Thank You for Everything!

Written by Team USA. Posted in Driver Blogs, Feature, Joey Bickers

Published on November 23, 2013 with No Comments

Photo courtesy of Jack Mitchell/JAM Motorsports Photography

Moorpark, Calif. (November 23, 2013) – As I am writing this blog, I’ll say that I have had enough time to absorb and reflect on my experiences with the Team USA Scholarship program. It has been nearly three weeks since I got back from the three-week long UK trip. First of all I want to say that, when I think back to the trip, it was the most educational three weeks of my life. So many things happened, good and bad. By going through this program, it has opened my eyes to the real world of motor racing – a very tough world it is. Sometimes things don’t go the way that you expect them to go, and you just have to carry on and keep trying your best.

Before I came to the UK, I was unaware of how tough the racing would be. The competition in the UK is extraordinary. It was awesome to be put into this environment, as I myself have a lot of passion for competition. Everyone in the UK takes racing very seriously, which is why the competition is fierce. I think that being a part of the scholarship, and being put out of you comfort zone, is the best driver training you can have. I know that personally, now, I am more prepared, more comfortable going into my future. This mentality is due to the experience I got from the scholarship.

Working with the Cliff Dempsey Racing team was a real education. Cliff understands racing very well and is a brilliant coach. He sometimes could be harsh on me but it was how he made his mark. He was very focused on improving Jake and my techniques on track, and getting rid of bad habits, replacing them with correct habits. He wanted to get the best out of both Jake and myself. This style of teaching was one that I greatly respect, because I can tell you it really works.

Under pressure at Brands Hatch (photo courtesy of Jeff Bloxham).

While in the UK, I had my good races and my bad races. The things I learned at the track really stuck with me; these things will always be with me. I had a lot of new experiences out there, situations I had never been in. I had never raced in the rain, I had never done a standing start, and I had never raced so hard, and so aggressively. The Formula Ford Festival and the Walter Hayes Trophy really take everything out of you. The competitors, the tracks, the conditions, everything is very tough and, like I said before, I think is the best driver training you can get.

There are so many people that were involved with supporting the scholarship, and involved with Jake and my personal development. I really can’t thank these people enough. The only way for me to really thank them is by continuing to try my hardest, to be the best I can. Through my own actions, I want to represent what these supporters and mentors have taught me. I want to show them all that I am making the most of the opportunities they have given me.

In the time that I have got back from the UK, I have been given a whole new opportunity – the Mazda Club Racer Shootout; a shootout set up by Mazda Motorsports, providing the winner $75,000 toward a season in the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup. The shootout involved many of the same aspects as the Team USA Scholarship shootout. I can truly say I was more prepared for this shootout because of the Team USA Scholarship; and because of the challenges I faced during the Team USA program. I was able to take on the Mazda shootout and come out of it as the winner.

I feel like in the past few months I have been at the right place at the right time, and gotten a very good education. I have been very fortunate. All due to the opportunities I have been given, and to the passion I have to make the most out of the opportunity. I just want to thank everybody who has given me an opportunity, or advice, or any lessons in this past year. If you are reading this and you have had an influence on me, you know who you are, I cant thank you enough.

This coming year, I will try to my hardest to give back to everyone who has helped me; I will do that by continuing to strive for success. I am very excited for next season in the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup. With the education I’ve had in this first year of car racing, I will be in perfect shape to make the most of it. I am excited to put all this experience to use, and focus on getting the best result I can.

Thank you everyone who supported the Team USA Scholarship; you have helped more than you can imagine.

Thank you everybody,

-Joey Bickers

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