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Author Topic:   becoming a driver
JaimyM
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 2
posted November 02, 2005 01:13 PM  
i attend the Universtiy of Texas and I am writting a paper on how to become a dirt track racecar driver. it doesn't matter what class. if anyone could help me out i would really appreciate it! thanks

Fastride 38
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 125
posted November 02, 2005 01:52 PM  
I don't really know what you are asking for, but it takes an honest love for the sport. Because, with the time, money, and energy that it takes to go every Saturday if you didn't just flat love the sport you wouldn't do it.


Now, if you are asking a more techincal(sp) question. For example, where to find a car, how to install a cage, what springs and shocks to use, how to scale percentages, then we could be here all day. So, which route you looking to go for your how to? I would be glad to help. I've been at a race track as a driver since I was 8. I'm now 29. Pm me with any question's you may have. Good luck on the paper.

[This message has been edited by Fastride 38 (edited November 02, 2005).]

dirttrackin94
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted November 02, 2005 07:00 PM  
i would also be glad to help you.i attended racing for the first time when i was three months old,i started racing when i was 6 in a go-kart.i now race late models and modifieds,one day hoping to fulfill my dream of running with a traveling series and the big dogs(dont we all)..besides my family,wife and kids,racing is my passion,i give everything i got to racing,and i consider myself a true racer.

now for the answer to your question of what it takes to be a driver.it takes alot of hard work,alot of long nights getting the perfect setup on the car,takes patients,determination,and a little luck.some drivers work harder then others,some dont have to work as hard because they just have a little more god given talent.now there are two types of drivers.there are racers and drivers.my dad always ask me if i was a racer or a driver.i always told my dad i was a racer,but the older i get the more i see a ''driver'' in myself.Drivers are out there just making laps, but racers are out there racing. Drivers make their laps and try to finish the race in one piece. Perhaps they may be “point racing”, and looking for just a top ten finish so they can pad their point totals for the year. Drivers who are point racing don’t take any extra chances where they might gain a spot on the track, because it’s too risky. Racers will take the chance and go for it. Racers don’t necessarily care about point racing, but both can be done. Racers can win a point’s championship as well as drivers. At some point when a racer is racing for a championship they become just a driver. Winning races feels good at the time, but in the long run the championships mean more to me. So what do you do? Race or Drive? It takes both racers and drivers to make this thing work. Racers thrill the crowd with bold moves, while drivers quietly bring home the consistent finishes. I believe it is best for some to be just a driver for a while until they get more comfortable with the car and then start racing more and more as time goes by. If you try to start racing before you can drive then chances are you might run out of money, or get hurt, before your time to shine comes. Some racers need to go back to just driving sometimes. I have been told that before, and that I should have just settled for second. The racer in me won’t let that happen sometimes. There is a fine line between taking chances, being stupid, and then just being too conservative. Unfortunately the only way to learn where that line lies, is to learn the hard way. I have had many lessons and still haven’t figured out exactly where that fine line is sometimes. If you want to be a racer you will have to pay the price sooner or later. The same thing goes for just driving around also, because sometimes the more you try to avoid wrecking, the more you become prone to be involved in a wreck. So ask yourself…are you a driver or racer? Are you ready to be a racer, or are you happy just driving? Either way it should be an honor to just be a part of the sport.hope this helps you out!


Kromulous
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 796
posted November 03, 2005 07:56 AM  
I have always been fascinated when guys say a Championship means more than winning races. I never have understood that.

I won one championship many years ago, seemed like a waste to me. From then on, i always raced each race as hard as i could, and learned to never let up, regardless.

There is no right or wrong, its just a difference in people, but thats one thats always left me in the dark.

About drivers:

I used to drive, i dont any more. I may drive again i dont know. I will say one thing, most drivers now days dont impress me much.

To be a great driver you need to learn how to understand what a car wants on the track, and you need to be able to tell the crew chief what you want out of the car in the pits. A great driver will relay what he wants the car to do, clearly and precisly to the crew and that will make it easier for them to achieve it.

Once your on the track, it is what it is. A great driver can decifer what a race car wants to go fast and drive the car that way. They wont try to drive a car the way they want to drive. Basicly play the hand that was dealt to you.

Alot of drivers now days say its loose, its this that or another, and can not be precise enough and can not relay what they want the car to do to the crew chief, so there communication is off.

Anyway thats what i have been fighting with all year, most of the time i just watch the car and make adjustments from there. Our driver (my younger brother) cant relay what he feels most of the time, he has got better later in the year, but we still got some work to do.

zeroracing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1875
posted November 03, 2005 08:07 AM  
First off I think points racing is a waste of time, unless your in some type of series. Like usmts, WOO, NASCAR, NASCAR weekly series... you get the point.
As far as driving, It takes many hours of work and lots of time in the "seat".

What makes a good driver set apart from an average driver or terrible driver. As far as I am concrened.
Good or great driver- He goes out in the heat or hotlaps and gathers a ton of info, he drives the car semi hung out but still under control. If rough he drives around or thru the holes so not to upset the car.
He comes in, tells the crew chief, or crew guy, what he feels. The car feels like this here, and this here, the track seems to be doing this, I think this will heppen tonight to the track....make about 6 laps and tell you about 20 min of stuff. Then should be his OWN crew chief, or co chief, saying Change this, or I think we should change this. Slick track the good driver drives like he is on asphalt. If the car does not wantto work right one night, he moves around the track too find a line, if he finds it then goes, if not then does not over push thecar. HE takes what hecan get does not force it and tear up stuff.

Average driver, can tell some from the track, and give the crew chief an idea of what to change, and drives in control but occasionally makes a mistake.

terrrible driver- has no idea what the car is doing, can talk to the crew chief for 20 min and not even give him a clue what to do(contadicts himself). ON rough bounces thru all the cars on the track. On slick burns the tires off. Usually fast in the heat though as long as does not run over too many cars. also has no clue how to set up the car. I see alot of the terrible drivers and usually they have the biggest ego's and think they are the greatest.

Fastride 38
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 125
posted November 03, 2005 09:09 AM  
Ain't that the truth Zero. I help a pure stock driver that is always saying the car is loose. I finally got to watch him this weekend and the thing was so tight going in that is was very loose off. If a driver can't tell you where it's tight or loose you will never get one close to right.

dirttrackin94
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted November 03, 2005 10:34 AM  
you can win a million races and not feel as good as winning a championship.of course everyone is different,and just like my post mentioned,a driver is happy with championships and a racer is content with winning races.i myself would feel a hole lot better if i won a championship with the usmts or something like that then i would if i won 100 features at various tracks.guys that like to win races might win 2 a year and be happy,cause they won.guys that win championships are happy cause they were competative each and every week of the year,and are a CHAMPION,not just a RACER winning races,like i said everyone is different,thats why we have racers and drivers

dluna
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 334
posted November 04, 2005 12:26 PM  
To become a racecar driver, you must first have something to race. Sounds kind of stupid I know, but SO many people do not understand what it takes to simply own a car that you can drive around the track and get some seat time. It takes all kinds of money, knowledge, and lots of hard work and busted knuckles. The most overwhelming piece is the money. It's amazing how much we put into these cars. I mean, we are only going around in circles, right guys? I had a For Sale sign on my car the last few races of the year. One night, I ran 2nd in the heat and 6th in the feature in my modified. A gentleman came up to me after the races and asked how much for the car race ready. I told him $6000 and he can haul it away. He promptly said, $6000 for a racecar???? You've got to be crazy¨ People that are not directly involved with a race team have NO CLUE how much money they see going around in circles in a 24 car feature field of modifieds.

To be competitive, you have to spend the time on cleaning and maintenance if you want to finish every race. As everyone else mentioned, you have to have the knowledge to set these things up. Once again, it looks easy from the stands, but if you showed some of them how much simple changes affect the car's handling, they'd be amazed. I could go on for days on this topic, but if a racecar driver doesn't have to worry about where the money is going to come from, they are much closer to becoming a racecar driver. Of course, you're always going to have those people with money coming out of their ears, but never ever learn to become a racer.

[This message has been edited by dluna (edited November 04, 2005).]

zeroracing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1875
posted November 04, 2005 01:47 PM  
But on the other hand there are alot of champs out there that never won a race that year. Just was the only car there getting points every race.
Also a touring champ is alot bigger than little track here or there champ with no wins.

[This message has been edited by zeroracing (edited November 04, 2005).]

Desert Mod
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 60
posted November 04, 2005 04:16 PM  
Beyond what everyone else has had to say, and more to the basics of what it takes to be a good race car driver:

You have to have great inner strength, because automobile racing will take everything you have to offer and then some. It's a sport with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and you'd better come prepared to face both extremes with grace and dignity. They'll be times when you could just lay down and cry in total despair and other times where you'll struggle to control your ego because you've just done something incredible. They'll be times when others, on the sidelines, will laugh at and mock your failures (and even your successes!)

Come prepared to bust your knuckles and your **** because only a select few don't get their hands dirty. Come prepared to spend a lot of time alone with your car and not your family.

Be prepared to drive home after a good night feeling like you're one with the planet. Other nights you'll swear all the way home and feel like all the injustices of the world have been heaped upon your shoulders.

And you'll most likely be back next week no matter what because most of all you're optimistic, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Grab a helmet, JaimyM, and give 'er a whirl.

JaimyM
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 2
posted November 09, 2005 12:36 PM  
i want to thank everyone that responded to my question. you all helped me out a great deal!! i wish i could just grab a helmet and go racing unfortunatley its not that easy for me. my dad sold his late model and we no longer have the money to get me a car. as much as i would die to have one!! i think my dad thought because i am a girl i wouldnt like to race but boy was he wrong! my paper came out great! thanks again to everyone that helped me out.

Fastride 38
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 125
posted November 09, 2005 01:35 PM  
Well, would you post your paper so we can all read it? BTW...what grade did you get on the paper?

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