Category Archives: The Shed

Racecar Drivers Are Athletes Too

You think of athletes as Olympians in all the categories we know well depending upon the time of year. It is obvious that boxers, runners, skaters, weight lifters, wrestlers, basketball players, gymnasts, swimmers and divers are athletes. But guess what, race car drivers are too. They need to keep fit and healthy to handle the focus needed in their sport; they need to be in top form through diet and exercise. I don’t know many obese drivers, do you?

This is the same as any other athlete, although each type has their routine. Millions of variations later, each sportsman becomes hale and hearty to take on the rigors of their game. So what do racecar drivers do to prepare for the big event? They go to the gym like anyone else. They also jog, use weights, do crunches, and even yoga to concentrate the mind. Some meditate to relax the spirit and boost energy. It is a nice side effect of the deep inner focus you can regularly achieve.

I know of a few drivers who are avid participants in a fitness and exercise program. One in particular told me he doesn’t miss a day. While this might not be necessary for all drivers, some like the mental mindlessness that you experience during strenuous workouts, and if you’re on the road a lot, you might even use a home gym system installed in your drag racing trailer. It is like cleansing it and ridding it of extraneous thoughts. It is solid preparation to be sure for the focus needed to round those curves at lightning speed. Drag racers are a unique breed; but they, too, have their needs. This kind of racing requires quick responses, perhaps honed with sports like boxing. It is all about reaction time. Anything that practices this agility is a good pursuit.

Not all drivers are avid, but many do their workouts with gusto and zeal, the same kind of spirit they put into racing. There is a single mindedness that comes with any athlete, and it carries over it all facets of life at home or work (if the racer is not a pro and has a job). Some are born with this ability, but you can stoke it at the gym.

Concentration exercises come in many forms. It doesn’t have to be circuit training. You can do all kinds of video interactive games, for example, as an exercise in focus and reaction. If you prefer a real physical experience, playing a sport is the epitome of concentration. Think about baseball and those batters facing a pitch. Think about strategy in football and executing a pre-planned play–just at the right moment. Think about the rigors of golf, tennis, and diving. Imagine a diver on the springboard and what he or she is thinking seconds before the plunge.

So I hope you are thoroughly convinced that racecar drivers of all types, drag racers included, are athletes of the highest kind. It isn’t about big muscles and defined abs, but the ability to stay tuned to the present moment and get the most out of it. In racing, this means a win!

The Wrong Sump

Have you ever wanted to clobber your assistant over the head, but thought you might damage the already limited brain cells there? Or were worried about legal repercussions and an expensive law suit? I have. I usually entrust purchases to my intern, but recently an order went haywire in the oddest way. I needed a fuel sump and there are a few kinds, so I didn’t specify too closely and left it up to him to see what we had used before and maybe upgrade it a bit. I then went on my merry way.

Not two days later he turns up with a high quality sump pump alright, but it was designed to pump waterfor the basement, intended to be part of a house. I mean, what! How can you possibly mistake one for the other? Now he is new and not experienced blike, and he did hear me bitch about the soggy basement floor a few times. (I do want to convert the area into a modest theater/entertainment center and could be heard repeatedly bemoaning the current state of the dungeon-like location.)

Nevertheless, use the brains you were born with and ask! Would I really ask someone other than myself to do the dirty work of appraising installation of a home sump pump? No, I would not. The intern’s duties have, in the short time he has been with me, been limited to the dragster and all its many and timely needs. Well I set him straight and he did immediately get on the web to provide me some alternatives.

Fuel sump pumps, in case you did not know, come in kits for a couple hundred pounds. Here’s an example:

XDP Black Anodized Diesel Fuel Tank Sump – No Tank Drop Install XD131

The XDP Fuel Sump is designed to eliminate the typical ¼ tank issues associated with the in-tank draw straws typically used with Air Dog & FASS fuel pumps. Originally designed for better diesel fuel delivery, the XDP Fuel Sump fastens to the bottom of the tank and dramatically increases volume to the fuel pump by allowing you to get every drop of fuel out of the tank.

The XDP Fuel Sump is the only unit on the market to feature a single piece horseshoe shape internal ring allowing for a no tank drop installation. This XDP exclusive feature allows for a faster and simpler installation. (Special attention must be made to ensure all debris is cleaned from the tank after drilling.)


  • No tank drop installation cuts installation time
  • Opening to allow fuel to flow freely into the sump
  • Made from Aircraft grade T6 billet aluminum
  • Precision CNC machining technology for a perfect fit
  • Works great with stock or aftermarket fuel tanks

The XDP Fuel Sump is beneficial to all trucks including stock daily drivers, mild street modifications, drag racing applications, and even sled-pulling.

Well, there you have it. He did his job, and while I might select another option, he is on the right track. I may keep him around yet.