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.
On this week’s episode, David Williams joins me to talk about how sim racing can make you a better track day driver or racer. We dive deep to discuss Virtual Racing School, how being a pro sim racer works (where does the money come from?!), dealing with a lack of sensory input from the sim, sensing the limit in a sim, the accuracy of car setups in the sim, brain neuroplasticity and adapting to sims and real cars. Oh, and David offers sim coaching services.
Rob Wilson joins us on this week’s episode to share stories about coaching F1 drivers, the importance of weight transfer, why confidence matters, and the perfect technique to turning a steering wheel. He also shares his aha! moment as a driver and a coach.
On this week’s episode, James Chartres joins me to talk about how he built his confidence and became one of “the fast ones” in the competitive world of SCCA, finding the balance between being analytical and just letting go to have fun, making track notes, and turn 5 at Laguna Seca. We also dive into racing sponsorships/partnerships at the grassroots level.
In this week’s episode, Tom O’Gorman joins me to talk about autocross (how it helps and hurts road course driving), simulators and eSports, the ideal cornering line, and making a career in racing! We also discuss why driving a bad car in bad conditions can actually be a really good thing!
On this week’s episode, Scot Elkins joins me to discuss being COO of IMSA/ALMS and managing the merge with Grand-Am. He dishes all about the Motorsport Safety Foundation – the what and why of the HPDE instructor certification program “CERTIFIED,” how the safety standards are set, and why all driving instructors should get CERTIFIED.
On this week’s episode, Dane Cameron joins me to discuss building confidence as a race driver, how to drive a car with aerodynamic down force – how to learn to trust it and manage its traction, and the difference in driving styles between open wheel and sports cars. He also shares what it was like to get the call to drive for Roger Penske!
Andrew Rains joins me on this week’s episode to discuss all about data systems. We tackle how to best use your data system, the importance of understanding the “why” behind what you see on data, what data can and can’t do, and more…
Colin Braun joins me to talk about traveling for races, getting the balance between overthinking and not thinking enough when driving, trusting your subconscious programming to drive, and getting into the zone. We also discuss the importance of always learning and never getting complacent, and what to do when you can’t do what you want with your driving technique.
Dave Peters joins me to talk about the world of HPDE, driving Miatas, and where driving confidence comes from.
Travis Okulski joins me to talk about where Road & Track is headed, his racing experience and how that’s contributed to where he is today, what makes drivers like Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal, and Colin Braun so great, and the future of motorsport – including Formula E.
Jim Kearney joins me to talk about what it takes to win more races, and we discuss the importance of car prep, mental prep, having triggers to get you in the right state of mind/mood, and track notes.
Ryan Yard joins me to talk about everything from using motorsport to motivate you in other areas of your life to the creative puzzle that is driving faster. In our conversation, we talk about getting in flow, car setup, using music to trigger performance, dealing with problems, focus, discipline, and the benefits of journaling and note-taking.
CJ Wilson joins me to talk about his transition from pro baseball player to race driver. We talk about the superstitions & routines baseball players rely on and how they apply to motorsport; what he learned from being a Major League Baseball pitcher that he uses in racing; how to practice with intensity; the different techniques required for an aero downforce car versus one without aero; and the overall mindset one needs to succeed. You’ll love this episode – especially his description of feeling the tires when you’re driving at the limit.
Ryan Staub is back, and we’re talking about the stuff many drivers don’t want to talk about. You know, the stuff about risk, responsibility, waivers, liability, insurance and so on – for both drivers and instructors. But since Ryan is a racer and chief instructor for his BMW CCA chapter, we also talk about driving.
Garth Stein joins me to talk about his wildly successful bestselling book, The Art of Racing in the Rain – and how it’s now a major motion picture (premiers August 9th). You’ll love Garth’s stories, and the behind-the-scene look at why the book has become so popular, as well as how he was able to describe so accurately what racing is really like (hint: Garth raced Spec Miata).
Preston Lerner joins me to talk about what he’s noticed that the best drivers – such as Colin Braun – do that make them so great. As a journalist, that’s what he does – observes things that most people miss. We also talk about his own racing in a Spec Miata (and what you can learn from his strengths and weaknesses), the Ford GTs at Le Mans, and the dreaded Driver Ratings system that is used sports car racing.
Dr. Barry Seiller and Ryan Warkins join me to talk all about a huge topic – vision. We all know that how we use our eyes is critical in performance and race driving, and yet, we mostly take it for granted – we either have it or not. But it can be trained – it can be improved. I’ve been testing and using the Vizual Edge app that Doc Barry developed, and he, Ryan, and I talk about what “vision” is, and how best to train your vision skills.
Brian Bonner joins me to talk about motorsport sponsorship. Specifically, we talk about new trends in how motorsport marketing deals are put together, even if you’re not a big pro racing team. Brian shares a couple of great examples, in James Chartres and Kanga Motorsport, and Steve Smith and Big Mission Motorsport, and then gives tips that you can use to land a sponsor.
Dr. Steve Olsen joins me to talk about the Corvette Challenge Club, the importance of managing one’s state of mind – particularly being calm – and the NuCalm system (www.nucalm.com).
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.