Track Night's Frequently Asked Questions, answered by Jack.

Guests are not only invited, they are encouraged! Bring your friends, your family, and your grandmother and show off what you do. They probably miss hanging out with you, anyway.

If your friends laugh at you, they’re not really your friends. Don’t worry about it, we can help you find better ones. There will be various speeds of drivers and cars on the track, that’s a reality. We’re not keeping time sheets, and there are no results. The most important thing to remember is that situational awareness, letting faster cars pass, and respecting your fellow participants will insure a good time for everyone.
SCCA First Gear members as well as active US Military service men and women are eligible for a $25 discount on each event entered. For all other participants, check out our TrackBucks page for a list of retailers offering Track Night in America coupons. 
Everyone gets an hour, divided into three 20 minute sessions. Novices also get a 20 minute paced lap session and there is another pace lap session that is open to everyone. So, if you just can’t get enough and do it all, you can be on track for an hour and 40 minutes (or you could just come back next month).
Nope. If you’re not already a member, we’ll make you a member for the day so that you have the benefits of SCCA membership and insurance coverage while on site. BUT this is a great time to join and easy to do when registering for the event. 

Yes, but with a few caveats. Some tracks are more restrictive than others so check individual event pages, but generally, if your convertible is actually a Targa or T-Top, no problem.


If it is a true convertible it needs to meet one of the following criteria:

  • The convertible vehicle is a 2006-year model or newer, does not have forced induction, is less than 8 cylinders and has not been modified meaningfully beyond factory performance potential. (Examples: Engine swaps, aftermarket forced induction.)
     
  • The convertible vehicle is equipped with documented, factory-installed rollover protection (Examples of manufacturer documented rollover protection would include hydroformed and reinforced a-pillars or windshield frames, and factory-installed roll bars and/or "pop-up" bars that are designated as rollover protection.)
     
  • The convertible vehicle is equipped with an aftermarket roll bad that meets or exceeds standards set in the SCCA Time Trials Rules. 

Yes, but you cannot drive it on track. We would love to have lots of racecars at Track Nights for people to check out, talk about, and (with your permission) let their kids sit in. However, the track time at track night is for streetcars only. If you have any questions about what constitutes a racecar and if your car is or isn't, please visit our Vehicle Eligibility Page.

It’s a valid concern, though not a common occurrence. All Track Night events will be staffed with EMTs, an ambulance and fire and emergency response vehicles. Should something go awry, you will have professionals there to help you through it.

First, do nothing. Figure out where you are, which way traffic is coming from and what your options are. Then catch your breath and pick a path to continue that does not interrupt traffic. The nearest corner station can aid you in determining an appropriate time to return to the track surface, so look for them. Once you are going again, proceed directly to pit lane for a brief visit with your driver coach. Whether or not you need to then go change your underwear is completely up to you.

Track driving is more wear and tear on your car than driving to work, no doubt about it. If you track your car on a regular basis, you can expect to replace items like brake pads, shocks and tires more often than normal. Good thing we have the Tire Rack to supply you with all those goodies.

GET OUT THE WAY!!! If you are on track, coast to a safe location as far away from the racing surface as possible. Our towing service will then bring you and your car back to the paddock area. If it cannot be repaired, you will need to make your own arrangements to get your car home. The good news is you’ll be surrounded by a group of people with access to trailers. We suggest you take the opportunity to make a new friend.

Pro Tip: No matter where you end up if you have a problem, never get out of the car unless you're in immediate danger from something. (Like fire.)

While it is strongly recommended to get your car ready before showing up, sometimes things get over-looked. We will do our best to get your car to pass our safety inspection, but if it is beyond reasonable abilities, we can transfer your entry to the next event in your area. 

Yes, but… they must also be a driving entrant and the event manager needs to give permission.  Extra guidance and pointers from fellow participants are encouraged - "hey ya'll, watch this" rides are not. 

All other guests of the events may only ride during Track Tour laps.

Yup, in designated passing zones and with a point by. Other than in advanced group, passing zones will always be on straightaways. Not all cars that are fast in turns are fast on straights. So, if you have someone in a slower car that is going faster than you, plan to lift and give them a point by at the next zone.

Point bys let the driver behind you know that you are prepared for them to pass. A point by should always be out the window, obvious and coincide with you making room on that side for a pass. Multiple cars need multiple points, so keep pointing until there is no one behind you.

If someone is holding you up, flash your lights at the beginning of a passing zone. If they don’t see you, the blue flagger will.

Blue flags mean there is someone behind you that you are, or have been holding up. If you see a blue flag, give a point by as soon as you can… even if you drive a Corvette.
Yellow flags mean there is a hazard ahead. The hazard can be a stopped car, a car that has spun off, or a part that is on the track. If the hazard is on the track, the flag will be waved, if it is off the track it will be stationary. When you see a yellow, lower you speed and be prepared to alter your line.
Black flags mean that you should pit this lap. There are two types of black flags, waving and stationary. A waving black means that EVERYONE should pit, either because the session has ended or because there has been an incident. A stationary black, however, is for just you and will be paired with a stern look and point from the flagger. This means that something has happened on course or with your car and our driving coach would like to talk to you about it. There are two great ways to avoid a black flag: 1) make sure your car is track ready and stays on course at all times, and 2) pit as soon as you realize that number 1 has changed. 

Stop, as soon as you can. However, it doesn’t mean, “slam on the brakes in traffic.” When you see red, pull to the side of the track, and come to a safe and controlled stop. It is good to put a hand up so that other drivers know you are stopping. Watch the corner workers for what to do next.

A Track Night in America t-shirt, of course! Beyond that, close-toed shoes and a helmet are required everywhere. Some tracks require long sleeved shirts and long pants – this will be clearly noted on the registration page. If that applies to you, take it seriously. Yes, even if it’s hot out.
You need good brakes. Some cars come from the factory with excellent brakes, most however could use some help. If you are just getting started, and your car is functioning properly, you can always go with what you have. However, it is a good idea to invest in a set of pads and rotors that are designed for track use if you plan to make a habit of it. If you have a need, we recommend shopping our friends at TireRack.com.
You need good tires. Some cars come from the factory with excellent tires, most however could use some help. If you are just getting started, and your tires are in good condition, you can always go with what you have. However, most all-season tires are not designed to endure track driving, so a good set of performance street tires is a best for the track.  If you have a need, we recommend shopping our friends at TireRack.com.
Special insurance is not required, but certainly recommended.  The fact is, your regular car insurance policy probably doesn’t cover your car at the track. To double-check, read the fine print of your policy and look for “exclusions” phrases like, “on a surface used for racing,” “at a performance driving event,” or “at a racetrack facility.” But, because Track Night in America events are structured for safety, our participants can purchase affordable Lockton Motorsports HPDE Insurance coverage for their vehicles during the event. Track Night in America participants can get coverage at a significantly discounted rate for a single-event, agreed value policy that also covers your vehicle modifications. You can find their fast and easy online application at locktonmotorsports.com.

If you have a family car, bring the family car. If you have a sportscar, bring the sportscar. If you have both, bring the one you are most comfortable driving.  Anything that does not pose a rollover risk and is track worthy is welcome. Please visit our Vehicle Eligibility Page to see more guidelines and philosophies concerning what is and isn't allowed at Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack.

No, we do not offer loaner helmets for this program. However, when you sign up you can include a Black Armor Helmet as part of your registration. Helmets ship directly to your address so make sure to sign up early enough to get your helmet before the event.

The exact answer to this question is almost impossible to answer, but the easy answer is, as fast as you are comfortable, right up until it’s time to brake for the next corner. Be aware however, if you know that you or your car are not as fast as others on track, keep an eye on your mirrors and be ready to point someone by. 
Not at all. If you’ve always wanted to drive on a racetrack and didn’t know how, where or when, Track Night is absolutely for you! You can participate in either the Starting Line Track School or the Novice Experience to get your start and some know-how. Check out “ways to play” to learn more.
Not in the car with you. However, especially in the novice group, you will have driving instructors coaching you and helping you along the way. They will be glad to give you input on what they see, and where you can improve. They will not, however, be in the car with you. You may ask an intermediate or advanced participant to ride along in your car with you to help learn the track.

As many as you want. We won’t push you out of the nest until you’re ready.

Best way to start! There’s no charge for admission. And you can participate in the paced laps for free, too. If you want to get involved, but not participate in driving on track, there are other volunteer positions that help support this and any other SCCA events - from flagging to welcoming those arriving on-site. 
Yes, but there are two things you should know. First, there are limited spots available, so waiting until the last minute could be problematic. Don’t do that. But, if you just realized you could make it tonight after all, please come by. Second, you can only sign up online. We’ll walk you through the process on your phone, or our computer, so bring your credit or debit card. 
Yes. Two drivers can participate in the same car in different run groups or they can split the time within the group. Each driver must be an entrant, however so splitting time in the same run group will cost you track time. Another good option is to both do the Run/Work entry which allows each of you one session (at only $35) while working for two hours to support the event.
Run/Work is a great way for SCCA members to get some track time while also providing support for the event. Give us two hours of your time and $35 gets you a 20-minute on track session. 
The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.
Rain will happen. If the event cannot be executed safely, we will cancel or postpone it. However, it takes more than a summer shower to stop our events.  Driving in the rain is an art in of itself and extra care must be taken in navigating the track. Discretion, being the better part of valor is particularly true in the damp.

We will send you information via email prior to the event with maps and instructions, including the appropriate gate to enter at the facility. Signs will then direct you to check-in where you will receive further instructions.

We’re planning a number of additional activities during and after Track Night events, but those will change at each location. If you know of an organization or car club that would like to have a meeting or get together during Track Night (what a great idea!), email: jack@tracknightinamerica.com.
There is an event schedule on each track page. Click on the tracks page to find schedules, start times and everything going on at a track night near you.

Here at Track Night, we understand things happen, plans change, cars may need unexpected maintenance, and other issues do occur, creating the need to cancel occasionally.

While we cannot give refunds, we can transfer your event registration to another event, another person, or we can issue a full credit for you to use toward another event.  

All you need to do is fill out the Event Change Request form, select which option works best for you, and we'll take care of it.  Request for credit must be in by 4pm Central time the day before the event so that our staff has adequate time to fill your vacated space.  

If there are extenuating circumstances you think we should know about while helping you resolve this issue, please email Jack@TrackNightinAmerica.com 

Your car does not need numbers, but we won’t make you take them off. Because this isn’t a competition program, we’re not keeping your time, so the number isn’t necessary.
Not from us at the track, but we heard a rumor that you can find some at most major airports!  

Yes, we do! And what an awesome gift they are: https://www.tracknightinamerica.com/pages/store.  

The checkered flag is that one with all the black and white squares on it, but you probably knew that. If you and your car are in the same condition they were in when you started the session, it means you won. Celebrate by driving back around to the pits at a reduced speed to let your tires, brakes and engine cool and don't forget to give a victory wave to the corner workers.

Minor Participation in Track Night events required pre-approval by either the Director of Experiential Programs or the Manager of the specific event.  For approval to be given, the following must be met:

  • The minor must be a licensed driver and provide a complete SCCA minor waiver.

  • The minor must display some level of sanctioned performance driving experience.  Acceptable options include autocross, karting or track events.

  • A parent or legal guardian must be on site for the event.

  • The vehicle and track must be deemed appropriate for a beginning driver.

Provided these criteria are met, approval may be given.



Don’t see your question? Ask Jack, “what’s the facts” at Jack@TrackNightinAmerica.com