How to Become a Pro Race Car Driver

By Jeremy Dunn

Thousands of young men and women across the United States aspire to become a professional race car driver. Some aspiring drivers dream of racing in NASCAR Sprint Cup. Others desire to compete in open-wheel racing such as Formula One or the Indy Racing League. Perhaps you may want to try your hand in off-road racing or drag racing. Regardless of the style of racing that interests you, treat it as a career choice and exert yourself in order to achieve your goals.

Becoming a Pro Race Car Driver

Most aspiring race car drivers know what type of car they desire to race professionally. No race car driver immediately jumps into the highest division of auto racing. All drivers work their way up through different divisions. Many drivers begin their careers racing at their local go-kart track. Go kart racing allows young drivers to get a feel for the competitive side of racing before learning the technical aspects.

Go kart racing may allow you to advance to other divisions of racing such as Legends Cars or Bandolero Cars.

Learn the mechanical aspects of the race car. People in the racing business appreciate a driver with in-depth knowledge of the race car. This aids in the chassis setup, taking additional strain off crew members.

Attend a racing school while competing in lower-level divisions. Each brand of racing has a school based around educating the young driver on the basics of racing and the cars. Star driver Jeff Gordon attended the Buck Baker driving school prior to becoming one of NASCAR's top drivers.

Visit different local tracks in order to get to know people inside the racing business. Be proactive in introducing yourself to track owners and employees, fellow drivers as well as mechanics. If you display a positive demeanor and allow yourself to become acquainted with others in the business, they can connect you to someone else in the sport who could further your career. Having connections in racing can become advantageous in your climb up the racing ladder.

Pass out business cards. NASCAR star Carl Edwards passed out business cards while racing at local tracks in lower divisions. This displayed a proactive attitude.

Buy a used race car and compete at a nearby local track.

Listen to advice from experienced drivers and mechanics in the business. They tend to understand what aspiring drivers go through, as they likely encountered similar obstacles.

Take every opportunity to race. Time on the track is valuable, especially throughout the learning phases of racing. Strive to finish each race without damage to the car. Drivers who take care of the equipment generally earn the respect of their peers as they climb the racing ladder.


About the Author

Jeremy Dunn is a freelance writer from Harlem, Ga. He began his professional career in 2005. He writes on Atlanta NASCAR for a prominent website and authored the book, "Superstars of Pro Football—Ray Lewis." He has composed articles for other publications like "Speed South" magazine and "RaceWeekly" magazine. Dunn holds an Associate of Arts in printing/graphics from Augusta Technical College.

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