Here It Is
I just recently received my Oct. '09 issue and was reading the Track Tech Q&A titled Overpriced Safety Gear? I strongly disagree with Mr. Bolles saying that we as racers are willing to pay insane amounts of money to make our cars faster and just need to get over the $1,300 for a H&N restraint. I'm here to say that I might have about $5,000 invested in my Pure Stock and I do everything my budget will allow to make my car safe.

I constantly look over my suit, helmet, seat, belts, and 'cage to make sure everything is good and safe. I took a big part of my race budget over the off season to buy a new fire-suit because I knew that mine was expired and needed to be replaced. This is money that was supposed to be used to rebuild a new larger motor for my car for this season. I was more concerned about being safe than going faster.

I go to college out of my pocket as well as having a car payment and a credit card to pay off, so I have a very small budget for racing but I still maintain it to safety. Due to us not going through my motor because of no money, it threw a rod and caught on fire.

I borrowed money from my brother and girlfriend to build a new motor to get back out. That motor cost us around $800 to $900 and it wound up letting go two races later. I'm still paying off my debts from building that one so there was nothing left in the budget. We had to pull the engine out of my parent's truck and just go take it easy the rest of the year. If I would have poured all of my money into my engine as Mr. Bolles says racers do then I would not be in this situation. His examples are flawed because he doesn't consider the true weekend warrior like myself and the racers in our level. I would love to purchase a H&N for myself to be safer, but the fact of the matter is I can't afford it. I do everything in my budget to stay safe. We don't go as fast as the big guys do but we still need to be safe as well with our big, heavy cars.

Unsigned

I think you answered your own question. You used your budget money to buy a new firesuit because ". . . mine was expired and needed to be replaced." That was a smart move. Your priorities were in the right place. The root of the problem is not the cost of anything, it's the lack of funds you have and the inability to acknowledge that you are too poor to race. You borrow money, take the engine out of your parent's truck, and are paying for school along with other payments. Hey, stop racing until you can afford it, period. Sounds like more of an addiction to me.

Basic Setup Information
Hello, I reside in New Liskeard, Ontario, Canada, and currently race NASCAR Late Models at two different tracks as well as some NASCAR Canadian Tire Series events. I'm emailing just to further enhance my racing knowledge.

I race for McColl racing and my crew chief is a huge believer in your work and I also read everything. I'm in my sophmore Stock Car year, previously running go-karts and USAC Midgets. I give good feedback on how the car is handling, and have been fortunate enough to have good mechanics and communication with them that they can adjust the car accordingly.

But as usual, I'm wanting to learn more and tweak my brain. I was wondering if you had an article that breaks down what certain adjustments do, and where they help? I know some and have learned a lot, but the more the merrier. I had the chance to drive for Howie Lettow and learned a lot there as well.

I guess I don't have a basic question, just any setup help you can throw my way. I'm not looking for specific setups or roll centers or styles, just what adjustment usually does what (how to get more grip from the center off, loosen car in center, and so on).

Thanks, and appreciate your work, Steven Mathews