A good portion of the advertisers in the pages of Circle Track are retailers of racing products that have both large-scale stores and mail-order/web based businesses. These companies supply a significant amount of the parts that we as racers use on a weekly basis. As the editorial braintrust of this magazine sat around the lunch table, we came up with the idea that it might be fun to pick an arbitrary dollar amount and then call up one of these retailers and see how they would spend it.
Given the fact that this is the January issue of Circle Track which contains our Oval Track Parts Guide, the idea evolved into a $1,000 shopping spree that would include one segment largely dedicated to tools that you should have in your race car trailer, while the other takes the form of a list of upgrades. One phone call to our friends at Day Motorsports in Tyler, Texas, and with its help we put together a can't-miss list of items that better be in your toolbox if you want to get to Victory Lane.
While some of these items might seem basic or elementary, never under estimate the value of having the proper tool to make a job easier, especially when that job has to be done in a dimly lit pit area between the heats and the main.
Pro-Tek Tire Tape $5.99
Next time you're at the racetrack, survey a number of your buddies and see how many of them have a tire tape. Now we're not looking for a contractor's tape measure here. We want to see a bona fide tire tape. Our guess is you may have a hard time finding one outside the tire shed. At just under $6, a tire tape is an investment not to be missed. It's great for measuring stagger on your own tires. Don't take the tire shed's word for it, measure them yourself.
Four-Way Valve Core Tool $4.29
Not only is a four-way valve core tool a necessity for quickly dismounting tires in the middle of a busy pit area, but it's also great for repairing and replacing valve cores. Plus it recuts damaged threads.
Rim Wrench $19.99
Don't throw those bent wheels away! A rim wrench is a great tool for fixing them. It's easy to use and will straighten the outer edges of the wheel while rolling the curl back into the wheel. The tool's design has special radiuses built in that will not crease or crack the wheel as you are repairing it.
Pro-Tek Mud Scraper $14.99
When the track is wet and heavy you can easily add 10, 20, 30, or even more pounds of mud onto your race car just during hot laps. If you don't get most of that mud off before the heat race, the added weight will negatively affect your setup. Remove it easily with a mud scraper.
Pro-Tek Bead Breaker $34.99
His name shall be withheld for reasons of embarrassment but we were at a race when a crew member on another team was trying to break a bead with an ice pick (yes, we said an ice pick). Aside from the obvious damage that he caused to the tire, he could have impaled his hand, or something worse if you saw how he was holding the tire. We think he should have used the Pro-Tek Bead Breaker. The boys at Day say that, "no race car trailer should be without one," and we agree with them.
Pro-Tek Quick Change Lug Wrench $29.99
Other than Mr. Ice Pick, we all know that you should always double check your lug nuts before you head out onto the track. Pro-Tek's quick change lug wrench which is designed to fit 1-inch diameter lugs is perfect for that job.
Cordless Impact $249.99
This is one of the bigger ticket items on our list and takes up a full 25 percent of our $1,000 budget. However, the entire Circle Track Project DLM team will attest to the fact that with no cords, no hassle, and great performance, this cordless impact wrench is a must have for your racing program. We have one of our own, and you can too.
Pro-Tek Tire Spoon $9.99
No, not that kind of spoon. A tire spoon makes dismounting tires easy and quick. Plus it beats the old screwdriver, or an ice pick!