Young Racer's Success Stems from Talent, Good Advice and Plenty of Focus
Coached by his father and counseled by a performance specialist, young Austin Langenstein is making quite an impression in just his second year of competition in the Summer Shootout Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Langenstein, a driver in the Bandolero Young Guns/Outlaw division, said his biggest racing influence has been his father Charlie, the Mechanical Director for the No. 48 team of Jimmie Johnson and No. 24 team of Jeff Gordon at Hendrick Motorsports.
Having a father who works for one of the premier NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams has allowed Langenstein to receive advice from all of the drivers at Hendrick Motorsports.
Mark Martin, driver of the No. 5 car, who is well known in the racing community for his rigorous workouts at age 50, has given the young driver some fitness tips.
"I was in the gym working out at Hendrick one day and Mark came down and helped me out and was telling me what to do," said Langenstein.
In addition to his father and the drivers at Hendrick Motorsports, Langenstein also credits his neighbor, Performance Specialist Dr. Jacques Dallaire, for his increased focus and determination this season.
Dr. Dallaire, whose office is located in Concord, N.C., not only provides his services to Langenstein but to hundreds of clients including Helio Castroneves and Patrick Dempsey.
"We just met the doctor from living in the neighborhood," explained Langenstein. "We live two or three doors down from Dr. Dallaire and I was talking to him one day and we became pretty good friends."
The doctor and 16-year-old Langenstein meet two times a month at either his office or the young driver's house. During his visits with the Bandolero racer, Dr. Dallaire gives Langenstein exercises on how to concentrate inside the race car.
"He's actually got a simulator. You drive it and it shows you how to stay focused and to hit your marks and not wheel-drive," said the second-year Summer Shootout competitor.
A piece of advice passed down from Dr. Dallaire to Langenstein recently helped the young racer earn his first career win during round six of the Summer Shootout Series.
The doctor taught Langenstein the importance of focus and not letting his emotions get the best of him as he shared a story about a Formula 1 racer. The driver was leading the field in his home country when he began thinking about what a win there would mean. He let his emotions get the best of him as he lost his focus and wrecked his car.
"I just remembered to do what I've been doing and I hit my marks and tried to stay consistent," Langenstein said about his first hometown win in the Summer Shootout Series.
If Langenstein needs additional guidance when he's at the track, he takes a laminated card from his wallet given to him by Dr. Dallaire that has "Seven Rules to the Mental Road."
"I just remember those rules and it helps out," said Langenstein.
Those rules have helped the teenager stay on top of his game this year with six top-five finishes including his first career win at Charlotte Motor Speedway. His 11th place finish during round four is his lowest of the season and his only finish outside the top five.
"We were running second going for the lead and something happened to the car. It lost a lot of power," said Langenstein. "That's our worst finish, but we've just got to stay consistent."
As the Summer Shootout Series winds down this year, Langenstein finds himself only 10 points behind championship leader Justin Carroll. With the help of Dr. Dallaire and his father, Langenstein hopes his consistency and focus during the final two rounds will earn him his first ever Summer Shootout Series title.
Due to inclement weather, speedway officials were forced to postpone the majority of racing last Tuesday during round eight of the Summer Shootout Series. All feature races that were not completed last week will run next Tuesday evening. The make-up features will begin at 5:00 p.m., with round nine racing immediately following. Spectator gates will open early next week at 4:30 p.m.
Fans who present their ticket stub from last week will receive a $2 discount on the price of admission Tuesday, Aug. 4.
Summer Shootout Series admission is just $7 for adults. Children 6-12 are admitted for $3 and kids under 6 are free. Tickets are available in advance at the speedway ticket office and at Gates 4 and 5 the night of the event. Parking is free.
Contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS for more information or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.