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.
Matthew Walker joins me to talk all about the importance of sleep on your driving performance – everything from how it impacts learning to your ability react and focus. He also provides tips on how to get better sleep, how to manage jet lag, the effect a lack of sleep can have on your health, what drugs and alcohol do to sleep, and memory formation and practice.
The tables are turned – I’m the guest, and Frank Greif is the host. Frank was my guest on episode #1, I coached him when he started racing, he’s a business coach and a former TV talk show host. Oh, and we’re good friends, so it was interesting to have him asking me questions. And that’s what the show is about: my thoughts on this podcast, learning, driving, Formula One, Indy Car, NASCAR, who my greatest influences were, and who my support team are.
Bret Holmes joins me to talk about our passion for shifting, and specifically driving manual transmission cars. We talk about how young drivers DO have an interest in performance driving, the future of manual transmissions, and the 3 Pedal Car Club of America.
Matt Romanowski joins me to talk about how to make notes before and after on-track sessions in a way that will help you improve – and help your car improve. Then we talk about the use of data, and even how to integrate your note-taking with what comes out of your data logger.
Tom Long is back on the podcast and we’re talking about getting past what seem like the inevitable plateaus in driving and racing. We talk about the mental blocks, the techniques, and corners where drivers have the most trouble. More importantly, we give you some strategies for breaking through. Tom’s Speed Secret: Drive the car like you’re on a scale pad.
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.
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.