It’s Race Month! We are getting closer and closer to the season opener at St. Petersburg the last weekend of February. In fact, it’s just under 3 weeks away. So, we have been doing all we can to best prepare ourselves to come out of the gate strong.
Over the past month, I have already been to two different tracks to test, have done sim work, and have been studying video to get ready. Along with that, we still have one more team test, and then the series spring training test to get ready. This has been an exciting off season for me. It has been the busiest off season I have ever had, and this is the strongest I have felt going into a season.
Since the new year, I have had the chance to test at both Sebring International Raceway and Homesteaded Miami Speedway. Both tracks are unique in nature and serve a different purpose in testing. At our Sebring test, we were able to get a lot of laps and really work on continuing to develop the car. We were consistently quick and found quite a bit of pace as the test went on. I also got the chance to drive some not so good cars (by design) to help work on preparing myself for if I ever do have to drive around a car that isn’t optimal for the conditions. I felt like I made more improvements in myself and the car by the end of the test that will be helpful for the season.
The Homestead Miami Speedway road course is very abrasive and hard on tires. This made it a great track to work on managing tire life, and also getting the best out of the car in a limited number of laps. Homestead is by far the toughest track on tires I have been to, so I definitely need to work on managing my tires. It was good to get that experience and try different things to improve on that technique.
We will have two more tests before the season opener, next week at Sebring for two days and the official Spring Training test with the entire series on February 14th at Homestead (with timing and scoring available on the Road to Indy app). We will be able to use these as a final chance to sort out anything before the first event and get a real read on how we stand at the first open test at Homestead. This will be the first time we will have the full field together with published lap times. We believe we are in a strong position to start the season, but this will be a chance to confirm that and continue to build on our program.
In between testing, I’m off to a good start in my first semester at IUPUI with one engineering class in their motorsports program and other general study classes. And, I’m working at Fastimes Indoor Karting at 96th and Keystone a few days a week and preparing for a season of coaching on the national karting tours with Indy Andersen. We are also starting to plan some cool events for race fans and partners that will help raise money for great causes like cancer research with the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, Race for RP to raise money and awareness for autoimmune disease research and the Survivors of Violence Foundation with Dr. Greg Chernoff. Stay tuned! In the meantime, thank you to those of you supporting all of our partners, including SPRUCE Cold Brew Coffee. Use code JacksonLee10 for orders over $50!
We’ve attached a schedule below for Spring Training and St. Pete if you happen to be in the Miami or Tampa/St Pete area or want to follow along online. This is all made possible by a group of very strong supporters who have given me the opportunity to compete this year and represent some good causes. In addition to those mentioned, thank you to another co-primary partner Browning Chapman Specialty Contractors and also Caldwell Realty and Caldwell Subways in Hobart/Valparaiso, Don Weidig and Lake Cable Consulting of Canton, Ohio, High Alpha, Doug Mockett and Company, Cox Beckman Goss and Company and Prime 47. Thank you!