The team does a comprehensive workout in a gym each Tuesday. On Wednesday and Thursday team members practice pit stops. They get Friday off, and then they work the weekend at the track. "And on Monday we sit down and look at the tapes to see what we can do better," Salerno says.
But how does that relate to a guy who spends all day at a desk and climbs into a car only on Saturday night?
First of all, Salerno doesn't expect someone racing Saturday nights at a local bullring to be able to keep the same training schedule as Jarrett or the 88 UPS crew.
But that doesn't mean there isn't room to adapt what he does for the boys in brown to guys in T-shirts and blue jeans who race for trophies and a week's worth of bragging rights.
"First of all, we have to get rid of the 'I'm just here for the beer' attitude and start thinking of ourselves as athletes," he says. That is especially important with amateur racers who have full-time jobs and race only once a week.
"Keeping in shape is important," he says. The difference in driver conditioning may not show up the first or second lap, but eventually the driver who is in shape and has the stamina to race hard for 30 minutes will have an edge at the end of a race over a racer who is wrung out after 20 minutes.
"You can be skillful at racing," Martin proclaims in his book. "But if you don't have the strength to effectively repeat these skills throughout a race, you are likely to finish in a poor position with an increased chance of injury from crashing."
Increased stamina will allow a driver to be more responsive to the changes in the track and in the car, use better judgement, and have quicker reflexes than a driver who is barely hanging on to the wheel.
Dr. Steve Olvey, who studied drivers in the Champ Car open-wheel series, says he observed drivers for years to look for any erratic lap times or erratic behavior.
"What you see when fatigue sets in," says Olvey, "is the driver starts to lose his ability to concentrate and anticipate things as well as his ability to react to things in front of him. There is a definite increase in the accident rate of fatigued drivers. It is not unlike what happens on the ski slopes. When you talk to physicians in Colorado, they'll talk about the rush of injuries toward the end of the day. We're very aware of what the drivers are doing toward the latter stages of races."