Car Prep Driver Gear When You Arrive Racedriving 101

Overwhelmed by all this tech stuff? Check out our illustrated guide: How NOT to Fail LeMons Safety Tech.


Four Simple Steps:


This account is your portal to the registration system. All drivers and crew members must create an individual account. Once you have created and logged into your account, you can create new teams, enter races, or join existing teams.


On it, tell us why you guys would be cooler than all those other lame-o's who applied for the same race. (We make our decisions based on how much fun we figure you'll be to hang out with all weekend. So, okay--maybe we're a little shallow.) If you are joining an existing team, you will need to create and log in to your personal account, and input the Team Invite Code (provided by your captain) in the box at the top of your "My Events" page.


Selection takes place right after the event's Entry Deadline, which is eight weeks before the race. (If you have a really, really, really compelling reason why you need to hear sooner, try us...but be sure to read Rule 2.4 first.) Don't send in any fees until your team gets officially accepted.

4. AFTER ACCEPTANCE, PAY THE ENTRY FEE and finish preparing your heap.

Need step-by-step signup help? Click here.

What's It Cost?

Entry is $600 per car and $175 per driver. That fee covers registration, track time, paddock pass, safety crews, cheap sweatshop-made commemorative crap, and anything else we come up with by then. For $75, non-driving team members get all the same bennies except track time. Spectators who aren't driving or wrenching for a team can get all-access paddock passes at the gate--they're $30 and good all weekend.

Will My Team Get Accepted?

Maybe. Maybe not. We usually get more applications than each racetrack can handle, so we have to pick and choose. Boring applications like "We are four guys who love to race, and we have done (blah blah blah) driving before" don't give us too much to work with: You might get in, and you might not. Applications like "Choose us, because we'll wear beaver costumes in the paddock and our car is entirely coated in birch bark" give you much better odds.

What the heck are you talking about?
A nationwide series of endurance races for cars that cost $500 or less.

Come again?
The 24 Hours of LeMons is restricted to cars that were purchased, fixed up, and track-prepped for a total of $500 or less. At most venues, the racing consists of tech inspection and track testing on Friday; long-ass endurance-race sessions on Saturday and Sunday; and breaks for sleeping, eating, and Band-Aid application every night. At least once a year, we also hold a straight 24-hour endurance race. Count on plenty of noise, prizes, water fights, and questionably civilized fun before, during, and after the track sessions. Finally, assuming you're still standing, there's the gala awards ceremony, wherein we present trophies, plaques, and winner's purses paid out in nickels.

Can that have the least shred of civilized merit?
Not really...but it does help raise money for Speedway Children's Charities, and they do all kinds of good stuff. For more about LeMons and SCC, click here.

Can I just come and watch?

Absolutely. For people who aren't working on cars (including everything from changing an engine to checking the air in the tires), all-access spectator passes are always available at the gate--they're $30 and good all weekend. If you want to help wrench, you must pre-register with a team as a crew member.

What is a $500 car exactly?

A car that reaches the starting line for a grand total investment of $500, including purchase and preparation. The only things not included in that figure are approved safety equipment, brakes, and wheels/tires.

Do $500 cars really exist?

Absolutely--just look at the Gallery. The best ways to find candidates are by looking on Craigslist, reading local bulletin boards, and cruising through crummy neighborhoods.

Do I need to smog it and register it and insure it?

No. The whole thing takes place on a private racetrack, so there are no DMV or auto-insurance requirements.

Why not cheat on the $500 limit?

Because our BS-Factor judging panel will dock you one lap for every additional $10 it thinks you spent. It's also a claiming race, meaning the organizer can buy your car after the race for $500 if he thinks you've been cheating.

Do I need to buy special stuff?

Yeah, but it's nothing ridiculous. You'll need a suit and a helmet (LeMons drivers can get good cheap ones here), and the car needs a rollcage and some other new bits. See the LeMons Rulebook--everything's listed in there.

What do I do to the car?

Want to be smart? Find one that already runs. Then, install a roll cage, full competition harnesses, a fire extinguisher, and some other safety stuff per the LeMons Rulebook. Congratulations: You just built a racecar.

Where to I get all that stuff?

The LeMons Forum is a great place to find resources on cage fabricators and general race-car builders. If you strike out there, don't hesitate to drop us a line. We've helped hundreds of rookie teams get off the ground, so don't be shy.

What if I ran the car in a previous LeMons?

Are you kidding? You'd actually resurrect that smoldering pile of iron oxide? Well, it's your funeral--send us some post-race snaps and we'll assign a residual value between $0 and $499.

Is this, like, real racing?
Yeah, it's real racing. That said, between the thick scrum of crapcans in front of you and our aversion to long, flat-out straightaways, you're not going to set any speed records. It's kinda like a loud, hot, noisy version of driving to work. For a really, really long time. Without actually getting anywhere. And it's a lot harder to drink coffee through the helmet. Oh, and, you know, it's more dangerous.

Is it safe?
Safety equipment isn't included in the $500 car-purchase price, so you'll have kind of a fighting chance. But car racing just isn't a brilliant thing to be doing. Get used to it.

Do I have to be a racedriver?
While these are wheel-to-wheel racetrack events, drivers include total non-racers, amateur racers, and pros. Everyone will need to purchase a LeMons Competition Membership for $50--Memberships are good for 364 days from the date of purchase. No outside competition licenses are recognized or reciprocated.

What if I have no idea what I'm doing?
Ah, we don't either. This whole "expert" schtick is just pathetic male compensation. Don't sweat it.

Is my car gonna get hella munched up?
Oh, almost definitely. LeMons is a non-contact event, but it's a crowded track with a whole lot of really hard driving.

Whaddabout bumpin' and draftin' and all that there hillbilly stuff?

Think NASA roadrace, not NASCAR enduro. While some minor incidental contact may occur, poor driving, lack of car control, intentional contact, chopping, and bumping are subject to punishment by pit penalties, tarring and feathering (honest), and/or expulsion. Oh, and Mr. SmartGuy? The specific bad-driving punishments outlined in Section 6 of the rulebook are in addition to, not instead of, said tarring and feathering.

Do I need to drag the pathetic heap home again?
If you want to abandon your pile after the race, some tracks will accept the remains provided you have a clear title or junk slip to sign over. None will accept cars with only a bill of sale or other fakey-bakey paperwork, and none will accept piles of disparate parts.

Have I got to run the whole stupid interminable race?

It ain't like we're going to drag you out of bed Sunday morning. You can run as much or as little of it as you want. A lot of people just show up to eat the nachos.

Are there prizes?
Oh, lordy yes. Over the course of the year we'll be recognizing wins for marque, nationality, all-girls teams, etc., and awarding the Harold Stassen Memorial Sticktuitiveness Trophy, the Albert Gore Jr. Carbon-Neutral Cup, and other such venerable honors. Some teams even win cash awards--for the breakdown of those, visit the rules page. Warning: We love to pay cash prizes in nickels.


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