Third Event: Heat Race This is the first event we run with other cars actually racing against each other. Most of the time a heat race is fairly short (10-12 laps) with only a few cars to transfer to the A-main. Try not to think about this. Once on the track only concentrate on the car in front of you and race one car at a time for position. Remember the fifth place car can't pass the leader. Now hopefully you have moved into a transfer spot and only have a few laps to go.
It's time to think about the next event. Years ago, my mentor, David Schmauss told me when I'm racing and there are only two or three laps to go think about what the car is doing on the track; or more specifically What, When and Where, a phrase I first heard at Racewise. What the car is doing, when the car is doing it, and where on the track it is it doing it. With this information you can return to your pits, consult your notes, talk to your crew and make the proper adjustments for the next event.
Fourth or Final Event: Feature/A-Main It's race time. The most important thing to remember is this is a longer event and patience is very important. You can't win the race on the second lap! Race one car at a time and concentrate on how the track groove changes. Find your groove, that is the spot where your car works the best. During most of our Dirt Late Model races, the track will change significantly from the first lap to the last. While this may be less true on asphalt, track changes over the course of a pavement race will also happen. Either way it gives you a lot to think about; racing other cars, racing the track, changing your line to maintain the fast laps, and more.
The checkered flag has waived and hopefully you have won. Just remember driver setup isn't over yet. It's now time to write notes on your setup sheets about the night (if you or your crew hasn't already done this). Some of the things that are important to note are track conditions, any changes you've made to the car, tire temps (asphalt), and the weather conditions. I know a lot of you are saying that this is chassis setup, not driver setup. Well, I don't agree.
These notes start the setup or state of mind of the driver for the next race. When you are at the shop and setting the car up for the next race you can refer back to your notes and remember something or verify what you are thinking. This will give you the confidence that you are making the right decision. Confidence is a very important part of the state of mind. Remember, knowledge is confidence, the more you know about something, the more confident you'll be.
David Schmauss (left) once said that when racing and there are only two or three laps to g
Late nights like these can interfere with good driver setup. Remember to get plenty of res
Veteran Dirt Late Model ace Billy Moyer is the picture of a perfect driver setup. He didn'