Chicago, Ill. – The days leading up to a race weekend are always exciting, but this week definitely feels special. This weekend I will be competing in my first-ever race in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda with Afterburner Autosport at Mid-Ohio, one of my favorite tracks.
It has been a while since I have written a blog, so I’ll explain what I have been up to for the past couple of years. After returning from a successful trip to the UK at the end of 2012, I competed in the Toyo Tires Formula 1600 championship for the 2013 season. The series took place in Canada and proved to be a huge stepping-stone in my career. I won the driver’s championship that year and continued to build off of what I learned overseas. I was also given the opportunity to race in the support race for Formula 1 in Montreal, placing second.
In 2014 I raced in the F1600 Championship Series. The American series uses Hoosier tires that have lots of grip and visits many of the tracks that USF2000 goes to. It turned out to be great long-term career decision, as I learned more about how to give critical feedback and set up a car. Most of the fellow drivers that I had been competing against had moved up to USF2000 for their 2014 seasons, but I luckily have been surrounded by great supporters in my career that have reminded me often not to move through the ranks too quickly. Spending a year in the Canadian and American F1600 series was definitely the right move for me, and it gave me time to focus on the fine details of my racing technique with the goal of moving up this year. The ideal situation is to come into the 2016 USF2000 season ready to contend for the championship.
On a more personal note, this summer has been pretty exciting and busy for me. After making the switch from F1600 earlier this year, I had a little bit of a summer break before Mid-Ohio. During the break I stayed busy with my new internship at a company called Flexera Software. Commuting to a desk job every morning makes me realize that I am growing up, and I am not quite sure how I feel about that yet! All jokes aside, it has been great to learn more about business on a daily basis and it has helped me monumentally with my sponsorship search. Maybe enough to be blogging soon about 2016 plans!
One of the other summer events that really stood out was a four-hour go karting charity event for Dupage Pads earlier this month which raised over $81,000 for the homeless. It was held at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill. It was great to break out the helmet for a good cause and have fun at the same time. After returning from Mid-Ohio I will be looking at dorm room supplies, college books and some thick winter jackets to protect me from the Milwaukee winters up at Marquette University. I am currently studying both Biology and Economics, which definitely keeps me busy.
I leave tomorrow for Ohio and I can’t explain how excited and grateful I am to be racing this weekend. I began following the USF2000 series when I started my racing career at 14 and I’ve had my eye on it ever since. I am just excited to get out on track and enjoy doing what I love most this weekend, any good results will simply be a bonus. I have to thank Grand Avenue Surgery Center, Sparco and Afterburner Autosport for making this weekend possible. I can’t wait to get things started and tell you guys all about it. It’s going to be a weekend to remember!