Have you ever asked yourself the question, “How can I find another tenth of a second, or maybe two?” As drivers, I think we ask ourselves that question every time we roll onto the track. We use several tools to help us attain this goal, and in this day and age, it’s usually a data system or data/video system.

Most drivers, though, struggle with the time it takes to analyze all the squiggly lines on the graph and trying to make sense of them all. Some of you glance at the data while waiting for the next session and really never have time to comprehend what it is telling you, or you wait until we get home and sit for hours and hours staring at the computer screen. Neither is really effective if it’s not translated correctly.

With all that said, a simple answer could be a driver coach. Wait, I know you’re saying, “Well, I already know how to drive fast!” Well, my answer is, “An NBA player already knows how to play basketball, too.”

A driver coach, much like an NBA coach, looks at the entire picture, as I like to say, “from the top down” and not from the eyes of the driver/player. They can usually identify small changes that can create big rewards. As drivers, we must put our ego aside. I know it’s difficult. Just ask me.

When we look at the big picture while remembering our goal, that tenth or two we’re trying to gain, this is usually the best way to reach the goal while keeping our mind on the task at hand, executing what you just learned from your coach. Remember this: A teacher teaches you the skill. A coach refines the skills you already have.

After being influenced at age 10 from his “Uncle Bill,” a well-known Northwest Porsche hot shoe, Ronnie Swyers built his first racecar during his junior year of high school in auto shop class. Since 1987, Ronnie has driven most everything from small, low-horsepower, front-wheel-drive cars to high-horsepower Trans-Am cars. He has been instructing new and experienced racers, most recently with the Ford Racing School at Miller Motorsports Park, since 1992.

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