You have to watch out for more than just the other drivers on the track.

Monday, June 14, 2010 by Damon Witters
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup Tires. Check.

Hawk Blue 9012 Track Only Brake Pads. Check.

Forged Racing Wheels. Check.

A day booked at the track. Ahhhhhhhh. Bliss. The smell of hot brakes, tires and engines. Old, bald men going through their midlife crises and standing around their new Porsches and BMWs comparing the size of their tires and scratching their bellies at the price they paid for the wheels that will no DOUBT take valuable seconds off their lap times. Seconds that will make them KING of the water cooler on Monday morning. As they are removed from the trailer and installed one by one, how many of them are inspected for cracks? You'd be surprised.

"These wheels are FORGED, and they won't break!" I hear it more than you'd think. Thing is, what most people don't realize is that while lightweight and strong, any wheel , even forged wheels, can crack due to stress or impact. There may not be an obvious bend in the wheel. Where there is a crack, there is a break waiting to happen.

While it's fun to tease (out of jealousy, really), it is important to remember that regardless of what you are racing on, it's imperative that you periodically check your wheels for cracks.

Modern performance cars with high output engines, huge brakes and well tuned susspensions put as much force and stress on wheels as many dedicated race cars. Race teams go through great trouble to inspect wheels for signs of trouble. You should inspect yours, too. The intense extended heat and stress caused on the entire vehicle requires that drivers take extra time and care to ensure there is no hidden damage to any vehicle component.

We have a great tech article that track drivers find useful.

Being king of a Monday morning water cooler means you have to be able to get to it first.

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