Turn 1: Make sure your tires are warmed up. Brake early, around the 2nd to last braking marker pylon. Once the right rear wheel settles, add gas. Be on the throttle before or on the apex. Mash the throttle between 1 and 2.
Turn 2: You don’t need to brake. Downshift to 3rd, making sure you’ve given the throttle a nice blip to get the revs up. Leave a car width from the inside, apexing a little late, which will help you have enough track to track out. Unless you’re side by side with Jean, in which case stay right up against the inside.
Turn 3: Take very fast
Turn 4: You’ve gone down the back straight with the throttle on the floor, checking the gauges and mirrors, shifting into 4th when 3rd has given you all it’s got. You’re at the end of the pavement and going as fast as this car will go. You’re terrified because now you have to turn to the right. Tell yourself it’s a fast turn, it’s a fast turn, it’s a fast turn. Lift. Pussy out and brake. Turn and realize you had plenty of track. Promise yourself you won’t brake next time, knowing full well that you’re going to be just as terrified next lap.
Turn 5: Aim the nose to the outside pylon. Brake, but not as much as you think you need to. Go deep, then turn. Track out. You didn’t use all the track. You didn’t need that much braking.
Turn 6: Go downhill, staying to the outside. Brake between the last two braking pylon markers, hard but smooth. Smooth is fast. Downshift to 3rd. Don’t apex until you see the blue and white curbing, then hit the edge of the curbing. Let the slickness of the paint on the curbing rotate the car as your right rear tire slips on it. Add just enough gas to use all the track to the other side, then it’s full throttle all the way uphill.
Turn 7: There’s no wrong way to take this in a Vee. Let 3rd take you uphill and shift up to 4th.
Turn 8: Brake hard between the last two braking pylons (sometimes the last one has been knocked down). Downshift to 3rd. You come nearly to a stop. Turn and ride the edge of the curbing. The Barrons like to drive on the curbing, but it’s so bumpy, and they have treaded tires. Track out to the curbing on the outside. The cut off between 6 and 13 is there, and you can use that pavement when you run out of track.
Turn 9: Go downhill as fast as you can, shifting into 4th near the bunker on the right.
Turn 10: Lift because you’re a pussy. The track flattens out right next to the apex. Hit that flat area, and you’ll be alright.
Turn 11: Downshift into 3rd between the last two braking pylons, giving the throttle a good bit of gas before letting out the clutch. Go a little deeper, then turn in, apexing a little past the beginning of the curbing. Between going uphill and the engine braking, you don’t need to touch the brakes. When you track out to the rumble strip on the left, using every bit of track, it feels like nothing else. “You know what feels even better?” says Jack, “when you put one wheel in the dirt!”
Turn 12: Ride that amazing feeling. Think that if everyone could experience this, they’d want to go racing too.
Turn 13: Don’t shift into 4th; just wring it out to the top. Brake hard. Go deeper than you think, then turn the car, hitting the curbing with your left tires, letting it rotate you. Then mash the throttle downhill.
Corkscrew: Bounce off the curbs as fast as you can. Shift into 4th once you’re going uphill. Think about how you’re not going to brake quite as much at the end of the straight heading into turn 1.
Me and Jean in our 5 cars
High Plains Raceway track map