I just got back from a fun and successful weekend at Daytona International Speedway. It’s always nice to be in sunny Florida during the colder months! Daytona is a special place, especially over the off-season because it means so many good things are coming for us racers!
This weekend was Rob Trollinger’s final race of the season, and he had a very specific set of goals in mind as he went into the event. Some were performance based, but most were skills based. After all, if you execute those skills properly, then the performance will improve, too.
Daytona can be an intimidating track, especially in a very fast car with speeds over 170mph, heavy braking zones, and some decent-sized consequences if you make a mistake. For a driver that isn’t a veteran of Daytona, it can be a place where you have to respect the track and work your way up to speed.
Throughout practice and even the sprint races on Friday and Saturday, Rob had a specific set of goals and areas of the track to work on for each session. Sunday’s 1.5-hour enduro was a perfect opportunity to put it all together and really get into a rhythm.
It was fun to watch Rob’s progress throughout the weekend, especially from a coach’s standpoint. I wound up acting as a spotter, not just a coach, especially since Daytona provides great vantage points to look down on the track. You can really give good feedback and watch each corner, rather than just a section of the track.
The enduro on Sunday was intense from the start because Rob was in a battle right away with six other cars. He really had to rise to the occasion, and it was fun racing to watch. In the final 30 minutes, Rob really picked up the pace and maintained it as others fell off. He was able to pass several cars and drive home the point that the goals we were working on throughout the event had been met. It was one of his best performances in the car all year. Pretty impressive for having already driven a physically demanding car for a full hour!
It was extremely rewarding for Rob and myself as we enjoyed the success of his efforts. Fingers crossed that the off-season isn’t too long so we can get after it again!