In October one team will be crowned the champion in the division you're running. If you have started the season out on a couple of bad runs, then you might not be sitting all that great in points right now. But understand, all it takes to claw your way back into the points picture is a few consistent races.
Your team may not be running for points this year, but if you are, then this column is for you. Your local short track championship more than likely doesn't have a points system like the overrated "chase" system in NASCAR. And because of that, your goal should be to consistently finish each and every race in the top three.
It is near mid-season, how...
It is near mid-season, how has your team done so far? At the end of the year, will you be hoisting the championship trophy up in the air? - John Gibson
With most A-mains being only around 25-50 laps, it will take a good qualifying effort to help you succeed in finishing in the top three. I've written this before, but it's worth repeating: You can't expect to consistently finish up front if you're qualifying for the main event outside the Top 10. There just aren't enough laps at the local short track for you to pass that many cars. I understand that it has been done before. I once watched Tony Stewart at the Chili Bowl do it more than once. But those types of runs are few and far between.
Of course, to win the championship, you are going to need a little bit of luck. I'm a firm believer that you create your own luck. My father used to tell me that the definition of luck is when hard work and preparation meet opportunity. If you think about it, that couldn't be more true.
Let's say you're running third in your A-main and you really don't have anything for the leaders. But on the white flag lap, the leaders get together and slide up the track just enough to where you can squeeze by both of them and win the race. Did you get lucky? Well, of course you did, and I can assure you that the two leaders you passed will be glad to tell you in the pits that you did. But you did something along the way, whether it was passing the third-place car or qualifying third, to put yourself in that position to even have a chance at winning the race.
But along the course of a season, it amazes me the amount of teams that will blame bad preparation on bad luck. I see this all the time. Someone will say, Well, we had some bad luck--we had a wheel bearing seize up on us. OK, to which I would ask, do you pack the wheel bearings before each race? Bad luck does happen, but true bad luck is something that happens outside of your or your team's control. You can prevent a wheel bearing seizing up by doing basic maintenance on your vehicle. If you're having parts literally fall off your car at each race weekend, then it's going to be extremely difficult for you to compete for your track's championship title.
There's no doubt that winning the points championship at your track or for your series is going to be extremely difficult. But it can be done. It will take overcoming some problems and challenges throughout the year, and lots and lots of shop time. Rest assured though, the team that can be the most prepared, and which can make its own good luck will be the one hoisting the championship trophy come the end of the season. Let's make it you!