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Derek Spohn, ASE Master Tech / G1, C1 and L1

Guys love cars. The love affair with muscle cars, sports cars, and luxury rides evolved from the first autos that rolled off Ford's assembly line. We talked with Derek and John, our resident experts, about how to keep our vehicles on the road, and what it's like to live out our boyhood (and adulthood) fantasies of being behind the wheel of a racecar!



Maintaining your vehicle's systems is key to long life and reliability. Every new car comes with a Maintenance Schedule; it can also be accessed by neighborhood shops, dealerships, and specialty shops. While following that schedule can be costly for some cars, it is there for a reason. With newer cars, if the maintenance is not done on time, it may void a warranty. With older cars, that lack of maintenance can cause major system breakdowns. What makes it tricky is when the schedule is NOT followed. This leaves the interpretation to the guys in the shop.


Tires can now last as long as 80,0000, and have technology too. Remember, tires are your only contact with the road and choosing the wrong tire can ruin your ski trip quickly. Research a little; read reviews from consumers. Look for full depth sipes and circumferential grooves. Don't buy mud tires thinking you will get excellent winter traction. Do buy tires that meet the demands you put on your vehicle. Understand what is and is not included in a road hazard warranty. Lastly, ROTATE those tires often (see your maintenance schedule). Better too often than not often enough.


Be a YouTube hero and replace your cabin filter. This little guy often lives behind your glove box and is forgotten. If you live in a dusty area, check it often. If you let this become restricted, your heat and A/C will not work as well. Your engine air filter is under the hood and some are easy to replace; some require basic tools and some cars have two.


Not every mechanic, technician, and repair shop employee is perfect. Find a dealer or local shop that you trust, then trust them. Look at online reviews, ask friends and family to find the best fit for you and your car's needs. Most employees in the auto repair industry are trying their best, but do not often get the respect they deserve. If you walk into a shop to be disappointed, you will be. If you walk into a shop and try to first understand the process, you may walk away with a new respect for the techs that own $100,000 in tools, have worked 15+ years to become a wiz at their profession, and often work long hours in the heat and bitter cold. Give them a chance.



Car racing is perhaps the most extreme speed competition - it’s certainly among the fastest. Watching a race is an adrenaline rush for the spectators, as cars bump and jostle for position, all going about twice the speed most of us can claim to ever have topped out at - but what is it like to be behind the wheel?


That’s what separates the race driver from the rest of us. They’re going at that speed, inches from the other cars around them, and then they have to make a 180-degree left-hand turn. That’s when it gets exciting.


The trick during the turns is to play chicken with yourself. How brave can you be? How hard are you willing to hang on? Because it’s all about tire friction. You’re trying to balance the car’s speed with the limits of the tire’s grip on the track. The tires are sliding as you turn, and if you’re too conservative you’re not going to max out, but if you’re going too hard you’re going to crash. In car racing, it’s that little dance between you and the tire that’s the difference between winning and losing.


John Seely, Seely Racing

For John, there is no thrill quite like it. "It is very exhilarating to jump out of an airplane, but driving a race car is ten times more thrilling". It is an adrenaline rush that is difficult to duplicate, or even explain. For those who want to understand the addiction, John suggests heading up to the track at Colorado National Speedway. Take advantage of the Ride-Along options or a Driving Experience. You won't know exactly what it's like to be a driver, but you will get a new perspective for the sport.


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