Coming into Lucas Oil School of Racing rounds 13, 14, and 15 at Road America with the points lead built some comfort, but I knew it was going to be a challenge. My time at National Corvette Museum (NCM) went well as I was able to secure a podium finish in the third race, but I was unable to finish where I would have liked in the other races. This had me determined to finish well at Road America to stretch the points lead before the finale at Sebring International Raceway October 9 – 11. Arriving at the track on Monday, we got settled into our cars and prepared for the first practice session of the day. There was some serious fog that morning and caused the track to be a bit slippery, but that just made it even more fun on the Cooper Tires RS3-R semi-slick tires. Throughout the first practice session, I noticed I was unable to control the car under initial breaking. The front left was continuously locking up which caused me to crank the break bias way back to make the car
Spending time at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the interview stage of the Team USA Scholarship, with multiple participants and scholarship principal, Jeremy Shaw, was an exciting and educational experience. Many great connections were made, alongside the experience of listening to INDYCAR teams’ communication during practice. Shortly after the interview stage, I received word that I was selected as one of six finalists to continue to the Team USA Scholarship Shootout at Road America with Lucas Oil School of Racing presented by Cooper Tires on September 4th – 5th. Given this is my first year in road racing, this made me ecstatic as the Team USA Scholarship is a huge opportunity offered to a select number of drivers. Traveling to Road America was a struggle for many due to delayed flights to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Fortunately, all contestants and judges were able to arrive on time before the events began. Rooming with Prescott Campbell, both got to sleep as early as possible that night to prepare for the upcoming early morning and big two days ahead. The time was
Coming off a successful event at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) with Lucas Oil Formula Car Series, my time at the National Corvette Museum (NCM) track was definitely a challenge. Rounds 7, 8, and 9 at NJMP were great for me as I was able to secure two wins and obtain the points lead in the championship. Going into rounds 10, 11, and 12 at NCM this past weekend with the points lead was a great start. Unlike most circuits, none of the simulator programs have the NCM track on them. This created an even playing field for many coming into the weekend who had not raced on this circuit before. Coming in blind to our practice sessions on day one, everyone was learning the layout of the course and trying to find the secrets to the track in Bowling Green Kentucky’s hot weather. I adapted well with the track but was off the fastest lap time by two to three tenths throughout the cooler sessions. Fortunately, I was always able to be in the top times during the warm sessions mid-day with my driving
After starting my road-racing career in November of 2018, my current progression in this industry from knowing very little to leading points in the 2019 Lucas Oil Formula Car Series is surreal to me. After learning so many things in the past few months in and out of the car, I now have the opportunity to show it. I was recently contacted by Jeremy Shaw from the Team USA Scholarship about being a contender in this year’s scholarship program. Many notable drivers like Bryan Herta, Josef Newgarden, Spencer Pigot, Kyle Kirkwood, Oliver Askew, and many more have come from this program and followed up with a successful racing career. The 2019 Team USA Scholarship allows aspiring drivers the chance to accelerate their racing careers and go overseas to compete in the notable Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy with Cliff Dempsey Racing. Only two out of the nine selected contenders will be granted this opportunity, so even just being a candidate holds much honor. Before the two drivers are selected to go overseas and compete, the judges must have some information to stand on.
After a difficult time during rounds 4, 5, and 6 with Lucas Oil School of Racing at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), my time at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) was a different story. VIR was very educational for me as the track was very reliant on racecraft in drafts because of the two major straightaways. This lead to the field changing constantly as draft packs would push up to the front and send others to the back. I eventually caught on to the fact of racing in the draft and was able to maintain my positions with defensive moves. I walked away from VIR finishing 5th, 7th, and 5th. This had me sitting second in points moving into the NJMP races on July 15th – 17th. Attending a lapping session the week before, this allowed me to have a head-start on learning the NJMP Thunderbold track. Enjoying the high speed and great flowing track, NJMP allowed me to reminisce to my current favorite race track, Mid-Ohio. During the lapping session, I was able to reach my terminal velocity on the Cooper Tires CS-5 Ultra Touring