JUPITER, Fla. – I’ve had some time now to digest and regroup after our successful adventure in England. It was an experience I will never forget, and I can safely say to any young aspiring racing driver, Jeremy Shaw’s Team USA Scholarship is definitely something to try to be a part of. The experience was character building, educational and, most importantly, I know it made me a better all-around driver.
When I say all-around driver I don’t just mean on the track; this program has helped me better understand how much hard work has to take place off the track to become a professional driver. I’ll take Derek Daly’s book “Race to Win” as an example. In his book (which I highly recommend) Derek talks about the “champions’ pyramid.” The champions’ pyramid is made up of seven key components a driver needs in order to potentially become a champion. Those components are commitment, desire, physical skills, mental skills, communication skills, technical skills and talent identification. I’ve been racing for 12 years and I’ve yet to master any of these key components, but I believe what Derek writes about is true and through the opportunity Jeremy Shaw has given to me, I was able to work on these key components in an environment not many young drivers get to experience, and I am grateful for that.
There was a lot of media attention around us at both the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy. I’ve never been the best at interviews but after over a dozen interviews a day, a radio show interview with Radio Le Mans, and by speaking at the weekend forums, I became much more experienced and comfortable.
You may have already read the other blogs Kyle and I have written while we were in England but I want to highlight again that we were able to go behind the scenes at several prestigious race shops and manufacturing facilities during our off-week. By going to have a look around places like McLaren, Ilmor Engineering, Wirth Research and West Surrey Racing, I began to have a much better understanding of the amount of time and work that goes into a championship winning effort at the pinnacle of motorsport.
As for the overall racing experience in England, I would have had no problem staying. From the atmosphere in the paddock, to battling 10 cars for the lead, to having a conversation with Sir Jackie Stewart, it was all very special for me. I have to give a lot of credit to the Dempsey family, my mechanic Dave Hart and our driver coach James Theodore for helping me achieve my goals.
A chapter has closed but another one is beginning to open. Again through the Team USA Scholarship, I have been given a ticket to compete against some of the world’s best junior open-wheel drivers in the Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout early next month at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The winner will take home $200,000 towards a drive in next year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. It’s another amazing opportunity and I am putting all of my focus towards that now. I hope to be involved with the Mazda family on the Road to Indy next year.
Thank you for following,