On the race track silly! While I was putting together yesterday’s Carnival of Wheels, AC’s great post DE Smooth vs Race Smooth stuck a major chord with me. My whole life as a driver has been influenced by the pursuit of smooth.
It all began… Well, you can read about the effect semi pro racing in the Sixties had on me in the about page. Really though, at some point in my formative years I found a book called Sunday Driver by Brock Yates. Essentially, Yates wanted to race so that he could write about it intelligently. Except he didn’t want to be the guy who raced one or two regional events and then called himself an expert like so many other writers. He wanted to run a full season in Trans Am. The pinnacle of sedan racing in America at the time. One chapter hit me like a ton of bricks. While the actual words are a bit blurry, the message has stuck with me for the last 25 years or so. Yates’ team owner and team mate followed him through a practice session and then berated him for his lack of smoothness. While his teaching method might have caught him a smack upside the head from some, his message got through to Yates. Wild and woolly might be fun and look spectacular, but it beats up the car and it’s slow. Who woulda thunk?