Redlands, Calif. (September 25, 2014) - Despite the 2014 racing season coming to what feels like a premature close, I have been able to keep super busy. Here it is only September and I have rounded out my second successful season with the Cape Motorsport with Wayne Taylor Racing boys. We finished third in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires as a rookie driver and team. It was a huge learning year for me. Geez, I feel like I say that every year! It’s true though. As a driver it’s important to know what you need out of a car, and how to match that balance with your driving style. That’s what this year was all about for me, and I couldn’t have done it without the Capes. Anyway, I'm looking forward to what the future holds. What else have I done since the season ended?
Well, I was able to go to my cousin’s wedding up in northern California straight after the season finale in Sonoma. It was super nice to spend some time with them and hang out at the family ranch for a day. Growing up I never spent time up in Chico where the ranch is, and for some reason now it’s my favorite thing ever. I'm already planning on going shooting up there in the next couple months. Apparently everyone in my family is either an archer or a marksman. So, I think it’s about time I pick up the family trade. Should be just another sport for me to master!
I also spent a day out at Auto Club Speedway here in southern California to help judge the new crop of kids coming though the Team USA Scholarship. I found it somewhat refreshing being on the other side of the fence, now giving back to program that has done wonders for my career. I could directly relate to every nominee this year as I was literally in their shoes less than 12 months ago. Best of luck to the Team USA Scholarship class of 2014 over in England this year!
The weekend after my cousin’s wedding I was given an opportunity to drive with Andretti Autosport during the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy test out at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I was actually meant to go to Peter Dempsey and Mandy Skinner’s wedding that weekend, but it’s hard to turn down an opportunity to drive a race car. I know, back to back weddings right! Love is in the air. Anyway, Pete would do the same if he was in my shoes, ha! It doesn't seem too long ago Peter and I were in his hometown of Ireland at his brother Keith’s wedding. I think I might have wrote a censored blog about that trip also. Sorry, no ridiculousness to share with you this time… Congrats to those two love birds, its about time :)
Anyway, the Mazda Road to Indy test ended up being a great weekend for the Andretti guys. We were fast right off the bat, going quickest in the first morning session and staying at the top end of the charts all weekend. Big thanks to those guys for giving me the opportunity to work with them.
After the test weekend I ended up staying the entire week in Indianapolis. Spencer Pigot and I were going to be racing in the 11th annual Robopong200 out at Newcastle Motorsports Park the following weekend flying the Rising Star Racing banner. Robopong is a big 200 mile endurance kart race with two drivers and three pit stops. I raced karts a good portion of my life and I have never had so much fun at a kart race ever! Robopong is a one off event that happens every year, and every year a ton of Indycar drivers and Mazda Road to Indy drivers compete along side several talented younger karters. I think there was close to 50 teams racing this year for a $10k check. We ended up qualifying 5th then breaking a chain about half way through the race. Not to shabby for our first effort, but we have to come back and redeem ourselves. Nevertheless, this is one event I will definitely have on my schedule for next year.
So, that brings me to where I am now. Which is sitting behind my desk, writing a blog that I was actually meant to do last week. I got distracted trying to win a go-kart race…