The goal of auto racing is simple: win and win often. No one is ever satisfied until they have logged the first win. Then, the second win becomes the objective and there are never enough wins. While there is no "magic bullet" that will guarantee a victory every time, there are ways to put your program on the right path to speeding success. The ideas will hold for the novice racer through the multi-year track champion. Follow these steps and watch the results, but remember, the opponents are reading it too.
At The Shop
1 Have a plan The best way to ensure that everything gets done is to know what has to be done and how long it can be expected to take. For major pro-jects, make sure you allow plenty of time. Winners do not thrash. Even the little tasks may take a bit longer, so try to allow your-self enough time to get the job done right the first time.
2 Race day schedule There are always tasks that need to be accomplished before the car is loaded for a trip to the track. Make sure you have a checklist of chores and supplies. If you have help (always a good idea), remind them to check off the task when it is completed. Time can be precious, especially if you're facing a long ride to the track.
3 Crew duties An efficient team is created when everyone knows what is expected.It's also important to allow the crew members to have input into their duties and maybe the procedures. Crew members need to work inde-pendently, but also as a unit. Sometimes, they may be called upon to assist in other areas, but make sure they can do the job.
4 Buying parts & spares The job requires more than manpower. In addition to the tools, you have to have the parts. Allow plenty of time when ordering parts in the off-season...you're probably not the only customer. Lack of planning does not constitute an emergency for the supplier. During the sea-son, assess your replacement parts needs as early as possible to allow for shipping, if necessary.
5 Trick parts The latest and greatest may be neither. Make sure you get the right part for the right job. Remember, what works for one guy may not work for you. Go with what you know and get parts that are dependable.
6 Keeping a clean car This can be a time-saving step that will result in that time spent elsewhere for a critical matter. Keep the car covered when possible to prevent dirt and dust from getting into places where it can be harmful. Also, cover the intake when you remove the carburetor. You can wheel the car out and wash it off on occasion, but be sure you protect areas suscep-tible to damage from water.
7 Using computers This should be one of the tools of the 21st century toolbox. Computers can help in many ways, especially when there is an Internet connection. Tasks like calculation, chassis set-up, reference, and ordering parts are necessary evils where a computer can save time. Remember to use it as a resource and not recreation when there's work to be done.
8 Keeping alert Working on a race car means long hours. Long hours can often mean the work isn't done to the best ability. Try to tackle the more difficult jobs early in the night or allow plenty of time to get it done. If it can't be finished in one session, be honest with yourself and allow the time. Falling asleep under a car is hard on your back and it only messes up the schedule for tomorrow because there's still work to be done.
9 Alcohol It's found in many shop refrigerators (or in nearby kitchens). It should be kept cold until the work is completely finished. Anything that will distract a worker from performing to his best abilities is a threat to the success of a race program. It's always more refreshing when it's a reward for a night of hard work.