by Randy Kerr, Magic Valley Speedway ©2003
1Part one - In The Pits
What makes a gentleman racer? Many different people define a gentleman racer in many different ways. The following is based on a personal opinion and not necessarily that of the management of any particular Speedway.
In the pits, the gentleman racer is always willing to help the new guy get his car to a competitive state. He's not only willing to help with the car set up, but he's also willing to teach the driver and crew why the changes are made. He's willing to help find the right line around the racetrack and helps him to understand proper acceleration and breaking.
The gentleman racer would never intentionally put anything illegal on his car and would immediately remove anything he thought might be illegal. He doesn't spend all his time trying to find holes in the rules. Instead he spends his time trying to get his car to handle well enough to put it in holes in traffic. He always focuses on what it will take to make his car better instead of what someone else might be doing.
He doesn't talk negative about his fellow competitors, crew members, officials, fans or the speedway in general. He always expresses a positive attitude about the sport even when he's having a bad night. When he feels he has gotten a bad call, he comes to the payout window with not a complaint, but a question as to why a call was made the way it was. He also realizes that when a bad call is made against him someday he'll get a break or he remembers when he was involved and didn't get penalized.
Part Two-On The Track
On the Track, the gentleman racer is the type of driver that would never intentionally wreck another competitor. He might miss judge a corner and accidentally bump a competitor, but if either one of them spun out he would insist on starting behind the driver on the restart. He would never bump a competitor to try to gain position. He would never drive in the grass on the corner entry and would never make a 3 wide situation going into a corner. If he found himself in one he would do his best to get out of it without doing damage to anyone's car. The gentleman racer is the type of driver that will let things sort out before he tries to make his way to the front. He never tries to win a race on the first lap.
The gentleman racer always does his best to hold a steady and consistent line on the track and is always willing to move up the track out of everyone's way when his car isn't handling or he's down on power. He would never try to over drive his car. When his car is drastically off the pace he doesn't wait for the black flag instead he exits the track so the race can continue safely.
The gentleman racer would never try to bring out a yellow flag to stop the race. If he lost power he would do everything he could to get as far off the racing surface as he could so the race could continue under green.
When the gentleman racer is setting on the pole for a start or restart he always tries to give the field a smooth and steady start.
Under a caution situation a gentleman racer would never bump, hit, rub, or do anything else to damage another car or cause injury to another driver.
Part 3-After The Races
After the completion of the races a gentleman racer goes through post race inspection knowing his car is legal. He also shows no concerns for his competitor's inspection knowing that the officials will be fair and reasonable to everyone. He's always friendly and positive to the officials assigned to the inspection of his car and when he doesn't agree with something at the inspection he asks questions instead of arguing.
After the inspection is complete, the cars are returned to their pits where the gentleman racer avoids any conflicts. He's always willing to accept responsibility for any contact he caused on the racetrack and is willing to apologize to the other driver before any conflicts can start. The gentleman racer works close with his crew to make sure that they never argue or complain to any of the officials especially when the official is trying to do his or her job. When one of the crew members does this the gentleman racer would ask the crew member to stay home until they can act appropriately.
The gentleman racer comes to the pay out window in a timely manner. When he comes he comes alone and when he has a question or concern he asks the Race Director if he can visit one-on-one. He expresses his concerns and accepts the explanation he is given even when he may not totally agree, he never argues, yells, screams, or causes a seen. He understands when he gets a bad call against him he will probably get one for him.