Off Season Training
Hey there and welcome back to the BracketLife Blog! Brandon is once again back this week and I wanted to fill everyone in on the big question: if there is such a thing as “off season training” for drag racing.
When I was younger and still drove a junior, a friend of mines grandmother was comparing drag racing as a sport to something like basketball with respect to the time you put into training/preparing to be successful in your sport. Obviously, it is easy to look at how you can practice for basketball, you take shots and can do drills or a scrimmage to get real game like experience. Now with drag racing, it is a lot more difficult and expensive to get on-track experience unless you happen to live at a racetrack. Now that I can reflect on the question, this would be my response.
1. Because I am not able to practice on the track until the actual race day, I need to be able to mentally prepare for being in the race car. You need to be able to essentially jump in the car on race day and perform to have any success in this sport. Personally, I will spend hours and hours thinking and preparing to be back out on the track.
2. Using a practice tree. Winning and losing a drag race can come down to a difference of .00x of a second. The split-second decisions and movements you make have a huge impact on the results you will get. Using a practice tree allows you to get as close to the real starting line on a track anywhere you want. This allows you to work on your muscle memory for how you react to the green light on the tree and improve your reaction time consistency. Normally for me I will practice for 10-15 minutes a day.
3. Drag racing is not just about the driver being consistent, you need your race car to work just as good if not better than you do on the track. Something many people forget or do not realize is the amount of work that goes into having and maintaining a race car. From changing the oil, checking valve clearances, improving air-fuel mixtures, adjusting transmission components, to regular wear and tear on a high-performance vehicle you will spend hours each and every week ensuring that the equipment you bring to the racetrack is the best it can be. The competitive edge to having an efficient and consistent race car is essential to have success. This can range from a quick look over of the car through the week or a complete overhaul of parts on the car for next weekend or next season. You can see some of the work from the YouTube videos of how we utilize the off season to catch up on maintenance and make any big changes on our race cars.
These 3 points are just the tip of the iceberg for what kind of “training” or work that goes into being a successful drag racer. I haven’t even started talking about the physical toll racing plays on your body from hours of driving too the track, loading and unloading cars, or wearing an all-black layered fire suit for hours on a hot summer day.
I would not compare this to the work other athletes do for their respective sport, but make sure you do not underestimate the work that goes into being a successful drag racer.
Catch you next time,