Enscoe works hard in move to 410 Sprint Car
By Thomas Zuck
Published: Friday, May 14, 2010
Young race car drivers strive to become more proficient on the track. One way to reach that goal is obvious — more time on the track.
But that might be difficult for some. Just ask Lindsay Enscoe.
"I'm in the fourth year now, full time, running this car," the 25-year old said. "I just wish I had more time in the car. More seat time will help any driver."
Enscoe helps run her family's restaurant north of Butler, which limits the time she can spend driving the No. 96 Sprint Car at Lernerville Speedway, Mercer Raceway Park and Tri-City Speedway.
"Right now, I would say racing is a hobby," Enscoe said. "But it would be great if it could turn into something more."
Before getting into the 410 Sprint Car, Enscoe raced a Micro Sprint. She is now in her 10th season, and she feels that there have been improvements.
"I'm much more comfortable in the car now, and that means also more comfortable going faster," Enscoe said. "I think I am getting better at setting up the car, too. I don't think people really have a clue about what goes into setting up one of these cars. I raced micros before this and the difference is night and day. Basically, they look the same is about it."
On the surface, it would seem that the difference in power between a Micro and a 410 Sprint would be the biggest hinderence. Not so says Enscoe.
"Using the brake was the biggest thing for me going from the micro to this car," Enscoe said. "You don't need it in the Micro. Using the brake to steer through the turn was a big deal, and I am still learning.
"Power and speed was never an issue because, when we got better and were going as fast as some of the others, it turned into a comfort level. When you have confidence in the car, the traffic is not an issue. It's kind of hit and miss, though, depending on the set up of the car."
Setting up a car is the tricky part. For the most part, the cars are similar with loads of power, not much weight and a lot of variables as far as setting the car for track conditions.
If Enscoe and her crew miss on the set up, it is a good bet that half of the rest of the field made similar mistakes.
"A wet, tacky track is way better for me," Enscoe said. "But I have shown major improvement getting around on a slick track. More seat time for me means more comfort in the car."
Enscoe's schedule this season should pave the way for her to gain more experience by the end of summer.
"I should be able to do more again this year," Enscoe said. "Fridays at Lernerville, Saturdays we'll be at Mercer and Sundays at Tri-City Speedway."
The big traveling shows offer problems forpart-time drivers. One aspect that hurts local drivers is that weekly racing nights do not have qualifying, while the traveling shows like the All Star Sprints and the World of Outlaws Sprints do.
That is one area Enscoe has addressed and she will get a chance to display her improvement May 30, when the World of Outlaws will be at Tri-City, and June 4, when the All Stars will be at Lernerville.
"I am going to do those shows," Enscoe said. "I think the biggest thing is just the confidence end of it. I think I am getting much better at time trials and qualifying."
On the front of Enscoe's top wing is a reminder about which side of the car to keep firmly attached to the ground.
"The people that painted my car for me after the first time I flipped it did that," Enscoe said with a laugh. "I've done it twice now. It's not something I want to do again."
Like many young racers at Lernerville, Enscoe isn't afraid to ask for help.
"I talk to Mike Lutz a lot," Enscoe said. "He gives us a couple pointers on setup and some other things that could help us. I would say we are better at Lernerville right now because that is the track we have been to most often. Tri-City and Mercer, we don't do that badly there. It's just we have been at Lernerville more often."
There comes a point in a driver's career when expectations are raised, and Enscoe appears to be at that point. She has raised her definition of what would constitute a successful season for herself and the team.
"I'd really like to get a couple top-10s and maybe finish in the top-10 in points," Enscoe said. "I'd really like to get my first heat win, too. I don't think I am that far away."
The Book on Lindsay Enscoe
Crew: Her father Paul Enscoe, crew chief; brother Ryan Enscoe, Quint Anderson and Troy Hughes
Highlights: Enscoe is in her 10th season of racing. Enscoe finished 19th in points in 2008 with 159 points and earned Most Improved Driver award. Enscoe finished 18th in points last season and recorded one top-10 finish.
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