This week’s feature author is Colin Braun. I doubt he needs too much of an introduction if you’ve been following pro racing over the past 7 or 8 years.
I first met Colin when he was just 13 years old, when he was racing karts. His father, Jeff, had been my engineer at Scandia when I drove one of the first IMSA World Sports Cars. Shortly after, Jeff and Colin attended an Inner Speed Secrets seminar Ronn Langford and I put on. Over the next few years I had the pleasure of coaching Colin, one of the hardest-working, smartest, talented drivers I’ve ever worked with.
There’s a reason that I chose to put a photo of Colin on the covers of two of my Speed Secrets books (The Perfect Driver and The Complete Driver). Colin is a model for how a young driver can be successful in motorsport without spending a huge amount of family money. There aren’t many drivers of his age who have raced quarter midgets, karts, open wheel cars, GT cars, prototype sports cars, NASCAR Trucks and Nationwide. He’s won in every one of those classes (except Nationwide, although he did have a few podiums and pole positions).
* * * * *
The Complete Driver, by Colin Braun
I had been thinking about what my first piece for Speed Secrets Weekly should be about and how to make it interesting and insightful. But it really came to me as I was watching the NASCAR All Star race, where Jimmie Johnson won. Since I was fortunate enough to have spent some time racing in NASCAR, I often have people ask me who the best driver is there. In my opinion, it is such an easy answer – Jimmie Johnson.
Jimmie Johnson defines the complete driver. This guy is so polished on and off the track, has the speed when he needs to be fast, has the brains when it’s time to be smart, is such an athlete, awesome with the sponsors, and is a great leader. Yes, of course there are drivers who may be able to put down one single faster lap or chat it up with the media a little bit better, but as a complete driver no one touches Jimmie Johnson.
Now, you are all probably wondering where I am going with this. Well, I want to talk about maximizing your potential to become a complete driver. I believe this is a mindset you have to have more than anything. I think there are many drivers who get complacent and forget that it is not just about being fast, or being able to set your car up well, or being fit enough to not get tired before the end of your race.
* * * * *