by Jim KearneyI was flattered to be asked by Ross Bentley, the Speed Secrets guru, to be on his podcast about driver coaching. I wasn’t sure I could talk for 45 minutes but Ross made it easy. I hope this helps drivers think about their approach to their next session. Racing is fun but it is even better when you are making gains. Listen to the podcast here.
I won the Valvoline Pro Vee Championship in 1992, took the Silver Medal at the Runoffs at Road Atlanta in 1991 and the Bronze at Mid-Ohio in 1996. I was the Northeast Division Champion four times (1991, 1992, 1996, 2006). In my very first coaching gig I worked with Rick Shields in FV at the 2010 SCCA Runoffs at Road America. Rick had six prior Runoffs attempts with a best finish of 9th. This time he won and was named the Most Improved Driver in the SCCA (Kimberly Cup).
At the SCCA Runoffs over the last nine years I have worked with drivers who stood on the podium on thirteen occasions, including four gold medals. In 2014 Jeremy Grenier won the Formula F Gold Medal at Laguna Seca and received the Mark Donahue Award. That year Rick Shields won his second Gold Medal in FV. In 2016 I worked with Brian Linn in H Production in a Midget at Mid-Ohio where he won the Gold and received the President’s Cup. In 2019 in the FRP paddock I’ve worked with two-time National Champ Scott Rubenzer, former Indy Light driver Bob Reid, Chris Horan and Alex Scaler, all in F1600. Alex recently was notified that he’d made it into the final six contestants for the 2019 Team USA Scholarship process.
This year in Challenge Cup I’ve worked with Gregg Davis, Brian Farnham and Chris Caruso. I think the role of driver coach is often misunderstood. As with drivers and people in general, everyone has different needs. Ultimately, it is all about results and I feel my record holds up. Green means go!