Racer’s Essential Race Day Pit Items

When I was racing mostly oval (a segment I absolutely love) packing for any race bigger than a weekend club race was an event in itself. If the race had some sort of title attached to it–forget about it. In pursuit of a plastic bowling trophy, I often brought everything RC I owned–tire truer, motor lathe, tools, spare parts, dyno, laptop, tires, batteries, tweak station, more than one body, more tires, soldering iron, etc. I wasn’t alone, nor were/are oval racers. Touring car racers and diehard 1/10-scale electric racers were close behind. When I first got into rock crawling, it was the exact opposite. Because we often had to walk in to a crawling location, I packed light–really light. Often–even for a comp–I would bring just a truck, radio and maybe a spare battery. Next came short course racing. For some reason, I followed the crawler model, or at least I was a lot closer to going bare bones than I was to packing everything but the proverbial kitchen sink. The reality–and the point of this article–is that the ideal is somewhere in between. Check what you should and shouldn’t be bringing to the track on race day.

These days there are far fewer stand-alone club tracks, so odds are you’re racing at a track at a hobby store. This means you don’t have to bring every spare part for your truck, but at the same time you don’t want to run to the hobby store every two seconds. Here are the small parts you should keep stocked in your own trackside personal stash:

  • Body clips
  • Axle drive pins
  • Spur gears (at least one replacement of your preferred tooth count)
  • Pinion gears (same as above)
  • Suspension arms (pair of fronts and rears)
  • Hubs (front and rears)
  • Glow plugs (if you run nitro, of course)
  • Servo horn

Being prepared is a good thing–just ask any Boy Scout. That said, the point of this article is properly packing light. Here are some of the items I suggest making sure are stored in your toolbox:

  • Small cable ties
  • Servo tape
  • Small screw assortment

Tools come in handy for sure, but they are also the quickest way add weight to what you have to schlep to the track. Below are the must-have tools for a day of racing:

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Small Phillips screwdriver
  • 1.5-, 2-, 2.5- and 3mm wrench (or standard if that’s how you roll)
  • 7mm socket driver
  • Hobby knife

Again, the premise of this article is all about successfully packing light. That said, there are some items you may consider depending on where you race:

  • Folding table (new composite tables are super light)
  • Extension cord
  • Folding chair
  • Pop-up canopy
One of the best ways to cut down on the stuff you have to schlep to the track is to team up with a race buddy. These doesn’t mean be a mooch, but every racer at the track doesn’t need his or her own pop-up canopy. Agree that if your friend the folding chairs and extension cord, you’ll bring the canopy.
Opening photo by Patricia M. Strickland

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