Performance & Race Driving Tip

Speed Secret: Have fun!

A funny thing happened when I started corresponding back and forth on email with a race engineer I’d known for many years, Paul Haney. I noticed that he and I both ended our emails with the line, “Have fun!” I’ve been doing that for years, and apparently he has, too.

If you’re not having fun doing what you’re doing at and around race tracks, there’s something very wrong.

I can’t tell you the number of drivers who I’ve coached who had forgotten why they were doing what they were doing. They were so focused on going fast, and winning races, or chasing down their buddies on a track day event that they had completely lost focus on why they were doing what they were doing. But then, when they focused on having fun, guess what happened? They went faster, won more races, and chased down their buddies on a track day.

Oh, I had to learn this lesson the hard way. When I got to race Indy cars, even though I had achieved something I’d wanted to do since I was a kid, I forgot to enjoy it. I was racing for an underfunded team, and it was always a struggle, but still… I was driving an Indy car, for cryin’ out loud! Then, it hit me. I “woke up” and realized that I was in a very special place, thought about what else I could be doing (having a regular job!), and focused more on the fun I was having driving an Indy car. And guess what? I drove better.

So, the Speed Secret above may sound simplistic and unneeded, but I don’t think it ever hurts to be reminded of it.

Have fun!

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