Speed Secrets Podcast
Conversations (& Tips) to Help You Drive Better
The Speed Secrets Podcast is all about high performance and race driving. In it, I have conversations with guests, resulting in tips, advice, and inspiration you can take to the track.
Guests include drivers of all levels and types, engineers, coaches and instructors, safety experts, race officials, HPDE event organizers, and anyone else who can help you drive better and have more fun.
Each episode – posted every Thursday – is just right length to listen to while on your way to work, to the track, or while you’re working out.
Chuck Davies joins me to talk about the future of safety in motorsport, head and neck restraints, helmets, harnesses, and racing and track day events. We touch on the effect Dale Earnhardt’s crash had on the sport, as well as SFI, Snell and FIA standards.
Kevin Madsen joins me to talk about the one technique that’ll make the biggest difference to your driving. This show is all about helping you be an even better driver, with lots of great tips and advice – things you can use right now to improve your driving. We dig in deep on vision – more than just saying look far ahead and that vision is important. Then Kevin shares his thoughts on the biggest mistake that drivers make, and ends with his Speed Secret: Be prepared.
Matt Farah – Mr. The Smoking Tire – joins me to talk about becoming better at anything, whether making YouTube videos or driving fast cars. Since he drives a couple of hundred different cars each year, we also talk about whether to adapt to the car, or let the car adapt to us. Then we dig into the fancy footwork of the best drivers, which corners really are the most important ones, and finish up with Matt’s Speed Secrets (two of them!).
Toni Calderon from Speed Group joins me to talk about managing one’s career, no matter what type or level of the sport you’re involved in. We discuss what he’s seen that works, and what doesn’t work, from sponsorship to working with teams. Toni then talks about gentleman drivers – the subject of a documentary that he’s produced (it will be released in a few months), and the importance of being marketable.
Mike Smith, Josh Herbert & Chris Graham join me to talk about their experience moving from HPDE to Time Trials and now to wheel-to-wheel racing in NASA Spec Miata. They share thoughts on the highs and lows, costs, and what they’ve learned. Mike talks about how he’s striving to improve his vision skills, they tell us about how they’re finding and working with sponsors, and Josh shares a great Speed Secret: Just go to a track day and drive!
Loren Elmer joins me to talk about his book, Stay Alive While Driving, The Secrets of a Race Car Driver. Obviously, there are many skills & techniques that we learn driving on the track that lead to us being better drivers on the street – Loren shares a few of his secrets. We also talk about how you can help others be better drivers on the street.
Steve Welk joins me to talk about why so many racers and performance drivers make such good entrepreneurs. What is it about them? Of course, since Steve is a great driver coach, we have to dive into some driving topics, too. In fact, Steve shares his thoughts on the techniques and skills that the best drivers use.
Brian Makse joins me to talk about the differences and similarities between a few production cars and the factory-built race versions of the same car, the new TCR race platform, a book he’s just completing all about Rolex Daytona 24-Hour race winners (and their watches), and what you can do to get the most out of a coach/instructor.
Colin & Melissa Braun, as well as Sean Rayhall join me as I drive a Kia Ceed to the Le Mans circuit, and then from there to Paris after the race. We share stories about our not-so-beautiful chateau in the French countryside (cold showers, cats, flea bites), our best and worst air travel experiences, how to pass on the outside of a corner, what it takes to make a career in racing, and what to do with the brake and gas pedal!
Mark Lutes, Scott Refert, and Ron Gale join me to talk about driving simulators, from different perspectives: a sim chassis builder, a race car engineer, and a sim racer. Of course, I throw in my own thoughts from a driver training viewpoint. We talk about the importance of the types of controls, VR glasses, and how big the sim racing community is.
Jordan Taylor joins me to talk about the driving styles of the best drivers, but before we do we also talk about nature vs. nurture. In other words, did he inherit his driving abilities from his dad, Wayne, or was it something he learned. And then… we have a surprise cameo appearance from Rodney Sandstorm!
Danna Van Noy joins me to talk about how to get your spouse involved and be supportive of your driving addiction! Part marital advice, part motivator, it’s a fun conversation about a “tricky” topic. We also talk about why so many drivers are also entrepreneurs, adrenaline sports, expanding your comfort zone, and how to protect your car’s finish when on track.
Road & Track writer Jack Baruth joins me to talk about whatever is bugging him. Amongst other things, we talk about funding to help young drivers make a career in racing, the mental game of driving, track day safety, HPDE instruction, and how to make the most of a race start.
Chris Wehrheim joins me to talk about karting, and how you can use it to improve your driving, no matter what you drive. We also talk about why some young drivers make it, and some don’t, but mostly discuss ways you can use a kart to make you a better driver.
Cameron Norsworthy joins me to talk about flow, or getting into the zone. There are many factors that contribute to triggering a “flow performance,” and we talk about the most important ones. What’s very cool in this episode is that he actually takes a few minutes to lead listeners through a short visualization session, and helps you identify what will help you get into the zone more often.
Jamie Stiehr joins me to talk about vintage and club racing, how to grow participation in our sport, how to help charities through racing, and the Race Against Kids’ Cancer (RAKC). Many individuals and teams have used motorsport as a platform for raising funds for a good cause, and the RAKC, which supports the Morgan Adams Foundation is a great example. The event has been successful in raising over three-quarters of a million dollars, and has now branched out into a separate event in Texas.
Marshall Pruettjoins me to talk about what the best drivers do, and don’t do, that make them the best. His insights on Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Simon Pagenaud, Sebastian Bourdais, Robert Wickens, Josef Newgarden, and others are fascinating – and educational. And the stories he uses to illustrate these insights are hugely fun!
Dave Pratte joins me to talk about, well… mistakes. Okay, and some things that are not mistakes, too, but Dave and I talk about how valuable mistakes are from a learning perspective. We have fun discussing the judgment one needs when passing, and how ego can make a difference; the most common mistakes drivers make with their cars; the differences between autocross and time attack, and road racing; and what one learns from testing tons of different cars.
Scott Mann joins me to talk about High Performance Driver Education (HPDE) instructing, and particularly what are the traits that the best instructor have. We share stories and thoughts about the importance of an open/growth mindset, dealing with Type A personalities, how to practice instructing, and what the best focus on.
Jeff Braun joins me to talk about what makes the best engineers, and what the best drivers do differently. Of course, Jeff can’t resist sharing what he knows about tuning a car’s handling, so he does that in this episode, too. Most important, by listening to Jeff, you get an insight into the process, or approach, to tuning a car’s performance.
While conversations dig into the details of things (like cornering lines, trail and left-foot braking, race track specific advice, data acquisition and video analysis, upshifting and downshifting, steering techniques, and the use of the throttle), the broader perspective of topics such as the following are covered:
- What specific techniques and skills the best drivers use
- The most challenging corners
- How to adapt to handling problems
- What separates the best drivers from the rest
- How to learn new techniques and tracks
- Safety tips and resources
- Handling and car setup
- Data and video analysis techniques
- Fun and interesting stories
- Why we drive
- Passion and enthusiasm for our sport
WHY A PODCAST?
Since my first Speed Secrets book was published back in 1998, many drivers have asked about audio versions of them. They wanted to listen to them while driving to the track, to and from work, and while exercising.
Some of the most educational, and fun conversations I have are at the track with a driver, official, coach, engineer, team member, or safety expert. I often wish I’d recorded those conversations so I could share them with you.