IZOD IndyCar Driver
Mentally, I just try to be as prepared as possible for the race I’m about to start. I like knowing exactly what setup we are going with for the race and why. I like knowing our strategy and any contingencies we have thought about. I then try and actually have a short nap, as I find it clears my mind and I wake up refreshed and thinking about only the race.
Your physical preparation is done well before you get to the track. We spend 5-6 days a week training for when we are in the car. On race day, you try and conserve all your energy for the race. Light stretching is the only physical activity you’ll really do. Nutritionally you need to be well fed from the night before and have a decent size breakfast – lots of carbs since we will work very hard and burn a lot during the race. Also being hydrated is VERY important. We can lose 5-10 pounds during a race and a lot of that comes from water weight.
The Mazda Road to Indy is associated with every level of the sport, right down to karting. They held a Scouting Combine last year where some karters were given the chance to test a F2000 car and the winner was given a ride in the St Pete round of the USF2000 championship. This would be a great introduction into the Road To Indy program and give you a feel for the type of machinery you want to be driving. I would look into what the criteria is for a karter to be selected for the combine this year and try and land an invite!
SAFEisFAST Video: The Ladder System
My manager is my father. We have worked our way up the ladder together, learning a lot about the business side of the sport. I certainly see benefits in someone starting out in the sport having manager, but you need to be very careful about who you trust with your career. Going with a reputable manager or management company is likely the best bet, if you choose to go the manager route. Never use someone new to racing, as the business is very unique and experience in other businesses doesn’t often translate. If you are thinking of using someone, ask around as racing is a small world and if they have worked in racing before, someone will be able to tell you if they are legit.
SAFEisFAST Videos: Career Development