How to become a favorite driver at a racetrack (allegedly)
There are many drivers out there that feel they always get the short end of the stick or the raw end of the deal. Well I am sorry to be the first to break your entitlement and everyone feel sorry for me bubble but that is just not the case. However there are a few steps you can take to properly ensure that you will get the benefit of the doubt or at least your concerns will be considered and will hold merit.
Step 1 and overall big picture
Don’t be the problem, be part of the solution. Clearly tracks are trying to survive and maybe one day build but you have to take part in that goal and understand your role and how big of an impact even the youngest and least experienced of drivers has on that goal being attained.
Pick your battles. Maybe finding something every weekend to complain about or blame and making a huge deal about it is not the way to go. Many times a driver can get to the point where to the track there is “always something” that keeps you from winning or keeps you from having fun and it’s not always something the track can control. Unless you want to give us mind control.
Be a little more considerate and understanding and supportive on the little things so when it’s something big it will mean more. If you’re not a steady complainer and have had our backs and are usually positive and what not, then what you say will grab our attention a little more.
On the heels of step 3, don’t come screaming that we have to get our heads out of our butts or that we don’t know what we are doing. Come ask for an explanation (even if it’s in a yelling voice) but understand that we may have to do some checking into it before giving you the answer. But that it is a concern for us and we will look into it.
Understanding…..understanding that we need fans and that we are all part of a show for entertainment. At the end of the day, we are in the entertainment business and we need the fans to have a good time and that if you think about things from a fans point of view in what you add to the show and what people want to see you will be better off. It’s not about each driver and or the promoters or the staff —it’s about the fans first and stopping on the track and giving the bird to the crowd or behaving like a 3 year old WILL NEVER BE OKAY. Help us put on a great show that keeps people coming back and we will like you better. Create problems for us or make it harder for us to look good, then we probably won’t want to listen very intently.
Acting professional and at least pretending to give a hoot. We get many requests of first time fans that would love to get to meet the winners of that night somewhere close to the exit or have the last weeks winners go into the crowd during intermission and meet some fans and sign some autographs. WOW what that would do for us you have no idea. The impact you have on these kids which in turn makes the parents so grateful is a huge responsibility and drivers need to start respecting that. We had a driver in a popular known car send 2 young girls home to cry themselves to sleep because of how they acted on the track and this car to them was their hero. So remember the young people you are affecting and that is something we as a track can’t fix.
Quit acting like your more important than someone else. It’s amazing to me that the person that hits everyone on the way up to the front will become hysterical and an embarrassment if someone barely touches them. But newsflash drivers, that kind of racing is horrible to watch. When you bang everyone and push them out of your way when you are probably more experienced and most likely faster, it makes people cringe. Don’t be a bully. It makes the show HORRIBLE and we don’t want to punish people. Fans leave the place talking about the awesome race between the drivers who show respect on the track and win because they were patient and made good passes….not the race where the win came out of pushing people out of the way. It instantly makes even me cringe and say, “Now why did you have to do that?” “That was dirty and unnecessary” and makes me not very happy for the driver that won. And it feels like the other guys moment (the once in a while moment) was taken away on the last restart or whichever. You shouldn’t deserve the win if you have to win like that. THEN be happy for your competitors who raced you clean and got the win even if you didn’t.
Stay off of social media and stop with the cyber bullying. The one thing we can do as a track and racers is impact others and we don’t want people around that are okay with teaching them that writing lies about people and attacking other racers, promoters, owners, or staff is how you handle things in life. That trying to hurt people to get back at them, when you most likely don’t even have a foot to stand on, is the way to deal with your frustrations is okay: IS NEVER OKAY WITH US.
If you want something changed bring it up in the pit meeting and we can discuss it and get lots of feedback in one place. Don’t fuel the negative in front of the fans or create a bandwagon for people to jump on and create a situation in which the track or individuals have to be put on the defense. Drivers have a lot more power than they think or want to believe so start using it for good and stop trying to hurt something you love.
Be a good role model and leader. Take time to say thanks or good job or thanks for coming to the races. We want everyone to have fun and to put on racing that you don’t see anywhere else and that starts with respect. Help in your own way make our program better. And I can guarantee you will become one of our favorites that we are excited to see pull into the track and will help you look good to your sponsors and family because of what you do for us.