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.
Russ Rosenberg joins me to talk about his book, Racing Under the Illusion of Grandeur. More importantly, we’re talking about the topic of his book: how to get started in racing after age 40 and what Russ learned when he took on that challenge. But oh, this book – and what Russ has to share – applies to any driver, of any age, in any form of motorsport.
Colin Braun joins me once again – while we’re traveling in Europe – and we talk about how to be fast in fast corners. There aren’t many – if any – faster drivers in sports cars these days, so Colin’s advice on how to work your way up to the limit in very fast corners is great information. Also, we talk about how to sense the limits of the tires when in these fast corners (hint: it’s not wiggling the steering wheel back and forth).
Christian Maloof and I have a fun, casual conversation about what momentum cars really are, how they differ from non-momentum cars (if at all), and how to get the most out of them. We dig into the skills and techniques (braking, steering, throttle), as well as the mindset that these “roll speed” cars reward.
Peter Krause returns on this podcast to discuss driver etiquette. Our topics include shared responsibility, trust, precision, respect, and learning control, not just bettering your lap time. Are you going to play fairly or not? And what is fair?
Andrew Rains is back on the podcast (he was also on episode #56), and we talk about the squiggly lines that data systems of all levels produce, and how you can use them understand what’s going on inside a driver’s mind – or your mind. The subtle shape of these lines tell us a lot, but it takes just a bit of knowledge before you can really use it. And that’s what this show is all about – giving you that knowledge.
Paul Tracy joins me to talk about his TV commentating skills, what made the difference when he won his Indy Car championship, the importance of adapting to the car, and about his comeback to racing this year in a Trans-Am car – what’s worked, and his desire to do more.
Ever want to drive the Nurburgring and Spa? Listen in. After an unforgettable week with 20 guest drivers at the Nurburgring and Spa, as well as spectacular dinners and socializing, my co-hosts, Tom Roberts & Ron Simons, and I sit down and debrief on what we all learned – the drivers and the three of us.
Ford GT and all-round fast, winning driver, Billy Johnson joins me so we can dig deeper into the topic of what makes the best drivers better than everyone else. As one of the winningest drivers in sports car racing, we talk about what makes him fast, but he also shares what he’s learned from some of his co-drivers.
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.
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.