• August 29, 2019 – Speed Secrets Podcast Interviews Jim Kearney On Driver Coaching –  Noted driver coach guru Ross Bentley conducted a 45 minute podcast with Jim on how he got started in motor racing and how he coaches drivers to improve.
  • September 2019 – Features An Article On Jim Kearney On Road Racing Success.  “Jim Kearney is not just a successful club racer and contributing writer to SportsCar magazine, SCCA’s official member magazine; he’s also a driver coach with an impressive client resume. And while Kearney’s 42 years as an SCCA member also means he has ample stories tell, it’s his more recent endeavor as a driver coach that landed him an interview on the Speed Secrets podcast.
    While Kearney’s racing career had humble beginnings (he explains more about that in the podcast), on-track success did not wait long. “I won the Valvoline Pro Vee Championship in 1992, took the silver medal at the SCCA Runoffs at Road Atlanta in 1991, and the bronze at Mid-Ohio in 1996,” Kearney told me when I spoke to him shortly after listening to the podcast. “I was also the SCCA Northeast Division Champion four times, once in 1991, 1992, 1996, and then in 2006.”
    With the shift to driver coaching, Kearney also found success. “In my very first coaching gig, I worked with Rick Shields in Formula Vee at the 2010 SCCA Runoffs at Road America,” Kearney explained. “Rick had six prior Runoffs attempts, with a best finish of ninth. In 2010, Rick also won SCCA’s Kimberly Cup for the most improved driver.”
    That 2010 Formula Vee Runoffs race came down to a three-wide sprint up Road America’s front straight, with a photo finish deciding the champion. Shields emerged victorious by a margin of 0.017sec; at the time, it was the second-closest margin of victory for an SCCA Runoffs title.

    Kearney’s driver coaching clientele has grown through the years to include a number of notables in various pro racing series. “I worked with Tim Minor, who took the FRP F2000 title in both 2013 and 2014,” he said. “I also worked with Jeremy Grenier, who took third in points in 2012 in FRP F1600. In 2014, I began a five-year association with Tim Paul in F2000, where he became a championship contender, finishing third in the points in 2017. And in 2015, I also worked with Tim Paul in MX-5 Cup, where he qualified on the pole at Sebring in a 28-car field.
    Specific to coaching SCCA racers at the Runoffs, Kearney has plenty of success stories. “At the SCCA Runoffs over the last nine years, I’ve worked with drivers who have stood on the podium on 13 occasions, including four gold medals,” he said. “In 2014, Jeremy Grenier won the Formula F gold medal at Laguna Seca and received the Mark Donohue Award. That year, Rick Shields won his second gold medal in Formula Vee. In 2016, I worked with Brian Linn in H Production at Mid-Ohio, where he won the gold and received the President’s Cup.”
    Kearney has also coached Megan Gilkes, an SCCA racer who most recently completed a stint in the W Series, and also Alex Scaler. “Alex was recently notified that he’d made it into the final six contestants for the 2019 Team USA Scholarship process,” said a proud Kearney.
    “I think the role of driver coach is often misunderstood,” Kearney concluded. “As with drivers – and people in general – everyone has different needs. And, ultimately, it is all about results.”

  • 20 Year-Old Alex Scaler Scores Pole and Two Dominant Wins At Mid-Ohio SCCA Super Tour His First Time in a Modern Formula F, May 31- June 2, 2019.  
  • 17 Year-Old Canadian Megan Gilkes Takes Formula Continental Wins Saturday and Sunday at a very wet New Jersey Motorsports Park at SCCA Majors Weekend July 20-22, 2018.
  • Jonathon Weisheit goes wire to wire to win by 8.5 seconds in the rain at the Watkins Glen Majors, June 24, 2018.
  • Tim Paul takes 2nd place in F2000 at the VIR Pro Championship Series, June 3, 2018.
  • Chuck Moran breaks his own Formula Continental track record at the Watkins Glen Majors on June 24, 2018
Doug Voss went from rain phobic to rain warrior in four intense days at the Summit Point, WV Majors this past weekend winning the Formula F races on both Saturday and Sunday.

Doug Voss went from rain phobic to rain warrior in four intense days at the Summit Point, WV Majors this past weekend winning the Formula F races on both Saturday and Sunday.

Bob Reid Qualifies Metrik Chassis 7th at Watkins Glen Pro Race – May 15, 2016

“It is amazing when you focus on certain aspects of your driving, how it improves  things.  Just like everything else in life, I suppose.” -Bob Reid


The Formula Vee winner at VIR Majors


Screaming Monkey Racing Honors Fallen True Blue Crew Chief, Glenn Phillips: Read full story on MazdaSpeed.


“I just wanted to write you a quick email to show my gratitude for all of the help you provided at the runoffs. I couldn’t have driven with such confidence and awareness without being as comfortable with the track as I was. Despite the race being a matter of attrition, I still had to drive my race and keep my nose clean. There wasn’t a single lap in that race where your guidance was absent in my mind. Without a couple very inopportune missed shifts, I would have been up there with the lead group.” – Andy Melvin, Fifth Place 2015 SCCA Runoffs as a Runoffs Rookie.

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KDD Driver On the Pole in the Land of Coconuts: Tim Paul, Sebring International, March 20, 2015, Mazda MX-5 Cup.  Last year Tim had gridded 16th for each race.

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Tim Minor On Top Again – Wins 2nd Consecutive Pro F2000 Championship  at Watkins Glen- October 2014 

By day Tim Minor runs Automotive Specialists.  At night he works on his car.  He is driven like a stake and focused like an owl on its prey.  He won the championship last year in the Citation that he and Eric Langbein developed.  This year his teammate Skylar Robinson had the same chassis and the recent high school grad who ran last season in England gave Minor a strong run.  But Tim won five times to Skylar’s four and did just what he had to do to take the title, run a surgical second to Skylar in the last race to sew up the title.  Minor, Langbein and crew chief Tim Reedy set a standard for the F200 Pro Championship series.

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Jeremy Grenier’s 2014 National Championship Winning Formula F Drive at the U.S. Runoffs in Laguna Seca, CA Earns Him the Coveted Mark Donohue Award    

Jeremy Grenier’s incredible drive mirrored his incredible year.   Job # 1: A mechanic for the Championship winning USF2000 Cape Motorsports Team.  Job #2:  Preparing and transporting two F1600 cars in the Pro F1600 Championship Series. Job#3: Squeezing in six leading edge races in his Ski motorsport Citation.  This cat does it all. Old school, hard core racer makes good, rules world.

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 Tim Paul Walks Tall – Podium Finish At Watkins Glen Pro F2000 Race – Oct. 2014 

Tim Paul and his Screaming Monkey Racing/ GTP Pro F2000 team knocked nearly a full second off their prior best lap time and scored their best ever finish in five years of competing in the tough F2000 Championship Series when Tim snagged a fine third place in a 29 car field at the demanding former Grand Prix circuit in upstate New York – October 11, 2014.

Incredible Weekend for Kearney Driver Development Drivers! October 10-12, 2014

Friday: Jeremy Grenier wins National Formula F Championship – Laguna Seca, CA

Saturday: Tim Paul takes third place at the Watkins Glen Pro F2000 race.

Sunday: Tim Minor takes a calculated 2nd place at Watkins Glen to clinch the Pro F2000 Championship Series Crown for the second straight year.

Sunday: Rick Shields wins the National Championship in FV for the second time – Laguna Seca, CA.

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Color Jeremy Grenier happy!  Two wins in FF and a new track record at the Summit Point Majors – August 1-3 2014.  Next stop: SCCA Runoffs at Laguna Seca, CA. 

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Jonathon Weisheit’s new FV took the Summit Point Majors checkers twice in a field with three former National Champions, August 1-3 2014. In his next race at Laguna Seca Jon aims to join that exclusive club.   

Summit Point Majors - 2014 076Dale Rader and his crew chief brother Keith are knocking on the door in the tough Northeast Division Formula Vee category.  In only his second outing of 2014 Dale took home a 4th and a 5th at the Summit Point Majors, August 1-3, 2014.  On Saturday, Dale ran a 1:24.4 lap, just .1 second off the existing track record.      

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Ray Phillips Fought A Handling Challenge All Weekend But His Perseverance Was Rewarded With A Podium  Finish on Sunday.  SCCA Majors, August 1-3 2014.  

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Jeremy Grenier – Two Wins – Track Record – VIR Majors – April 18-20, 2014 

Tim Minor Clinches F2000 Championship Series With Two Races To Go At Mid-Ohio Round Two, August 9-11!

Mid-Ohio II F2000 Pro August 2013 032Coaching Tim Minor to drive fast is like teaching a lion to go after red meat. Still, all information counts.  I’ve worked with Tim since 2010 as driver coach and I have learned as much, if not more, from him than vice-versa.  The Ski Motorsports Team of Minor, Eric Langbein and Tim Reedy have done an incredible job this year in demonstrating that hard work, persistence, skill and talent can still carry the day in the expensive world of motor racing.

Mid-Ohio II F2000 Pro August 2013 018Tim Minor has reason to look confident.  He just took Pole in the Sunday round of the Mid-Ohio II event, in no small part to his engineer’s wizardry.  Eric Langbein adjusted on the car so that Tim could squeeze out the extra speed and take pole on the final lap.  The points for winning the Pole, combined with finishing a calculated 2nd on both days iced the Championship.

Brent Gilkes Begins to Come to Grips with Mid-Ohio – August 8-11 2013

Mid-Ohio II F2000 Pro August 2013 004Ontario’s Brent Gilkes hadn’t been at Mid-Ohio since 2007.  “And I have to say that if there is a track where I am challenged, this is it,” said Brent.  His goal was to try to climb into the top 50% of the 30 car field.  With only a track walk around on Thursday and some very limited wet lapping that evening Brent absorbed my Mid-Ohio notes and went to work on Friday, ending the Friday PM session 12th fastest.  From then on Mid-Ohio emerged victorious as Brent succumbed to the inevitable urge to get into the top 10 and over drove the car, slipping back to a 23rd qualifying spot.  He finished Saturday in 18th but a gearbox issue led to the DNF on Sunday.  “I really feel I learned a tremendous amount with your coaching.  I now understand what it takes to go well in the Keyhole and Carousel, in particular.  I’m disappointed with my results but that is down to me.  Your notes and discussions were a major help.  I really enjoyed the coaching process.  I’ll be back. ”

Tim Minor’s Ski Motorsports Citation Scores 97 of possible 110 Points at Mid-Ohio F2000 Pro Championship Series, Mid-Ohio July 25-28, 2013 

Minor - Mid-Ohio 7-13 (2)

Tim Minor and his tight Ski Motorsports team may be leading the Pro F2000 Championship Series but they run each race like they have nothing to lose.  Minor started from Pole on a saturated Saturday track, slipped off on the second turn, fell to last and methodically worked his way back to 2nd with an astounding drive.  “Never give up,” said Tim.   When the sun came out on Sunday, he went wire to wire from a front row starting berth, set fastest race lap and just missed a new track record a few thousands.  This Ski Motorsports Team has it going on.

Dale Rader’s 4th Place at Watkins Glen, July 7, 2013, Was Way More Than It Looked  Glen Majors 2013 036

Glad to be at impound.  Lisa Noble, President of the SCCA Board of Directors, with Dale Radar. Dale not only survived but took 4th place despite serious brake issues. “I learned today that you drive the car you have and make the best of it,” said Dale.

Dale and his crew chief and brother Keith usually have the car together.  But they lost a motor on the test day and then a brake drum went south.  In the first qualifying session an electrical demon halted the car on the out lap.  Most unnerving was a recurring brake problem that came up in both races. Despite it all, Dale took 6th on Saturday and gridded a fine 4th for Sunday.  His brake problem, thought to be remedied, popped up again on Sunday and he had to endure a gritty and strategic race to take home 4th.  “I learned this weekend to keep digging and make the best of it.  Jim and I are talking a lot about staying focused and not letting things distract me.  This was a great test.”

Gary Blanarik Takes Sunday Majors at Mid-Ohio June 2, 2013, Sets Track Record

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Current Nat. Champ  Michael Varacins, who won on Saturday, graciously stops by to congratulate Gary after their epic battle, settled in Gary’s favor with a last lap pass. The two drivers were the class of a strong 21 car field.

Cold and Wet Lime Rock Tough Place for Rain Driving Practice May 24-25, 2013

Tim Minor

Tim Minor is the Man.  Here on the podium after Race 1 at Lime Rock he holds out his hand to signify his five wins in five races.  One medal is for the over all win, the other for the Masters Division victory.

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Searching for grip: Sergio’s red helmet pierces the mist.  In Race II, despite a minimum of wet weather experience, Pasian advanced from 23rd on the gird up to 10th by race end.

KDD and Quebec’s Sergio Pasian at Road Atlanta Pro F2000 Race – Top 6 Finish May 11, 2013  

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Mechanic Ken Robins, Briton West Crew Chief Dave Clubine and Sergio assess the situation at Road Atlanta prior to a post qualifying weigh-in.  Pasian improved every session, took a fine 6th in Race I and was headed for better in Race II when a competitor blocked him and crashed them both on the straightaway.

Two Old Guns and the Kid Fly the KDD Flag in Strong 18 Car Field – May 3-5 2013

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3 Time FV Nat. Champ Steve Oseth ran his first FV race in 3 years and was fourth on Saturday, with the fast lap, and a very close 2nd on Sunday.

Road Atlanta Pro 2013 013   Jonathon Weisheit (L) took 2nd on Saturday and 4th on Sunday.  Here he joins Saturday winner Roger Siebenaler and 3rd place Steven Davis.

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Alex Rizer takes a breath, Nicole checks the camera and engineer Mike Fultz grins with satisfaction.  In his first National level race at Summit, Alex took home a 5th on Saturday and 6th on Sunday and got down to a 1:25.2, within .2 of winner Steven Davis’ best lap.

KDD Drivers Feature at VIR Majors – April 19-21, 2013

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Fresh off his 2012 Runoffs podium finish, Gary Blanarik took 3rd on Saturday and a 1st on Sunday at the tough Virginia International Raceway.  Gary edged two time National Champ Steven Davis at the flag on Sunday.

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22 year old Alex Rizer Impresses in Maiden Visit to VIR With Two 5th Place Finishes

In just his second event out of Regionals young Alex Rizer showed both pace and maturity.  He steadily reduced his lap times to the low 2:21’s and obtained valuable lessons going to school with some of the top dogs on the National level FV scene.


Dale Rader Breaks Jinx, Qualifies on Pole for Saturday Race

Coming off a snake bit 2012 season Rader showed that he had real speed, turning low 2:19’s by himself.  Considering the numerous DNF’s of 2012, two 4th places finishes set Team Rader off in a new direction.

VIR 2013 Majors 003    Jim Vaseff showed off his Silver Bullet Citation at VIR and made some gains on a track that challenges all drivers.

Success on a Shoestring: Jeremy Grenier Places Third in Points 2012 – Pro F1600


“You were asking questions that I never thought to ask.” – Jeremy Grenier

Jeremy is old school and hard core.  A top flight Formula Vee driver, he won the 45th FV Birthday Party in 2008 and snagged the coveted Brundage Cup.  That same year he took 4th at the Runoffs in Formula Mazda.  With the backing of Ski Motorsports he built an exquisite Honda Blue Citation F1600.  In addition to wrenching on his car, he drives the Ski Motorsports rig and sets up the paddock spot.

Seven top finishes, four podiums and a excruciating near-win at Summit Point kept Jeremy at the pointy end of the grid for the great majority of the season in a contest with teams of significantly superior resources.  In recognition of his true racer ways he was awarded the inaugural David Loring Award at the Pro F2000/F1600 Season Banquet.

I worked with Jeremy throughout 2012.  He said, “Working with you helped me get focused on what I needed to do before the weekend started. The track debrief the night before the weekend started was one of the biggest things for me.  I was able to use more around the track for reference then I had ever even thought about before.  The routine of getting out of the car and writing things down was a big help. When I did it your way and filled out the track map, the weekend went a lot smoother. I really would like to work with you more.”

Kearney Driver Development Worked with Front Range Motorsports Drivers at the Pro F2000 Championship Finale at Watkins Glen, October 12-14, 2012 

Zach Craigo Gained Nearly a Full Second Over 2011.  Zack qualified third of 37 cars at Watkins Glen and took home a 5th and a 6th in only his second visit to the Glen and finished the season 8th in the 2012 Championship points tally.


In qualifying for Race 1, Zach was one of only three cars below the 1:53 second barrier.  Working with Jim, Zach served notice that he is capable of running with the very best in this hyper-competitive series.

John Brumder Gained 2.1 Seconds at Watkins Glen. John scored a 15th and a 17th to finish 12th overall in the Championship.


John had only been at the Glen once before in a formula car. “I really benefited from both Jim’s knowledge of Watkins Glen and his common sense approach to analyzing things post-session. We went out and looked at virtually every corner and we made detailed notes. He helped me come up to speed in some of the crux corners and that was a big plus.  It was an advantage to know our segment times as compared to the best.  I wouldn’t have done as well without him. In a series like this, you need all the help you can get.”

KDD Drivers Successful at 2012 Runoffs at Road America in Wisconsin

Gary Blanarik Breaks Through At 2012 SCCA Runoffs, Wins Bronze Medal!

“I’d really like to thank Jim Kearney,” said Gary from the podium.  ” He has been a tremendous help to me.  Without him, I’d still be way back there.”

Gary Blanarik (R) joined the top ranks of the U.S. FV world with a breakthrough Runoffs performance.  Gary qualified in the top 4 and even led the race at times.  Prior to working with KDD in 2011, Gary’s best Runoffs finish was 9th.  Three time Champ Roger Siebenaler (L) took silver while Michael Varacins snagged his second gold.

Team Blanarik at the Runoffs: Dad, Bob (L), brother K.C. and Gary (R).

A happy guy at the Runoffs: Gary just after finishing 3rd of 37 competitors.

Steve Jenks Scores First Runoffs Podium, Takes Bronze in Formula Mazda. 

“I definitely picked up some ideas on the mental approach and the debrief that I will incorporate into my racing.”  – Steve Jenks

Steve Jenks celebrates at Road America with Jim and Jennie Morsch of Continental Motorsport who fielded his Formula Mazda .  Steve qualified third but got pushed back to 5th in a hard race before fighting his way back to his bronze medal, running laps within .1 second of the leader.  Steve said, “Jim really helped me with my post – session analysis.  Talking with him kept me focused.”

Steve Jenks readies for battle on race day at the 2012 SCCA Runoffs, Road America.    Steve said that working with Jim Kearney helped his game.

In the SCCA’s Fastest Class, D Sports Racer, Jim Hallman Took 6th Despite Punt From Behind On Lap One.

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“I have been around Jim Hallman since he started racing many years ago. I truly believe that your service helped him get the most out of himself that week. There are lots of people in racing that can identify a problem but very few that I have seen that can create scenarios where that driver will truly believe the coach and take positive steps to fix it.” – Jeff Mitchell, crew member

Last year Canadian Jim Hallman qualified 11th in D Sports Racing.  Working with Jim Kearney this year he was 6th on the grid, 1.8 seconds below his best 2011 qualifying time.  At 150 mph plus, any gains get your attention.Jim Hallman straps in to his carbon fiber bodied missile.  In spite of being punted on the first lap Hallman punched back to finish 6th and lowered his prior best race lap time by 1.2 seconds.

Jonathon Weisheit Scores Top 10 Runoffs Finish Even With Failing Brakes

“Jon loves working with Jim.  He helps him stay calm and focused.” – Lois Joyeusaz, Jon’s partner

Jonathon Weisheit is a man on a mission.  Over 30 years ago he was 2nd at the SCCA Runoffs.  After taking some time off he is back at it and he has served notice that his purpose built FV has the best straight line speed in the country. Jonathon qualified 8th of 36 cars but a brake issue prevented him from having the race he intended.  Jon finished 9th and he’ll be back.  Don’t discount this committed competitor.

Even KDD Can’t Help Snake Bit Rick Shields Catch a Break in 2012.  Third on the Grid But Lap One Suspension Failure Caps Black Year For 2010 Champ.         2010 FV Champion Rick Shields did an incredible job at the 2012 Runoffs. His car had been comprehensively wrecked twice during the regular season.   Coming back from broken ribs and a collapsed lung, he got right down to business.  He had zero time in the  rebuilt chassis before his only Runoffs test day.  In every qualifying session he went faster and emerged a remarkable third on the grid.   But about the only luck Rick had all year was in not being drilled by one of the 33 cars behind him when his suspension broke on lap one.