"We know what works in most places, so all we have to do is play around with shocks and spring rates. It's all little stuff, but it all adds up. And because we arrive ready to race, we have time for the little things that make the difference."
Ask questions. Talk to the drivers who are running well no matter what the track conditions.
"And don't be in a hurry," he said. "You have to be on the track at the end if you want to accumulate any points. I've seen so many guys come out and they can win a race or two every season, but they are so inconsistent that they never end up in a position to win a championship. They give races away because they don't look at the big picture."
Maintain PerspectiveAfter 10 years of driving the same cars on the same track, it should come as no surprise that Bruce Quale has more than his share of victories on Magic Valley Speedwa in Idaho.
"It took some time, but I guess I've learned my way around the place," he said.
"I'm sorta the old guy in the class," he joked. "A lot of the guys I started with have moved up."
With a sealed crate engine, his Grand American Modified is far from the most powerful car in the feature.
"So we put a lot of emphasis on handling," he said. "Our goal is to put the car underneath the competition in the corner. If we can get ahead of them, we can hold them off down the straight. It's only a third of a mile track, so it is the turns where you make the passes."
He came up through the ranks until climbing into a Grand American Modified 10 years ago.
"If I had a secret, that would be it," he said. "I've been in the same class so long that we just know what to do."
At Magic Valley Speedway they invert the top in points and start last week's winner in the back of the main every week.
"Starting in the back most races, I have worked at being patient and smooth at the beginning of the race, looking far ahead to the cars in front, and trying to stay out of the wrecks," he said. "And I try to save the tires and brakes for the later stages. We pay attention to lap times throughout the races, and often my quickest laps of the main event are late in the race when others have slowed down."
While he begins each night with a baseline suspension setup, he's not afraid to change spring and shock settings to get things dialed in correctly.
"We keep a fairly open mind on setup," he said. "Sometimes we do things that are just the opposite of what 'the book' says to do, but for us it works. And if we aren't the fastest car out there during time trials, we don't panic. If we are way off, then we'll begin to worry and begin throwing things at the car to try to figure out why. That is especially the case if we haven't changed the car since we had it out the previous weekend. Then we know something is wrong."
Quale has given up on his dream of making a career in racing.
"We're doing it for fun now," he said. "We try to keep racing in
perspective. So if we aren't having a good time, we sit back and find out why.
"Winning's great, but that's not the only reason to race."