In this video I discuss the importance is setting reasonable expectations of yourself, the motorsport world, and the prospect of making money in the racing industry as a performance driver.
Leave a comment at the bottom of the page. And don’t forget there are always new videos coming out, so keep checking back.
Hey everybody, Matt Covert here again from howtobecomearacecardriver.com. And in this video we’re going to explore expectations. And this is what you need to be thinking about when you have that starry-eyed look in your eye about becoming a racecar driver for money or thinking about making a career swap into the motorsports world. There’s a lot to think about here and we’re going to take a look at the realistic side of racecar driving as a career.
Alright, let’s hop right to it. So let’s get something out of the way first. Something that needs to be addressed right up front is when people Google things like how to become a racecar driver, they’re looking for the last lane. The shortest possible way to get from where they are to become pro a NASCAR driver or a World Rally Championship Driver and there just isn’t an easy way. I promise you.
We live in the land of entitlement and instant gratification and I have, the bad news is that there just isn’t a quick way to do this. OK? This isn’t some fluff website that says “Oh! Go to an expensive driving school and get sponsors and then everyone in the world is going to sign you to their driving team.” No. That’s just not how it works, OK? It, the process, is very slow. And I think people just need to step back and realize that this is not how it works. Alright?
And that’s OK because this website is not called How To Become A Pro Racecar Driver. It’s How To Become A Racecar Driver, OK? The point of this website is to teach you all the things you need to know so that whether you’re just into the sport, or if you’re already seasoned, this website is going to teach you the things that will make you better. Alright? This site is a long term plan. There is no short term plan to become a racecar driver, it just doesn’t work. It’s too much hard work and it takes a huge amount of time and effort, OK? But this website will show you all the skills you need to create a long term plan.
Think of it a lot like college. I know this is not a college website or university, but in the same way you’re learning things that are advancing your career in not really a slow way, because you can learn as fast as you want, but I think long term plan is the best way to think about it because you are purposefully cultivating skills and knowledge that are very relevant to whatever it is you’re doing. You’re purposefully learning something and that is the best way to get to your end goal.
Let’s take a look at another something real quick. I want to talk about pro drivers. And I’m going to put pro, the word pro, in quotation marks. Because you see a lot of, I mean, you go to Speed Channel or ESPN or whatever TV channel is hosting not really obscure racing series, but racing series you don’t see very much. This probably doesn’t include NASCAR or Formula 1 because those drivers are definitely all getting paid full time jobs, OK?
But a lot of the drivers that you see on there, they’ve all gone to the driving schools and whatever but what you don’t know is that these guys aren’t getting paid at all. They’re actually paying the racing team to get that driving spot. Because, well I should say, the driving teams can do this because the market is so flooded from people going to the driving schools and having the basic skills you need, basic skills that someone would need, to successfully drive a racecar on a racetrack.
So rather than hunting down a really expensive driver they’re actually making money by selling the seat to someone to wants to be a driver, OK? And this is just something you need to be aware of because this is a lot of what pro driving is now. Pro, again, in quotation marks. These guys are actually paying, OK? This is actually hobby driving, even though it looks like professional driving. So acquiring a paid racing seat now is extremely difficult and will keep continuing to be more and more difficult as more graduates are pumped out of this racing programs. And it’s the same way in the stunt driving industry. That’s where I come from, stunt driving. It’s the same way in that industry as well and it’s something we all have to deal with. So be aware of this, alright?
We’ll move on to the next point. Which is: what’s the point? If it’s so difficult to become a racecar driver then why would you even bother? Well that’s a really good question. Is there a chance that you’ll end up on a NASCAR team? Maybe. I mean the odds are so small now that it hardly even seems worth it to get started anymore, OK? But there is a point, I promise you.
To me, racecar driving is not about becoming a pro or making a ton of money. It’s about being the best in my world. And I’ll explain what I mean by that. When I’m the best in my world it means that I’m consistently winning wherever it is that I’m racing. My world right now is a state level autocross championship and I’m doing really well there. When I conquer that world I’m going to move up to the next world, which is the regional autocross or I’ll hop into another racing sport, OK? That’s the point of racecar driving. It’s really a personal challenge. And that is the best way to approach racecar driving because you aren’t going to hop into, especially if you’re new, you’re not going to hop into the racecar driving world and start competing with guys are getting paid a full time salary for racecar driving. It’s not going to happen.
The safest, best way to start racecar driving is to compete with yourself and to compete with the people who are in your world. It keeps you from getting overwhelmed and discouraged. Once you beat this world move on to the next world. And this is something that Seth Godin talks about in his book The Dip. I know I’ve mentioned it a couple times but it’s just such a great book. And I’m not an affiliate for that book or anything, I just love it so much.
Companies have, you know, in general in the business world, people have kind of lost interest in being the best in the world at something because it’s so easy to be a business now, with the internet and whatnot, OK? But if you are the best in the world, not only – or if you strive to be the best in the world, in your world, not only will you be the best driver around but you’ll stand out more than everyone else. Alright?
And if you slog through this long process of getting into the racing world and being the best, wherever you are, that’s the kind of thing that separates great drivers from average drivers. And people will notice that. If you’re ever going to get anywhere in racing that is something that you have to keep in mind. And you have to make part of your lifestyle: being the best in your world. Alright?
So, one more thing I am going to say about that. Let’s talk about, I just want to make a quick comparison. People are always saying, especially at the hobby level, in racing and autocross, people will say it’s not really racing blah blah blah. Well I just want to compare, make a comparison real quick. Let’s talk about high school football for a second, OK? High school football is ridiculously popular and it’s where pretty much everybody who’s anyone, in football, has ever gotten their start. All the pros, they played in high school. Because that’s where you get going. Alright? And I feel like autocross, and even a lot of the lower level series, it’s kind of that same process. It’s not super pro, but it’s really competitive and it’s an awesome place to start. There is nothing wrong with autocrossing or entry level racing. It’s the same thing as high school football. It’s just where you get started. And I always like that comparison.
OK? So that’s what How To Become A Racecar Driver is all about. It’s about learning the long way around as opposed to all the shallow internet websites and articles that say “Oh, go to school, get sponsors, be a professional driver.” It just doesn’t work like that. You’re going the long way around and I want to tell you right up front: it’s ridiculously hard. It feels like real work, I promise you that. But even though it’s the long way around it is the shortest way to get there.
Alright? And I think I’m going to wrap it up there with that. That’s how I feel about racecar driving and you just have to have reasonable expectations when you’re going into something this crazy. It’s really hard, it takes a long time, and there are things you have to know and understand, the skills and the knowledge. And that’s what this website is all about: making sure you have all those resources and I love it. Alright? I’m going to wrap it up. I’m Matt Covert. Please subscribe to the YouTube channel. I’m going to put a link right up here for that. And I’m going to move on to the next video.