You won’t believe what Spec Miata racer Dean Busk pulled off this past weekend at Auto Club Speedway. We heard the rumor so we had to check with the man himself. When we found out his experience in the rain, or lack thereof, we had to understand what he did to prepare. Check out the tips he reveals.
Mr. Busk, congratulations on winning your Spec Miata race, in the rain, at the SCCA Majors Western Conference Tour this past weekend at Auto Club Speedway. We heard this was your first race in the rain?
This was my very first race on rain tires and in the rain. I was very happy just to get through the race with no damage to myself and others.
Well, we’re glad you got through without damage and am sure many others are too! After completing your first rain race, what tips do you have for others?
Well, I don’t really think I am qualified to give other racers suggestions just yet. While in Phoenix, before I went to the track, I was watching the weather forecast. Seeing the possibility for rain, I made sure all wipers were in good shape, the spray bottle was filled and all systems worked.
Wise checklist. And how did the prep go the morning of the race?
Prior to the Sunday’s race, I applied Rain-X to the windshield and proceeded to leave the pit area to go up to the grid. As I was driving, I pulled the handle down to turn on my wiper blades and voila…nothing! My wiper blades were not functioning. You talk about discouraging… we all know the feeling when something doesn’t go as expected. You put a lot of time and energy into something and then this happens. I didn’t know what to think and I knew I had to put myself in a better frame of mind before the race.
Rich Powers, our crew chief, basically told me to suck it up and go out and race hard.
Interesting strategy; we’re glad it worked! So hindsight being 20/20, what would you have done differently or suggest to others?
A couple thoughts that would be noteworthy for new racers: First, put on Rain-X on the outside and anti-fog Rain-X on the inside of the windshield. If it wasn’t for that product being on the car, I absolutely know I would not have made it through the race. Second, find out who has a lot of experience driving in those types of conditions and try to work with him or her (preferably in a practice session and not in the big race). I followed a very experienced driver and teammate (Steve Powers) for much of the race and he showed me the braking points and which line to follow.
Many thanks go out to that father and son team.