jkTuning the Helmet – For Peak Performance  

Don’t Just Race, Improve. 

Comprehensive Coaching, Concrete Results. 

“A happy man always performs better than an unhappy man.” – Keke Rosberg

Racing is complicated but getting better is not.  Reasonable goals are the key.  I keep things simple and focus initially on a few important points. Racing is more fun when you are improving. I help drivers develop a method of analysis so they get the best bang out of their expensive track time.  Good quality seat time is essential.  Progress breeds confidence. Happy drivers go faster.  I’m getting good results and that’s the bottom line.

Listening is key as what the driver thinks and feels is paramount. I don’t tell drivers how to drive, rather I help them eliminate their weak points.  Most competitors already have a sense of what they want to address. This is what they are ready to work on. If I see something else, I’m going to mention it but I go by their agenda. A good coaching conversation helps them solve their issues and builds confidence. The driver who just made a small gain and understands how and why it happened, owns the result. They are the ones most likely to make the next gain.

“There are reasons Jim Kearney is such a great coach. First, he’s been there and done that himself – he comes with a load of experience behind the wheel, experience that led to many wins. Second, he understands that it’s not just about the car, but it’s about the what’s going on inside the helmet. He sees coaching as more than just pointing out where the apex of a turn is. It’s about the plan, the process, to get to where the driver wants to go in as simple a way as possible – no matter whether the driver is 17 or 70. In fact, his ability to explain things and lay out a strategy that works is one of his super powers! Finally, Jim knows how to connect and relate with drivers. I’m sure it’s all of those things that have led to his drivers winning in practically every level of open- and closed-wheel racing.” – Ross Bentley, driving coach and author of the acclaimed Speed Secrets series of books on driving in competition. Interview 

Jim was interviewed about his approach to driver coaching by Mark Greene for his website  “I think it is really, really important to figure out a way to stay upbeat and confident.  You have to remind yourself that whatever it is, be it racing, a track day, or auto crossing, it is something that most of the people on the planet will never get a chance to do.  You should remind yourself that it is something pretty glorious.”  Check out CarsYeah for the complete interview, in addition to many other interesting interviews with people fascinated with cars and drivers.


“We’ve been top 10 contenders the last couple years but you were that piece we were missing to stick it all together. You got my head into it the right way.” Tim Paul, Pro F2000 Championship Series Third in Points 2017.

“I approached Jim to work with my F2000 drivers at GTP Motorsports and I’m very happy with how that turned out.” – Glenn Phillips, GTP Motorsports

“Getting pole on Saturday is my favorite racing memory, ever.  Jim Kearney was in top form, as always, pointing me in the right direction and keeping me focused on how to best get every tenth I could. It was one of the highlights of my entire racing career.”  – Tim Paul, Pro F2000 Championship Series, Watkins Glen, May 16, 2015

“Kearney is a wizard of inspiration and commitment.” Rick Paul, father of Tim Paul, F2000 Pro Championship Series driver for Screaming Monkey/Cell Mark Paper Racing

“My coach is Jim Kearney. Probably the best investment I’ve made in racing.” – Dale Rader, 2016 Runoffs, Mid-Ohio, 7th place.   

“I want to give a BIG thanks to Jim Kearney. Having Jim to debrief with after every session was a key part of my year.  I would recommend him to anyone, I can’t thank him enough.”  – Tim Minor, Pro F2000 Champion 2013, 2014, 2017 Runoffs Bronze Medal – Indy  

“You were asking questions that I never thought to ask.” – Jeremy Grenier, 2014 Formula F Champion, Mark Donohue Award Winner, 2012 Pro F1600 Championship Series Third Place 

“Thank you for believing in me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without your help and support.” – Alex Scaler, Fastest lap Formula E, 2017 SCCA Runoffs – Indy; Pole 2016 Formula Vee, SCCA Runoffs – Mid Ohio

“Thanks to Flying Monkey Award winner Glenn Phillips, Driver Coach Extraordinaire Jim Kearney, Car Chief Michael Witson, teammates and family who supported us throughout 2014 and helped us to get to the podium at the Glen. An awesome performance by all.”  – Rick Paul, Screaming Monkey Racing Team

21 Runoffs Podiums in 13 Years: including 7 Gold Medals, President’s Cup, Kimberly Cup, Mark Donahue Award

  • 2022 Brian Farnham – Gold – FV
  • 2022 Brian Linn – Runoffs Silver – GTL
  • 2022 Steve Jenks – Radical Cup North America S10 – Champion
  • 2022 Scott Rubenzer – F1600 Masters – Champion
  • 2021 Brian Farnham – Runoffs Silver – FV
  • 2021 Tim Minor – Runoffs Silver – FC
  • 2021 Scott Rubenzer – FRP F1600 Masters – Champion
  • 2021 Bon Reid – FRP F1600 Masters – 3rd overall
  • 2021 Austin Hill – Runoffs Bronze – FX
  • 2020 Jeff Bartz – Runoffs Bronze – FF
  • 2020 Scott Rubenzer – F1600 Masters – Champion
  • 2020 Bob Reid – F1600 Masters – 2nd overall
  • 2019 Tim Minor – Runoffs Gold – FC
  • 2019 Jim Libecco – Runoffs Gold – FE
  • 2019 Ray Mason – Runoffs Silver – FE
  • 2019 Scot Rubenzer – F1600 Masters – Champion
  • 2019 Bob Reid – F1600 Masters – 2nd overall
  • 2018 Justin Huffman – Runoffs Silver – FE
  • 2018 Alex Scaler – Runoffs Bronze – FV (Fastest Race Lap)
  • 2017 Tim Minor – Runoffs Bronze – Formula Continental
  • 2017 Brian Farnham – Runoffs Bronze – Formula Vee
  • 2016 Brian Linn – Runoffs Gold – HP – President’s Cup
  • 2016 Gary Blanarik – Runoffs Bronze – FV
  • 2016 Jim Hallman – Runoffs Bronze – Prototype 1
  • 2015 Tim Paul – Mazda MX-5 Cup – Lap Record, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
  • 2015 Tim Paul – Pole – Sebring, Mazda MX-5 Cup
  • 2015 Tim Paul – Pole – Watkins Glen, Pro F2000
  •  2014 Jeremy Grenier – Runoffs Gold Formula F – Mark Donohue Award
  •  2014 Tim Minor – Pro F2000 Championship Series – Champion
  •  2014 Rick Shields – Runoffs Gold – Formula V
  •  2013 Tim Minor – Pro F2000 Championship Series – Champion
  •  2013 Jim Hallman – D Sports Racing – Runoffs 4th
  •  2012 Gary Blanarik – Formula V – Runoffs Bronze Medal
  •  2012 Steve Jenks – Formula Mazda – Runoffs Bronze Medal
  •  2012 Jeremy Grenier – Third in points – Pro F1600 Championship Series
  • 2011 Rick Shields – 4th – Runoffs
  • 2011 Gary Blanarik – 8th Runoffs
  • 2011 Craig Clawson – Ninth in points – Pro F2000 Championship Series
  • 2010 Rick Shields – Formula V – Runoffs Gold, Kimberly Cup for Most Improved SCCA Driver

“Things really picked up for me after I started working with Jim in 2011.  I felt a change in my overall attitude, I felt that I belonged up there, that I could run with the top guys.  It is amazing what that feeling can do for your performance. I always felt about a second faster when Jim was there with me.”  – Gary Blanarik, 2012 FV Runoffs Bronze Medal, Road America;  2016 FV Runoffs Bronze Medal, Mid Ohio.

“I appreciate your input and the manner in which you do your business. It works well for all involved.” David Clubine, President, Britain West Motorsports.

“I like what you did with Zach Craigo at the Mid-Ohio F2000 event and I hope we can work together again.” Rick Hayes, Front Range Motorsport.

Kearney Driver Development (KDD) is all about helping you perform better on track.  It is about turning possibilities into realities. Check the Results section to see how my drivers have fared.  Here I want to tell you what you can expect if you decide to work with me.

You Will Go Faster – When You are Comfortable

KDD believes in a steady, systematic approach that builds comfort and confidence. Confidence comes from meeting reasonable goals. You can’t rush it. If you scare yourself silly, confidence is eroded. You will retain gains when you understand exactly how you made them. A new personal best is a wonderful thing. Understanding how it happened is priceless.

Going Faster Through Concrete Steps

To build confidence and consistency I help drivers review their racing process.

•  Set realistic performance goals
•  Develop new habits
•  Plan strategies for qualifying and the race
•  Establish testing protocols
•  Use mental imagery.

Going Faster With Better Technique

I establish an objective review protocol and focus upon specific areas for improvement.  My observations and analysis of segment times are coupled with a structured debrief using the track map, as well as review of in-car camera footage and computer data.  Very specific feedback, with concrete examples and segment times, enable the driver to understand how to make gains.


Roz Rosintoski photo.

KDD Racing Background

•  32 years of SCCA FVee, FFord, F2000 and SSC racing
•  22 Runoffs with nine top 10’s, 1991 Silver and 1996 Bronze.
•  1992 Valvoline Pro Vee champion
•  Four-time SCCA Northeast Division FVee Champion
•  Wins at 17 different race tracks

I Tune the Helmet

 I tune the helmet, I don’t engineer the car.  I’ve coached at Pro events, Mazda MX-5 Cup, the SCCA Runoffs, Majors and Regionals in F2000, F1600, Formula Vee, Formula Mazda, Spec Miata, F & H Production and Prototype 1.  Each driver is different and all can improve.  An orderly approach and review instills drivers with the confidence to perform better.

Craig Clawson gridded 8th at the Pro F2000 Championship Series race, Watkins Glen 2011.

Jim Kearney © 2013

I first worked with Craig Clawson at the June 2011 Watkins Glen event and he cut 1.8 seconds off his prior best time and gridded 8th in a Pro F2000 field of 32 cars.

In A Nutshell

A good coach helps you dig deeper to get better results.  While there is no certain timetable, it helps to know that progress is just around the corner.  Understanding exactly where and why you made gains means you get to keep them.  Small gains lead to more small gains.  Little gains add up quickly.  As you gain confidence, your level of performance rises.  Happy drivers go faster.

Kearney Driver Development: Drive fast. Improve.