperwork (drivers licence, registration papers and race sertification, if needed....).

Premium Member
2,585 Posts
I am the "better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it" kind of guy. So needless to say, I bring a lot of stuff. Most of it stays in the trailer, so it is not like I am loading and unloading lots of tools or what not. Short list:
Air compressor
Jack stands
Pit Bike
2) 130 qrt coolers to hold 200+ lbs of ice
Tool chest
Lap Top

918 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I'd like to carry my shop too, that's what got me started thinking! However it's gotta fit in a truck box, or on a gooseneck flat deck trailer. Those enclosed race trailers are nice though!

5,227 Posts
Absolute minimum:

-Tire pressure gauge
- helmet
- jacket

What I usually take in addition:
- 60-80 lbs of ice
- spare belts - 1 accessory, 1 blower
- a few basic hand tools (enough to pull a plug and a couple of new plugs; maybe a screwdriver and a leatherman-type tool)
- laptop
- a few bits of wire and some electrical tape
- a few zip ties
- a shop rag or paper towels

Except for the ice, I only bring about 15-20 lbs worth of stuff with me
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