Eric Meyer joins me to talk about the steps and process he’s seen that the best drivers – and organizations – use to become even better drivers. From first-timers to serious club racers and pros, there are certain things – situational awareness, passing and being passed, flags, race starts – that everyone should learn. And there’s a process you can use to learn them more effectively.
Eric is the Chief Instructor for the NASA Great Lakes Region, and has raced in both amateur and pro racing – Grand-Am and Pirelli World Challenge, for example.
Eric’s Speed Secret: The more you scan with your eyes, the better.
Oh, and mark February 23, 2019 on your calendar for a super-cool event that Eric and I are doing together in Indy. More details are coming soon.
Mark Sternberg is on today’s show and we bounce around, talking about karting, Karma Automotive, the pros & cons of having ADHD, Formula One, Honda S2000s, and what to do when you need to pee.
Mark is a life-long car and driving enthusiast who has turned his passion into a career. He helped re-launch the Peterson Automotive Museum, races karts, founded the L.A. F1 Fan Group, and currently works for Karma Automotive. Oh, and he’s in the process of launching a car-themed watch company called Heel & Toe Watches. How cool is that?!
Mark’s Speed Secret: If you’re wearing your driving suit and you need to pee, tuck the arms of your suit into your pant leg to avoid it touching the floor.
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.
In addition to a love of all things motorsport, Matthew is the Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. With a degree in neuroscience and PhD in neurophysiology, he is also the founder and director of the Center for Human Sleep Science. And of course, he is the author of the International Bestseller book, Why We Sleep.
Matt’s Speed Secret: Get no less than seven hours of sleep.
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.
A special thank you to Frank for helping out with this episode, and to you, for listening! I never would have guessed I’d have created one hundred podcasts, but the reason I have is because of the feedback I’ve gotten from you and others. So again, thank you!
There’s always more… so join me next week when I have another interesting guest on the show, and we talk more about performance driving.
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.
Bret has a strong passion for driving manual transmission vehicles, which was the initial motivation for starting the 3 Pedal Car Club of America. You can – and should – join by going to www.3pcca.com.
Bret’s Speed Secret: Eyes up.
John Shoffner joins me to talk about how to maintain and even improve your driving performance as you get older. We talk about diet, supplements, mental training, fitness, and the basic differences between young and older drivers.
John started racing at the age of 58, and within a year was racing in the VLN series at the Nurburgring. With a steep learning curve like that, he’s done everything he can to minimize the effects of aging, and now feels he’s fitter – physically and mentally – than he was decades ago.
John’s Speed Secret: Always be at the limit.
097 – Matt Romanowski: Note-taking & Data – A Driver’s Best Friends
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.
Matt is a long-time contributor to Speed Secrets Weekly, a data coach who sells and supports data systems, a car setup tuner, and driver coach. Oh, and wheels a pretty fast Porsche 914.
Matt’s Speed Secret: Have a focus for every session on track.
Matt mentioned the Shocks for DriverseBook that I publish, and if you’re interested in it, go to SpeedSecrets.com/product/Shocks-for-Drivers/
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 is a long-time feature writer and expert panelist for Speed Secrets Weekly. He’s a Mazda-factory, championship-winning driver, and a sought-after driver coach.
Tom’s Speed Secret: Drive the car like you’re on a scale pad.
Follow Tom if you’re in the market for a great coach or to find out the results of the final championship race in 2018. Go to:
And if you’d like more from Tom – and dozens of other drivers, coaches, engineers, data experts, and team owners – check out Speed Secrets Weekly at SpeedSecrets.com/SSW.
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.
Russ races two very cool cars - a ‘76 BMW 2002 and a ‘66 Yenko Stinger - in vintage races, as well as competing in World Racing League events.
Russ’s Speed Secret: You need to learn how to be fast offline.
Follow Russ at: www.facebook.com/TxCoyoteRacing/
And buy his book at: www.txcoyoteracing.com/racing-under-the-illusion-of-grande
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).
Colin has raced and won in everything from NASCAR to IMSA. He currently drives an Oreca LMP2 car for CORE Autosports in the Weather Tech IMSA series, CrowdStrike Racing in the Pirelli World Challenge, and United Autosports in the Michelin Le Mans Series.
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.
Christian is a super-fast racer, an instructor/coach, and all-round good guy. He’s the chief instructor for the Rally Sport Region of the PCA, and races a Spec Miata.
Christian’s Speed Secret: Have fun! You need rewards! (I think you’ve heard that before, but it’s always worth reminding why we do what we do)
Follow Christian on Instagram @thecarcouple.
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.
Peter is a driver coach, data coach, data analysis expert, and he sells and services all your data needs. He is also a friend, colleague, and collaborator on the Virtual Track Walk video series.
Peter’s Speed Secret: At the start of a race, pack closely. Mind the gap – keep it.
Andrew Rains is back on the podcast (was also on #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.
Andrew is a driver/racer and coach. He also works for APEX Pro, the very cool device that gives instant feedback to you while driving, letting you know whether you’re driving at, near and nowhere near close to the limit of your car.
Andrew’s Speed Secret: Find your why. Understand why it is you’re doing what you’re doing, know what your goals are.
For information about APEX Pro:
Apex Pro User’s Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/163259564447950/
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.
Paul really needs no introduction because he was one of the fastest Indy car drivers ever, and won the 2003 CART Champ Car championship. Throughout his Indy car career, Paul drove for the best teams: Penske, Newman-Haas, Team Green, and Player’s/Forsythe. Paul is now part of the NBC Indy car TV coverage team.
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.
Ron Simons is the RS of RSRNurburg, the leading provider of cars and instruction at the Nurburgring (as well as Spa and other European circuits). He’s been helping drivers experience The Green Hell for over 20 years, and has driven over 20,000 laps of what most drivers agree is the most challenging circuit in the world. Tom Roberts founded Euro Track Adventures a couple of years, when we partnered on our first experience of hosting a group of drivers going to the Nurburgring.
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.
Billy drives for Chip Ganassi Racing in the Ford GT in the World Endurance Championship (WEC). He made his NASCAR Cup series debut last year driving the #43 Richard Petty car, and is tied for being the winningest driver in the Continental Sports Car Challenge series.
You can follow Billy at:
Twitter & Instagram: @BillyJRacing
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.
Chuck is the CEO of Simpson Performance Products, a company that is synonymous with safety in motorsport. Their Hybrid S is the only head and neck restraint device that is certified effective for use with 3-point seatbelts.
Chuck’s Speed Secret: “If you use good safety equipment, and you know it makes you safe, you’ll be confident and you’ll go faster.”
To take advantage of the 10% discount that Simpson is offering between now and September 15th, 2018, go to www.TeamSimpson.com, or call 1-800-654-7223 (RACE) and use the code “SECRETS.”
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 send with his Speed Secret: Be prepared.
Kevin is a very experienced and accomplished driver, having won 7 NASA and SCCA championships in 4 years. He’s also one of the best driver coaches around, with experience with people from those who have never driven on a track before to novice HPDE drivers, and pro racers to very experienced track day drivers. As an instructor for Exotics Racing, Porsche Driving Experience, Hooked on Driving, and many more, Kevin has seen a lot, and loves to share what he’s learned with others.
Matt Farah 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!).
Matt’s Speed Secret #1: Learn to heel & toe – and adapt it to any car you drive.
Matt’s Speed Secret #2 : To manage the art of weight transfer, ride a motorcycle.
Matt Farah is the man behind The Smoking Tire YouTube channel and podcast, as well as a contributor to The Drive. With over 200 million views of his videos… if you’re not watching them, you’re missing out on something that all of us love.
Follow Matt at TheSmokingTire.com, as well as @TheSmokingTire on all the social media channels.
Toni Calderon 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.
Toni’s Speed Secret is: Don’t think you can do it alone – surround yourself with the right people, and be humble enough to listen to them.
Toni and his business partners James Hinchcliff and David Martinez founded and run Speed Group, a “one-stop shop” company that helps drivers with coaching, management and marketing. Learn more about them by going to www.Speed-Group.us, and follow them @speedgroup1.
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!
Mike Smith, Josh Herbert & Chris Graham started and run Spec13 Motorsports, and have fun learning and helping others. You can follow them and their team through their website at www.spec13.com, and on social media at www.facebook.com/spec13motorsports and @spec13motorsports.
To register for the Self-Coaching for Drivers webinar, go to SpeedSecrets.com/Self-Coaching.
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.
Loren has instructed drivers from teens to race drivers, and everyone in between, having taught at the major racing schools and teen driving programs. His book, Stay Alive While Driving, The Secrets of a Race Car Driver, is a fun, easy read combining common sense (to us, maybe!) advice and fun stories. Pick up a copy of the book… and then share it with a teen driver or fellow everyday motorist. You’ll be doing the driving world a favor!
Loren’s “speed secret” is: “Take your eyes out of the job that the seat of your pants should be doing.”
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.
Steve is a former driver, a very successful driver coach, and an entrepreneur. He founded and runs Styled Aesthetic, a clothing company that specializes in motorsport gear. In fact, walk around just about any race track paddock and you’ll see shirts, t-shirts, jackets and hats that Steve’s company have sourced and printed.
To learn more and sign up for the Self-Coaching for Drivers webinar I mentioned, go to SpeedSecrets.com/Self-Coaching.
Brian Maksejoins 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.
Brian is first a race driver, and second an automotive author and presenter (he’s quick to point out that he’s not an automotive journalist).
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!
Follow Colin and Sean:
@colinbraun on Twitter and Instagram
@seanrayhall on Twitter and Instagram