The Mental Game and 2017 Solo Nationals

The Mental Game and 2017 Solo Nationals

hey everybody is Justin and today we’re
gonna be bringing you a little bit of action from the 2017 SCCA solo national
championship we’re gonna bring you a little bit of the race footage from both
myself and my co-driver but I also wanted to talk about the mental game in
the mental aspect of autocross and racing in general and how that kind of
affected me this solo national championship event all right so the mental game and mental
preparation for racing if you are not aware actually the mental side of racing
is almost as important as the skillset of driving and preparing your racecar
there’s a lot of mental aspects being in the right state of mind being confidence
having confidence in your car all of those types of things
apply heavily to autocross and other forms of racing as well and you’ll even
hear some of the top drivers some of the top racers will say that the mental part
of racing is up to 50% of the whole challenge so while trying to make this
real quick so as to not become too much of a sob story but it it is real life
this was a real real-deal situation not a fun one to be in on the Friday before
leaving for solo nationals my father-in-law passed away my wife’s dad
so it was not not a good time in our lives at all and going into solo
Nationals on Wednesday when I arrived you want to be arriving where you’re
pumped up you’re confident you’re feeling good about driving about the
competition and having a good time and I was in the state of mind where I
wasn’t even sure if I was going to go or not it was kind of last-minute thing
decided to go ahead and go try to get my mind off of
with our family and ended up going so I got there Wednesday as planned and
instead of being in this pumped up or ready to go state I arrived feeling like
I can’t wait to get this over with and I just want to get home and back to my
wife and my family so from a competition standpoint obviously you want to be
feeling up not feeling down because when you’re feeling down you’re not focused
your mind isn’t on the task at hand and you’re just not into it and I think
going into day one of Solo Nationals that’s how I felt I just wasn’t in it I
didn’t have any confidence in the car and overall I just wasn’t driving like
myself and you know that stuff happens when things like this happen in your
life and it could be anything it doesn’t have to be something as dramatic is what
happened to me and my family but it could be you wake up and you have a bad
day or whatever he had a bad night’s asleep and you don’t have the energy or
the focus that you want to compete so this is a huge huge part of racing and a
huge part of autocross and when you’re not in that that good
state of mind the positive confident state of mind it shows in your results
and that’s kind of what happened to me on day one like I said we’ll get into
the racing here in a minute and you’ll kind of see and I’ll talk about where I
screwed up where I went wrong and how my times suffered as a result of that so
we’re going to get into it here show some of the runs from the event like I
said my co-driver and myself as well we show you how we did in the overall
outcome of 2017 solo national championship in my Subaru BRZ
all right everybody here we go day one run one for my co-driver Matt’s give you
an idea of how the course flows and what the grip levels looked like it was a
little bit squirrely for Matt here in the first run these BFG tires they’re
not very great right away on the first run like the Bridgestone re 71 ours are
so these take a little bit of heat to get them warmed up so that’s kind of why
the car was a little bit slippery and we ended up making a change with the
suspension anyways for day two to make it a little more comfortable and have
more confidence in the car because even for me on my run I wasn’t totally
confident in it as we’ll get to you in a second here but Matt’s flying around
this course pushing really hard to think he already grabbed a cone in the first
slalom a build slide through there in this tight tight right-hander
coming back towards the finish as you can see he’s making all kinds of
corrections trying to keep the car straight so in some sense we still kind
of struggle with rear grip on the car although it was manageable it wasn’t
terrible like it was last year at Nationals but he made it through all
right for his first run we’ll get into my first run actually I think this was
my second run which was my fastest run of the day I’ll post up my quickest of
each day and even though this was my quickest like I had talked about earlier
I wasn’t feeling totally into the car and into the task at hand so I was under
driving in a lot of places specifically in the offsets and the slaloms like this
one here I was brake checking right there where I shouldn’t have been losing
a lot of speed in a lot of time I felt like my liens were okay for the most
part but just not pushing hard enough here again through that slalom I was
really slow and lost a lot of time there even compared to my co-driver Matt
according to the data in this section here as well I was tight and had a
decent line but not carrying enough speed and not going as quick as I could
have through there so I feel that because my mind wasn’t totally into the
game I wasn’t driving and pushing as hard as I know that I can and as hard as
I know that the car can go and you know like I talked about earlier these these
situations where your mind isn’t in its where you’re not mentally prepared your
your performance really suffers and you know even with that said I didn’t feel
like I drove all that great I was still sitting around mid pack I was 25th out
of 58 drivers after day one so it wasn’t terrible but with a better mindset I
think I would have been in a better position after day one my goal was to be
in the top 20 overall at the end of the events and you know being in 25th at
least put me in a position to be close so getting into day 2 here
we got Matt up again looking at the right side of the car now
poor Matt man he had a rough day he who’s driving and pushing super hard he
was hitting cones all over the place I think on all three of his runs he hit
cones on day two I think one or at least one maybe two runs out of day one he hit
cones as well and we’re kind of showing the blooper reel for Matt saw nail a
couple cones already that one he just creamed dead on said screw you cone I’m
gonna test out how strong this STI front lip is and that one got seriously
smashed and I think he hit it again on his third run going back to day one
bloopers I think this was his first run he nails that cone right there hit first
slalom he wasn’t just hitting stuff on course he was hitting stuff a grid as
well as he just creamed poor Derek’s Jack standing in a good spot sorry Derek
but that’s kind of how Matt’s the weekend went just killing and clobbering
cones left and right there’s another one I can’t even recall how many cones he
hit altogether but getting squirrely nailed that cone again on the right side
on day two course and yeah like I said rough weekend for Matt he was driving
hard pushing hard and that’s what you got to do it out across sometimes if
you’re not pushing hard enough sometimes you’re going too slow but as a result
you hit cones as well all right day two fast run for me is up on the screen I
knew I had to be fast on day two and my mind was kind of cleared after the slow
day one I think after you have a what you feel as a crummy day for yourself
your mind is kind of cleared for the next day and it’s like heck what do I
have to lose I’m just gonna go for it and you go out and do your thing and I
ended up putting down it was the seventh fastest time out of
the 58 drivers on day two so that was pretty significant for me and I felt
like I was driving the way I know I can drive I was getting through the course
good with good lines I was keeping on the power through the slaloms like this
not lifting or breaking like I was the day before and you know like I said
doing what I needed to do the way I know I can and you know without a cross you
don’t get many chances to to put down those fast times and the good drivers
are able to do it right out of the gate you know with no hesitation and one
thing I always try to improve on is being fast out of the gate and then
improving upon those times as the day goes on and I was able to do that on day
two actually I think my second run which was my fastest was the quickest time for
me that seventh fastest time of the day so while I didn’t improve on the third
run it was still pretty quick and respectable so I felt like I was back to
where I needed to be this is pretty much the same run that we just looked at just
from the other side of the car so finished out day two on a positive note
and at this point like I came in Wednesday I was eager to get home back
to the family was happy to have finished it off on a good note and we ended up in
15th place overall for the 2017 solo national championship so 15th place out
of 58 that got me the second-to-last Trophy spot the trophies are handed out
from the top 25 percent of drivers plus one I believe it is and then of course
your first second and third place get the big podium trophies and with the top
twenty finish I achieved my goal for this year for solo Nationals and next
year will be looking to do even better all right everybody so that’s gonna wrap
it up for the 2017 solo National Championship ended up all right from a
standings point of view can’t complain about that considering the circumstances
we’re gonna go ahead and finish up the offseason at my local championship
series I’ll bring you a few more events from that before the year is over and
then it’s offseason time time to figure out what we’re gonna do with the car
looking upgrades we’re gonna do during the offseason to make it better and to
make it faster and more reliable and hopefully come out with an even better
result than we did this year so thanks again everybody for watching I hope you
appreciated the video hope you enjoyed it if you have any thoughts or comments
again like always leave them down below I would love to hear from you stay tuned
for more coming up real soon we’ll talk to you all next time


  1. Post

    At the one national event I attended last year, I noticed a lot of drivers sharing cars. Is that just to keep costs down or a way to double the chances of having a winning car?

  2. Post
  3. Post
  4. Post
  5. Post
  6. Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *