August 27, 2013

Prepping For National Championships

Only a few more days before I saddle up and am off to the "Mother Land"... The "Holy Grail" for autocrossers. The great, week-long "Summer Camp"; The 41st TireRack Solo National Championship in Lincoln, Nebraska! The car and I have both come a long way, and I can't wait to see how far we can take it at Nationals. Thanks to Charles at Black Halo Racing that I'm able to even go to Nationals this year, and I can't thank him enough for his efforts and support this year. John unfortunately will not be able to make it out there with me, but I will be going with long-time racer Brian Levesque; the good friend that taught me how to autocross long ago. I think it will be fitting so that the teacher can see the student come around full circle, don't you?

Photo by Michael Siergiej - Michael Siergiej Photography
Meanwhile, while I'm trying not to let the excitement overcome me, I've been very focused over the past two weeks trying to finish prepping before the long road to Lincoln. I thought it might be interesting to share with everyone what exactly that whole prep list entails! I hope it may help anyone else that will be going out for their first time, and I am definitely welcome to hearing other ideas and feedback in case I may have missed something. Stay tuned for more updates before the long trip!

Solo Nationals Prep List

Personal Items/Toiletries
  • Clothing for 7 days - Including rain gear, shorts, hats, jackets, sneakers and driving sneakers, sandals, jeans, 1 nice shirt at least
  • Swimming Trunks
  • 1 set of exercise clothing
  • Wallet, with $100 Cash - For quick food, quick things, Nationals swag
  • Deodorant
  • Cologne
  • Tooth Brush + Tooth Paste + Floss
  • Razor, shaving cream and after shave
  • Medicine and vitamins for 7 days
  • Laptop bag with laptop, headphones, tablet, necessary plugs and cables
  • Umbrella
  • Pillow for the car ride
  • Phone with car charger and GPS mount
  • Sunglasses
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Protein bars & other snacks
  • Cards Against Humanity - For AFTER racing fun...
  • Cassette adapter for music


Car Related
  • Race Wheels with Hoosiers
  • Fresh set of Hoosier Tires - Unmounted, will be at Nebraska waiting for us
  • Torque wrench
  • Breaker bar
  • Tool box - Wrenches, sockets, extensions, gloves, pliers, etc.
  • 1 gal of Coolant
  • 1 gal of distilled water
  • Redline Grease
  • Extra hose clamps
  • 4 Jack stands
  • 1 Jack
  • Spanner wrenches
  • Lug Nut Key Lock
  • Torch - Using Brian's
  • MAF Cleaner
  • 5 Quarts of oil and oil filter
  • Impact gun, batteries and charger
  • Brake fluid
  • Brake bleeder kit with hose
  • Brake cleaner


Event Related
  • Autocross gear bag - Has helmet, gloves, air compressor, tow hooks, sun block, race lug nuts, Go Pro, tire pressure gauge, extra body clips
  • Water Sprayer - Using Brian's since mine is broken
  • 5 Gallon Gas Tank
  • Gunnar Sunglasses
  • Tire Scraper
  • Map Torch
  • Reciprocating Saw
  • Microfiber towels and detail spray, window cleaner, and bug & tar remover
  • Ice Cooler
  • 2 Camping Chairs
  • Magnetic Numbers - Already in the detail box in the car


Final Car Checkup
  • Oil Change
  • Alignment check
  • Bushings greased
  • Body Clips all in place
  • Check/tighten coilover collars
  • Spark Plugs, wires, coils health check
  • Check/tighten exhaust bolts and 02 sensor
  • Check/clean MAF sensor - May purchase an extra one
  • Check Intake alignment and fitting
  • Check/clean air filter
  • Check brake pad life and grease brake pads
  • Check wheel bearings and ball joints - May purchase extras
  • Check/flush clutch and brake fluids as needed
  • Ensure car is at half tank - For practice runs, getting off trailer, etc. etc.
  • Car wash, wax, and vacuum
  • Clean race wheels
  • Charge race battery
  • Vinyls remaining onto car
  • Road Test of all work done
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