The world of motorsports is filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. And unfortunately, sometimes you don’t have full control over how your weekend is going to go. For us, you could say last weekend could have gone much better, to put it mildly. Another part of racing is learning to accept, and more importantly, adapt to the uncontrollable variables that are thrown at you.
To jump ahead to what I’m referring to, in the last corners of the last lap in the last race of the weekend late Saturday afternoon, a car behind me lost control and went off track. He ended up driving through the dirt and then back on track and straight into me, spinning my car around backward and hard into the wall.
Before that incident, I had completed two solid races- and was on my way to a third.
Qualifying for this triple-header at Mid Ohio included only one chance to qualify for all three races. So, if you have an issue or just a bad qualifying session, it puts you in a challenging position for the whole weekend. I had been struggling with pace up until the first race. So, I had to start the first 2 races from P17 and the last race from P19.
The team did a great job of helping me find pace out of the car, and I was able to move forward in each race. Mid Ohio is not the easiest track to pass at, yet I still was able to make up a combined 19 spots- until lap 60 of 60 on the weekend.
I enjoyed working my way through the field. It was good experience to make my way through the pack and work on taking advantage of places on the track where we were stronger and others struggled. In race 1, I was able to work my way up to P12 from P17 and by race 2, I had it figured out. I was able to move forward again from my starting spot in P17 to a top 10 finish.
Race 3 was right after the Stadium Super Trucks were on track. If you’ve never had the chance to watch the Super Trucks on track, it’s an impressive series. They are famous for utilizing temporary jumps and extending the limits of the track to the grass to put on an extraordinary show. The downside is they cover the track in dirt and grass making conditions super tricky for the first few laps for the cars on track after them. There would be barely any lateral grip in the car, and you would have to be super precise to get the best possible lap time out of the car. I was able to use this knowledge to my advantage because it led to a lot of mistakes from other drivers.
By the end of the race, I was up to P12 (from P19) coming to the checkered flag. But that is when disaster struck. The 11/12 section of the track is a fast left-hander that immediately leads into a slower downhill long-duration right-hander. The driver behind me made a couple of attempts to pass me in the last two laps but I was still in front after turn 10. He then went off track in turn 11 and wasn’t able to gather it up before the right-hand turn. He came back on track and ran straight into the side of me, ripping the right rear off of my car. The impact spun me around backward. At this point, everything felt like it was in slow motion for me but in only a few seconds, I remember pressing the brake pedal and feeling it hit the floor. Later, I found out the brake line had snapped. Next, I moved my foot to the right assuming I had found the clutch rather than the brake. It was then the back of the car went into the wall at around 100 MPH – as I was in full panic mode trying to get the car to stop.
The car was heavily damaged, but it did its job. I was ok and felt physically fine by Sunday morning. The Tatuus USF-22 did its job protecting me, my Bell HP7 helmet did its job after my head slammed the head rest, and the AMR Safety Team was on the scene very quickly. Everything came together the right way and did an amazing job keeping me safe. I owe everyone involved a huge thanks including the INDYCAR medical team for confirming that I was ok.
Unfortunately, this has created a major roadblock in our budget for the remainder of the season as we must first pay for the damage to my car so we continue to the next races. This is the business side of the sport. So as a result, we are looking for any partners who would like to come on board to help so we can finish the season and start the preparation for next season. We have just started working on some exciting options for next season including some aspects that should be very appealing to our partners. We can create personalized packages for my races as well as INDYCAR and possibly IMSA events for the rest of this year or next year including the INDYCAR/NASCAR double header at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the end of July.
You can hit reply to this email to get more info or share any ideas of potential partners. We also have small packages available for partners in the markets we race. Or if you are an individual who would just like to make a personal donation to the team, you can do that here.
Thank you all for your support. We will continue to work hard and look forward to the future for the best opportunities to advance my career and also allow me a platform for some of the great causes and businesses I help represent.
As always, thank you the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, Race for RP, Browning Chapman, Spruce Haven Farm, Subway of Hobart and Valparaiso, Caldwell Realty, Doug Mockett and Company, Rising Star Racing, Prime 47…Indy’s Steakhouse, Cox, Beckman & Goss accounting, Chernoff Cosmetic Surgery, High Alpha, Tnemec and Indiana Coating Specialists, Fastimes Indoor Karting, plus a couple of other people who have contributed greatly but quietly along the way (and anyone else I am forgetting). Thank you!
We’ll be back.