What Is Crapcan Racing? – The Ultimate Primer

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Crapcan racing is an exciting way to get involved in and experience the thrill of car racing without having to be a world class driver. There are many different series to check out, and the community around crapcan racing is huge. But you may wonder what crapcan racing actually is.

Crapcan racing involves the racing of cars that may otherwise have been scrapped, with the 2 main series being ChumpCar and LeMons. The term is a play on words, and although it describes cars that may be deemed to be worth very little money, they are usually upgraded for competitive racing.

There is a lot involved in crapcan racing, and it’s not just a case of buying a super-cheap car and racing it against other people. There is an entire community of crapcan racers, and there are different tournaments and events held all the time. So, let’s look at crapcan racing in more detail.

A Basic Rundown Of Crapcan Racing

There are several different types of crapcan racing, but essentially it involves taking older, fairly worn-down cars and turning them into race cars. This can be done on a tight budget for the fun of racing, or it can be taken much more seriously, and a lot of work can be performed to turn the vehicle almost into a high-performance car.

This can cost a lot more money, but it will allow you to enter into races in your area and potentially compete for wins. There is a huge community of crapcan racers, and there are competitions held all over the USA. If you enjoy racing and want something totally different to try, and you don’t mind spending some money, crapcan racing can be an excellent way to experience the thrill of endurance driving.

What Does Crapcan Racing Involve?

A lot of crapcan racing competitions involve endurance racing. This can be anywhere from a couple of hours to a full 24 hours of racing. Usually, there is quite an eclectic mix of racing abilities, with racers of all levels of experience taking part. Most competitions will require you to be a competent racing driver, but you don’t need to be a world class driver to have a lot of fun in a tournament.

However, these endurance races do require you to be a part of a team. The team aspect of crapcan racing makes it very appealing for many people, as the social community spirit involved can make for some great entertainment, and it can be very rewarding. Finding a team and a car are naturally the two most important parts of crapcan racing.

What Do You Need To Consider?

Pick A Team

The first thing you will need to consider is which team you are going to join. There won’t always be a crapcan racing team near you, and so you might have to do some research to find out where your nearest one is. Once you do, it’s worth getting in touch with the people who lead the team to find out if you can get involved. From there, you will then need to consider the car.

You Need A Car

Depending on when you get involved with the team, they may or may not already have a car to use. If you form your own team, you will have to put together a plan to buy and set up a vehicle for racing. We will talk about the costs of crapcan racing below, but bear in mind that it’s not a free ticket into racing. There will be costs to consider, and it can get expensive.

Why Are You Getting Into Crapcan Racing?

That brings us on to the next thing you should consider, and that is why you are getting into crapcan racing in the first place. If you are just doing it for fun, you should consider trying to join an existing team, as setting one up yourself can take a lot of time. Plus, it can be expensive to try and sort out a car from scratch, especially if you’re not trying to regularly win races.

However, if you are looking to race fairly competitively, you want to think about what kind of car you want to race in. Thinking about this before joining a team will allow you to try and find one that matches what you want, and if you are planning to set up your own team, it will allow you to search for like-minded people that want to race in the same car.

Find A Good Group Of People

If you are just doing it for fun, you will want to make sure you are associating yourself with people that are conducive to your enjoyment. You will be spending a lot of time with these people in high stress environments, so it really helps if you get along with them!

Obviously, it will also depend on where you are situated geographically. If crapcan racing sounds appealing to you but you live several states away from the nearest team, there are obviously going to be issues. Do your research, find a team of drivers that you would like to join, and see where crapcan racing can take you.


• Crapcan racing involves racing scrap-worthy cars in a competitive manner

• Races usually follow an endurance format

• You’ll need to find or form a team, and source a suitable car to get started

The Different Series Of Crapcan Racing

The two main series of crapcan racing are the ChumpCar, now named the ChampCar Endurance Series, and the 24 Hours of LeMons. The former is a series of endurance races that take place across North America. These races range from 10 hours to 24 hours in length and come with a clear set of rules that define what cars you can and can’t race with.

Note: The ChampCar Endurance Series is not to be confused with the Champ Car World Series, one of the predecessors of modern IndyCar

The Points System

The main rule is that the cars have to be valued at $500 or less, and there is a points system in place that determines which cars are eligible to race. The price doesn’t include safety equipment, which we will touch on below. The races are run for a fixed length of time, and the winner is the team that manages to complete the most laps in that time.

The 24 Hours Of LeMons

The 24 Hours of LeMons is a play on words, between the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race, and the term ‘lemon’ for a defective used car. It’s a 24-hour endurance race, again on paved roads in North America, and much like the ChampCar series, there is a value limit on the cars of $500. Teams are made up of at least 4 drivers, and there are various awards given out over the course of the race.

There may be other smaller series near you, but these two are the biggest series and the most well-known. Now that you know what crapcan racing is and what it involves, it is worth dedicating some of this article to the costs involved (as they can be pretty high!).

The Costs Of Crapcan Racing

Although car value limits of $500 are a common theme in crapcan racing series, the actual costs of the cars involved often reach five-figure sums. Cars that race in the 24 Hours of LeMons may cost upwards of $15,000 once all of the safety features have been installed and the running costs have been taken into consideration.

Mounting Running Costs

These races are long, and there are often hundreds of other cars involved. This makes it a dangerous sport, especially when you consider the fact that crapcan racers are often just average drivers looking to have some fun with an old car. This is why it is vital that no corners are cut when it comes to the safety features of the cars.

Proper Safety Precautions

Features such as roll cages and proper racing seats, as well as protective equipment for the drivers, including helmets and harnesses, can cost several thousand dollars. Then you have to consider the tires and the brakes, both of which are often excluded from the $500 valuation requirements.

Even once everything has been bought for the car and installed correctly, you have to consider the running costs over the course of an endurance race. Things like oil, fuel and other unexpected costs can rack up yet more hundreds of dollars, so it’s vital that you are financially prepared before every race. This is where having a solid team really makes a difference!


• The two main crapcan racing series are ChampCar and LeMons

• These are highly competitive endurance racing series

• The costs of crapcan racing can rise into the five-figure range

Final Thoughts

Crapcan racing is definitely a unique way to experience the thrill of race car driving, but it is not necessarily the easiest way to do it. You have to first find yourself a team, and of course a car. This can be very expensive when everything is taken into account, and it can become more like a part-time job.

However, crapcan racing is an excellent way to meet new people and have a lot of fun. There are lots of different races across the country, and if you get a decent team together with a reasonable car, you can get a lot of enjoyment out of crapcan racing while also maybe even winning some trophies!