Can I Get That Scanner with a V-Chip?

Several racing fans note that if you have kids, you might want to think twice before letting the whole family use a scanner to listen to a race. In the heat of battle, tempers can flare, and drivers and pit crews rarely censor their vocabulary.

Finding Stock Car Scanner Frequencies

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The simplest way to find stock car frequencies is also the most annoying. Step one: Place your fingers on the frequency dial. Step two: Turn it slowly. Step three: Stop when you hear something.

You may already have guessed the problem with this approach. As noted before, a scanner is just a device for picking up radio frequencies. So, if it hasn't been programmed, it'll pick up every radio event near the track, whether or not those events are related. You might get to overhear the conversations of truckers and police on the nearest highway. Sure, it could be fun, even instructive -- but it's not the race.

­Obviously, it makes sense to come prepared. Sleuth around online before the big day. Look for a list of frequencies you can print out and bring with you. Some subscription services (such as National Radio Data) charge for the information. Often the data leaks onto fan sites and racing forums. The tradeoff, of course, is that you must decide to trust the accuracy of your fellow fans' information, and you'll have to come to terms with your feelings about low-level digital piracy.

Free or not, you'll probably be able to find most teams' frequencies with a quick search or two. Remember that frequencies change by racing series, so don't assume that what worked last time is going to work the same way this time.

The printable frequency list has a second purpose -- it's your channel guide. Unless you can quickly memorize the channels for 200 different frequencies, you'll want to keep the list handy during the race. That way -- if, say, there's a wreck -- you'll know which channel to jump to for the scoop.

Once you're armed with your programmed channels and your frequency list, you're ready for a completely new experience of racing. Be prepared to spend a lot of time poking your friends to tell them about the latest bit of behind-the-scenes drama. You've always known there were a lot of secrets at the racetrack -- and now you'll be in on them.

To learn more about stock car racing and related topics, visit the links on the next page.