Do you practice proper racing etiquette, or do you need to go back to school? Many racers don’t even realize the things they do are wrong or the way that they act at the track makes them look bad. Here are a few guidelines to keep your reputation at a high level and keep the respect of your fellow racers.
In the pit area, it’s always important that you be social and willing to be helpful to anyone that may need it. It’s a hobby. Even if you’re busy working on your rig, offer to help when you can get a free minute. Little things like this will come back to be a benefit someday when you may need help.
Don’t let your pit area spread like a disease. If the pit area fills up, don’t take up a huge amount of space. Be respectful. If a bunch of drivers have to squeeze into an area the size of a shoebox while you’re spread out like a team of six, you’re probably not going to be too popular.
DRIVERS’ STAND PROTOCOL
This is where the big ones come into play. When entering the drivers’ stand be respectful of racers that are already standing in line to get on the stand, line cutting is frowned upon by most drivers. Always wait until all the drivers from the previous race have exited the stand before getting on the stand.
The biggest no-no on the stand is yelling at other drivers, marshals, or the race director. Most experienced racers won’t flip a truck for the guy screaming his head off like an idiot.
When on the stand be aware of how you are standing on the stand, having your radio hanging out, or leaning way out makes it difficult for other drivers to see sometimes. It’s called the drivers’ stand, not the drivers’ slouch. Stand up when racing. You’ll drive better and you’ll be less likely to block the view of other drivers. Also, if you have a preferred spot on the stand, get there first. Don’t be the last guy on the drivers’ stand and expect other to move for you.
TRACK P & Q’S
Do your best to be as professional as you can and you will usually get the same in return. Try to give other racers enough room for clean racing. Failure to do this can bring a result that will not work well for anyone–most likely a crash that will put both of you in a bad position. Listen to the race director, he will always sound off drivers positions on the track, try to be aware of who is around you.
When and if the leaders of the race come around to put you a lap down, try your best to give them room to pass. Lap down cars must yield to the leaders. This does not mean that you have to pull over and stop, just give them a little room to pass. If you’re leading, remember that the lap down guys may be racing for position too. Just because you’re leading doesn’t mean the world revolves around you. No one should have to throw their race down the drain so you can have the racetrack to yourself.
If you’re trying to pass someone and accidentally take them out, the cool guy thing to do is stop and let them retake the position, so that you can pass them cleanly.
If you are having a bad race–and all of us do at some point–do not take your frustrations out on your truck. You have a couple of choices here: either slow your pace down and finish your race or pull your vehicle off the track at a safe spot and wait until the race is over to get it. If you happen to be in the unlucky position of being yelled at on the stand, be the bigger person and let it go, leave the battles for racing on the track, not on the stand or in the pits.
Act like a pro, race like a pro and feel like a pro. These tips should make for a better overall race experiance for you and your competitors.
Want more? Check out Racing Etiquette — the Advanced Course
Photos by Patricia M. Strickland