The list of people I have to thank is a mile long. Simply put, I positively could not have learned all I did and had the successes I did without the direct assistance of the following people:
- Claude Rouelle, whose datalogging and engineering seminars opened up an entire new way of looking at car development. You can attend too
- Bill Mitchell, whose suspension kinematics software proved its worth many times over, and whose patience with an enthusiastic user (and bug finder), and whose willingness to expand the software to cover the obscure double-lower-ball joint front suspension used in my Talon, defined what software customer support should be. See it here
- Warren Rowley, whose book An Introduction to Race Car Engineering provided many, many ideas, and proved that there's no problem that can't be solved by making little representative models. Now if only we'd get the next 4 books in the series!
- Bill Hindorff at Bilstein Shock Absorbers, who patiently held my hand through my shock rebuilding and revalving learning curve.
- Joe Stimola at Penske Racing Shocks, who was my go-to guy for Penke info and one of the few Penske shock rebuilders I really trusted. Joe would patiently answer all my Penske questions and was always ready with a smile and a story. Sadly, Joe passed on in Feb 2010. He was good people and I'll miss him.
- Joe Cheng, Jim McKamey, and John Carriere, all of whom proved to be fascinating discussion partners and great people to bounce ideas off of.
- A small legion of fellow autocrossers who were willing to try my ideas on their cars, provide feedback, and in many cases, let me drive their cars as well so I could get the experience too. I'd love to thank them all by name, but I don't feel I have the right to out them. It's probably bad enough that I'm giving away all my secrets and spoiling a competitive advantage without adding the extra validation by naming names.... Thanks guys, and I hope you understand why I'm writing this.
- Next to last, the man who got me started. In late 1992, a young drag racer picked up a copy of Tune to Win in a local speedshop and his life changed forever. I owe my entire racing career to Carroll Smith, as he was the inspiration that there was more to motorsports than just driving in a straight line. To meet him later on in my career was an incredible thrill; for him to spend time with me actually developing my car... I'm at a loss for words for how cool that was and for how grateful I am to have had the opportunity. We miss you Carroll. (And thanks to Hoosier Tom for arranging the meeting!)
- But most importantly, my wife and crew chief Bethany, who supported my mad dream of becoming a pro race driver and engineer without hesitation, without reservation, and who kept me going when things were not going well. Any woman who lets her husband transform the second bedroom in a two-bedroom apartment into a metal shop so he can go racing deserves is clearly very special. But a woman who makes herself part of her husband's dream by taking on work and responsibility in that organization and actively strives to help him succeed... that's a completely different level of love and support. I really am the luckiest man alive to have married her. Thanks Babe.