Taking young kids to a drift track race day
On the track or doing media photos, track life is important to us. Now with kids, it is a priority that we make happen even if it is a bit more complicated.
Most tracks are family friendly, and we love our drift track - US Air in Shawano, WI - because they are so open and friendly to kids. One example: Our oldest is learning about money and they have lots of little snacks that he can use change he earns to buy. It is fun for him and teaches a skill.
In general, once a kid is over 9 years old, they should be able to manage a track no problem. But babies/toddlers/preschoolers are different and take a lot of patience and attention...and extra 'stuff''. If you have never taken kids to the track, here are a few tips to get over the hurdles.
Pick a close track or a track you know well. US Air is 4 hours away from us, but we've been going there for over 10 years. DCTC, in Rosemount, MN is a closer track (45 minutes) to us that we've taken the boys to a lot more.
Check the weather...keep checking...storms were predicted for DD85 up until the week of, then warmer than average weather. We got lucky with some beautiful sunshine and only a little wind. Perfect Spring hoodie weather!
Check the track out ahead of time and find the calm areas. Grassy fields or far sections of the track are good spots to let them run off energy without getting in the way of other drivers, spectators or crowds. Bleachers are also fun for kids to run around in/under, as long as they aren't too high. Keeping littles in your direct eyesight is key so you can run to grab them if they start getting too daring.
Speaking of running...wear some comfy kicks and make your smalls wear sneakers with solid laces/velcro and long pants. Tracks are dirty places with rusty metal and it will help keep them clean and cut free. Pack band-aids, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, extra clothes, bottled water and snacks. Oh, and wet wipes, because they will get sticky or dirty.
In the pit area, make sure each kid has a chair...otherwise there will be fighting. An easy-up canopy is great for keeping sun or rain off. Choose a pit spot closer to the bathrooms or a greenspace instead of right next to the track or high-traffic walking zone.
Let them help, watch, and learn. Take them to the driver's meeting, let them walk the pits with you to look at the other cars. If you are able to do a track walk/drive to get the layout, see if they can come too. Have them help air up/down tires. If you take notes on things, let them help record. If you are passionate about something, they will want to be too - teach them!
Give them a camera and let them take photos! Kids love taking photos and looking at their photos later. Make sure it is a cheap point-n-shoot that can be dropped.
Stay safe, have fun, and teach them how to be good racecar drivers!
Check out these great photos of us at Drift Day 85 from Cluster Fuc Media!