Live your dream: Steps on how to be a professional racer

Posted in car racing with tags , , on January 14, 2008 by vastine

Someone said to me once that the best way to achieve you dreams is to wake up.

pro-racer.jpg

At first, I thought this was a no-brainer but then the light bulb moment came again and I realized that this is one of the things that are easier said than done.

Being a racing car driver has been a dream of mine since I learned how to drive. But my life took a 360 degree turn and ended up being in completely different world. Maybe it’s not too late, but then, we’ll never know.

This post is in response to a question of someone who is very much interested in getting into the racing world. Well, I’m not a professional racer, yet, but I have a friend who is. I took the liberty of asking him when his son went for a check up at the hospital where I’m a resident on how did he actually get in the racing circuit.

1.Enroll in a racing school.

Whoa, never thought there was an actual racing school. But then, there hasn’t been a publicized rehab for addicts. Anyway, he said that racing involves a lot of technical knowledge and skill. So, get in touch with your nearest racing school and grab those wheels.

2.Slack around car racetracks.

Well, slacking off does have its benefits. Immerse yourself into the actual racing arena by watching actual races and staying around to be acquaintances with the people in the tracks.

3.Apply for a job connected to racing.

Just like any job, you need to start from the bottom of the organizational chart. This way, you can work your way up and establish connections. You can start from being a water boy or an usher or a ticker reseller. Eventually you’ll be able to get connections and connections may turn into sponsors.

4.Join a car club.

You can definitely hone your skills on racing here for car clubs have regular races so, start from small exposures.

5.Read and read about racing.

Knowledge is definitely power. This proves true when it comes to car racing as well.

6.Get a license.

A license is a must if you’re really, really hoping to be in the big leagues. You can get this once you get into a good racing school.

Investment of time and money

Millions are spent in the world of professional racing. It takes time as well. May take years and a lot of patience to get into the big wigs. The money invested is also something you need to really think about. Getting a sponsor is also one of the most challenging aspects. My friend had literally wrote to 10 companies, including his day job company, to ask for sponsorship on his first professional car racing. It takes a lot of gut and yes, money. Those are the two things that I hope to fully achieve to grasp my dream of getting into the big leagues as well.

Car racing gears to keep you alive and driving

Posted in car racing with tags , , on January 10, 2008 by vastine

Even if car racers seem fearless when in the road, the desire of staying alive has never been so strong.People view car racing as dangerous and life-threatening sport. I admit that it is not the safest sport in the world and I had my share of more than a few bumps and scratches when I went car racing.

Danger is something car racers and every one of us have to face. A car racer’s consolation and joy besides finishing the race is the reality that he or she got out of the car still breathing and with 10 toes and fingers.

Safety in car racing is not just supplied by prayers and knowledge. There are car racing tools that are needed to be attached to the car so that we won’t get burnt just like a burnt toast.

  • Firesuits

Now this is a no-brainer but the importance is slightly underrated because wearing one feels skimpy and uncomfortable. These suits are basically fire-proof racing uniforms. But them again, it depends on the extent of the fire. It is ideal if one will get a one-piece multilayered firesuit so as to cover all body parts and more protection.

  • Fuel Cell

This is a energy conversion device with electrochemical properties. Its main function is to keep the fuel from flooding on the track so as to avoid fire.

  • Helmets

The importance of wearing a helmet is stresses all over again. But I admit that I am one of those who are guilty of not covering my head when I go car race. But I’m really working on that now. But for the pros, wearing an auto racing helmet is a requirement and a necessity. An auto racing helmet has a more specialized form than the normal one. It has three layers and the pros wear the closed-face ones.

  • Gloves

Of course, this is for the hands. The importance is too a big deal to not be realized. But be very cautious in putting on one. One should choose the pair of gloves that is most comfortable and has multiple layers as well.

  • Seatbelts

Again, a no-brainer but again, I was one of those who was not a big supporter of seatbelts for the simple yet irrational feeling that my movements were limited. I then discovered that the trick is to get seatbelts that can be easily loosened or tightened but can support your body in the most secured way.

Instincts and gears go hand in hand

When choosing these gears, one should try them one out first and foremost. I remember that initially I went for the ones that looked good on my car. Sure. The price also spells some degree of reliability. The trick is to ask questions upon buying and ask the ones who really know their stuff. You know you got a good deal when you feel less strained when wearing them and the composition passed the safety standards. Drive safe and have fun on the road. Most of all, these gears should bring the fun in us, not the stress.

Confessions of a racing addict who hasn’t been to rehab

Posted in racing, racing addict with tags , on January 4, 2008 by vastine

This is part two of my previous post, you know, why it best to race at night. Truth of the matter is, this is the sequel of my parent’s rant regarding my late night motor racing escapades days before new year.My dad went into my room the following morning and sat in my bed and told me directly and sternly to stop racing at night. I was half-awake when he told that awakening nightmare. It wasn’t surprising really because we had “the” racing talk in the past but the difference was he didn’t had any intros, just a plain yet authoritative command.

That command only drove me to a some kind of rebellion. As I washed my face, I was feeling excited and anticipating for another race. It’s like the more I was being hindered to race, the more I was drove to racing madness. Called up my friends and asked them if we can meet up that night and for some reason, they were all unavailable with all excuses given. I became depressed and can’t look at my car and motorcycle for I felt that one look can make me drive it and it will drive my dad to the hospital.

Made a reflection two days after new year and my light bulb moment came. Have come up with the rationales why racers race even if the whole world doesn’t want you to.

  • IT’S FUN

Yeah, I know. Sounds like a kid’s reason. But it is fun. Makes one ultimately grateful that someone patiently taught them how to drive.

  • THE ADRENALINE RUSH IS ADDICTING

All racers can relate to this. The faster you go, the more freedom you feel thus making you go faster than ever. I wonder if there have been racers who went to Betty Ford or Promises due to racing addiction.

  • MONETARY REWARDS

Well, this goes for those who go professional racing. Have featured in my previous posts the car racing teams that earn multimillions. If you choose racing as your bread and butter, and have the right connections and willing to give it your all, then the earnings are going to increase a hundredfold by each day.

Seven days sober

It has been almost a week since I last went motor racing. I’m sober now, so to speak. I have looked at my car and though the temptation is still there, I just managed to clean it profusely. My dad was smiling when he saw me cleaning the garage after I cleaned my car. I love my dad, that’s why I’m laying low. Don’t want him making trips to the hospital. What consoles me is that what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.

Why motor racing is best enjoyed at night

Posted in motor racing with tags , on January 2, 2008 by vastine

Those who go motor racing can be considered as knight riders..well..spell it minus the letter k.

Went motor racing three days before New year. As usual, it was a spur of the moment and wasn’t planned days in advance.  My motor racing pal, Fred, called up around 6 p.m. and asked if I was free and I said yes, considering I was on my vacation leave from the hospital.  Two hours later, I was at the foot of the mountain and my friends and I raced till an hour after midnight.  When I came home, my mom and dad were in the living room, drinking coffee and didn’t let me go up till I answered their question, they asked why I race at night.

No really valid reason, at least for them

I was really tired yet so worked up before I went home and all the excitement melted down when I saw the lights were still on. I gave them three sensible reasons, well that’s what I feel, for them, it was like the most unreasonable ones.

  • The air is crispier – The “wind feel” at night definitely adds to the appeal.  Even if we don’t have the healthiest air, the wind at night is much relaxing to inhale.
  • Vehicle-free roads – Yeah, I know, I race in the mountains, but we also do streets and not to mention my dad’s construction sites.  At night, there are virtually less wheels and the path is open for racing consumption.
  • The roads are peaceful – the stillness of the night adds to the motor racing appeal.  When all I can hear are the chirping of the birds and the buzz of my engine, it makes me want to race forever.

Awake with the owls

The night, just like what it does to Dracula, so to speak, brings the motor racer in me. As I told those three reasons to my folks, my dad shook his head and wished me good morning and my mom kissed me on the cheek and they left me alone in the sofa. I went up to my room and slept happily.

Remembering a racing pal

Posted in racing pal with tags on December 27, 2007 by vastine

The holidays do bring a lot of memories, one of them of a dear, good friend who has moved on.

Have a friend named Theresa. Operative word is have, because I still consider her as someone who is still with us. It’s her birthday today, but she passed away 19 months ago. I felt obligated to let the world know her as a good person and a good friend.

Silent type
Met her in freshmen year in college. We were seatmates in a couple of subjects and she was really shy and quiet. Women of the fewest words, literally. She rarely laughed but had a gentle smile. Never imagined she had an inkling towards car racing. I only heard her heartiest laughs when we were all in the finish line together with other racers. She would laugh whenever she finished last or when she thought she would win first.

We became racing pals and even exchanged a few notes in class. Thought she was a normal girl who enjoys a risky sport rather than indulge in make up or the latest trends like my sister. Didn’t know that she was living life to the fullest and was leaving at the soonest time.

Unexpected yet expected departure
It was summer two years after we graduated that I got a call from Theresa’s sister and asked me if I can visit her sister at the hospital. The next day I went and brought pastries. Then I saw her, lying in bed and unable to move any part of her body except her eyeballs. The doctor said she had a brain disease which paralyzed her whole body.

I almost cried at the site of her and 3 of my racing pals came in. We wondered why we were called and her sister said that our numbers were the only ones that were saved in Theresa’s phone book. We told her ‘bout the clandestine races that we’ve done over the last 6 months and I could tell that she wanted to laugh but it was her eyeballs that can only smile. The doctor said she only had days to live. Painfully, we said our final goodbyes at after 4 hours of talking to her at the hospital.

Got another call the next day that said that she had passed away.

Last glimpse
My friends and I rushed to the hospital as soon as we received that fateful call and waited for 12 hours outside the morgue to see her body. It was my first time to see a corpse of an actual person I know. I have seen and opened up dead bodies in college but seeing someone who I actually saw alive almost 48 hours before gave me a sense of foreboding and numbness in my body. She looked like she was just sleeping. It was the first time I saw how fragile she looked all those years. We waited 12 hours to see her in 10 minutes.

She lived for 22 years. Knew her for 6 years. I was lucky to see her laugh at a sport no one thought she would enjoy doing. I know she’s winning the race up there.

Kindergarten driving’s eternal questions answered

Posted in driving questions with tags on December 24, 2007 by vastine

Kindergarten driving’s eternal questions answered

The first time is usually the hardest.

All car racers began as average drivers. I remember when I first learned how to drive. My uncle was the one who showed me the moves. Came home from school during a weekend when I was 13 and his car was parked in front of our house. He asked me to go with him somewhere and without any questions I went with him without asking if my folks knew where we were going. Later on I found out he didn’t asked their permission if he can “steal” me for a few hours. Got home to an “angry mob of two”, if you know, what I mean.

He drove me to my dad’s construction site made me sat in the driver’s seat. Said that he’ll be teaching me how to drive. He let a 13-year old lad to carelessly steer his precious wheels. He taught me for 5 weeks. During that time and even I was permitted by my folks to drive by myself, I asked him so many questions and I would like to share his answers. Those of which I can still remember, mind you.

  • How does the hold button work?

It varies. It is usually used in winter countries where snow slippery is virtually inescapable. This is usually also on slippery roads. Upon pressing this button, your engines will run smoothly and switch gears to around 2,500 rpm. Another good thing is, well, theoretically speaking, you will be able to save on fuel because you’re running on lower engine speeds.

  • Is a humming steering wheel bad news?

Definitely. Means you have a filthy oil system. The whole fluid system should be drained completely with the appropriate power steering fluid recommended by your car manufacturer.

  • What in the world is a grounding wire kit? Can it be used for all types of cars?

It’s actually an accessory for any car. Functions as a supplement for your car’s electronics accessories. But make sure to sought an auto electrician’s assistance to install this.

  • Do cars really smell in the morning?

What do you mean smell?

  • Like, every morning, when I start the engines, I smell gas for about 5 seconds. Is that normal?

Oh, ok. Yes, that is just normal. This is made to add more fuel to your car so that the engine won’t stumble because there’s too much oil and circulation is still low. Should be gone in 5 seconds as it has reached the correct pressure and circulation.

Those were the “kindergarten” questions that I asked him and I remembered he answered them with all enthusiasm. Until now, I still do ask him questions and the vigor is still there. With him, I still have a lot to learn. When I told him that, he said we all still have something to learn no matter how old or skilled we are.

Top NASCAR car racing teams you would want to be a part of

Posted in car racing, NASCAR car racing teams with tags , on December 18, 2007 by vastine

The need to belong is a universal need.And if you are a part of the professional car racing, you definitely want to be be associated with the top NASCAR car racing teams for this year.

Wonder what they look for in a portfolio?

In my previous article, I had posted the priciest racing cars for this year. Gee, would it be a dream to get our hands on one of those? Now, what will be featured are the top teams according to revenue earned, value, and operating income. Mind you, these numbers are all in millions,and not your single-digit numbers.

1. Roush Fenway Racing – for this year, they were valued at a whopping $316 million, earned $189 million as revenue, and spent $39.1 million on operating expenses. They have DeWalt to back them up.

2. Hendrick Motorsports – there were valued for $297 million, operated on a budget of $38.9, and earned $163 million. They are currently sponsored by Dupont.

3. Joe Gibbs Racing – their value for the year 2007 was reported to be $173 million. Also, earned a revenue of $110 million and had an operating income of 23.6 million. Home Depot is their primary sponsor.

4. Evernham motorsports – valued at $128 million, earned a revenue of $89 million and operated on an income of $178 million. They have Dodge Dealer/UAW on their side.

5. Richard Childress Racing – they have a tag price of $124 million, audited for an operating income of $19.1 million and earned a revenue of $98 million. Shell/Penzoil sponsors them as of now.

Big numbers mean success

In this case, the higher the number, the more stable and successful the car racing team is. It is interesting to note that they they still managed to operate on a two-digit income and earning triple more. They really do know how to do business. If you have a top notch and an industry leader to hire you to drive their racing cars, then it is the sweetest victory next to actually winning the car race.