Racing and Race Cars in General can be one of the biggest money pits there is. Parts are not cheap, late nights, waiting for delivery of parts, not to mention diagnosing a non factory car when there’s a no start issue. But there is a method to our madness, I can not speak for other drivers out there. But for me, once I am on the track it is all worth the price I paid emotionally, physically and financially. When I am behind the wheel of that car I am free. Its as if the car and I become one, at that point nothing else in life matters. There is no stress, no worries. Its man and machine melded as one, Organic and Mechanical meets the asphalt. Many people spend large amounts of money and time to develop their skills on the track. I have been lucky, for me it has always come naturally. Don’t get me wrong there is always room for improvement. I myself in the next 5 years plan on attending at least two Professional Racing Schools and I would advise anyone who wants to Race on an Amateur, Semi-Pro or Pro level to do the same. Personal and Technical Development both on and off the track is the key to being successful in the Motorsports Lifestyle. Attending a Professional Race School not only gives you the opportunity to get more wheel time, but its always a wonderful way to network, networking can lead to some awesome opportunities in the Motorsports world.
All of that aside lets get back to the money issue. I hate to say it, but I am talking from experience. If you are broke all the time, I would advise you to seek another hobby or form of entertainment especially if you are a family man. I have had to take a couple of steps back from the Motorsports world myself. Its a hard thing to do when you have High Octane Fuel in your blood but it was always for the better. I would advise anyone coming into this world to first sit back and form up a financial plan and budget. BUDGET IS KEY! Budgeting can take away a lot of the shock and stress. I had plan to jump right into the 2016 NASA Super Unlimited Series, I was motivated and ready to dominate. And then I turned my back for a second and my car turned around and pit me right in the behind. It took me almost a month to fully diagnose the problem.
The EEPROM Chip (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) on my AEM Series 1 Engine Management System (EMS) had decided to go south. Not an easy fix, I could go in depth about the steps I took diagnosing the problem but I will not bore you. All I can say it sucked! When the EEPROM went so did my Idle Air Control (IAC) and Cam Angle Sensor (CAS) With the symptoms my car went through when it died I jumped immediately on the CAS. And sure enough when I tested it, it was bad. My car being a 1990 still uses the first GEN Old style CAS. And with each passing day the get more expensive. I took the hit to my wallet and went ahead and bought a new CAS for the car. I was disappointed to find out that it was not the only issue. I next went on to discover the IAC was bad, again replaced it. It was a full month later before I traced everything back to the EMS. I sent it in and $275.00 Later in repairs the car was up and running again. But I had to abandon my goals for a 2016 season as the series had already started. Its all part of the game and the price we pay. I have future plans to upgrade to a AEM Series 2 and a new wiring harness so that I can update some of the technology on the car. Not only to maintain a competitive edge but as a way to cut down on maintenance costs. The car was running beautiful and smooth up until everything took a nose dive. There were no symptoms or ticks leading up to it. So as you can see, when you start taking a car and modifying it for the track things can go south real fast and you need to not only be prepared for it. But have a nice little bit of funding set aside for situations such as this. Just some things to keep in mind for when you get into this sport/hobby. For everything that has gone wrong, all the money I spent, sleepless nights, cuts and bruises to my ego. I would change anything. Its a lifestyle a hobby and a sport. And I love it right down to my score and soul. Thank you. Hope all you race fans and enthusiasts have a wonderful week and remember. Be Safe, Keep it on the track