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Old 06-12-2004, 11:58 PM
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Originally posted by Aaron Waldron

Before practice starts, I make it a habit to physically walk the track to look at the faces of the jumps, the width of corners, any possibility of straight-lining a section, etc. I will walk to the driver's stand and have someone point out certain areas like holes, and reference points for hitting jumps and turning into corners.

The first few laps of practice are always slow; in fact, I might even single every jump on the first lap, just to get used to the track surface and how my car or truck will react to the angle of the jumps. I will drive around the middle of the lanes for the first 3-5 laps to get a feel for the layout; when I get comfortable, I will then decide going down the straight to strap it up and try to put in 2 or 3 fast laps. After those laps, I'll turn it down a bit into cruise control, and start thinking of places to make up time. If at all possible, I'll cut the track and do the same section over and over until I'm comfortable going through it a certain way.

When I am comfortable driving laps at race pace, I start looking for jump combinations or different lines through corners that might shave off some time. Before practice ends, I will always try to burn off a few laps as fast am I feel I can drive around the track without crashing. I really don't like using laptimes to judge how I do in practice, but I do like to try driving around with Adam or someone else who is faster during practice to find out how they drive through a particular section.

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