My path to motorsport was different. Unlike most other drivers, I did not come from a racing family. My entry into motorsport was entirely accidental. My dad, who was an insurance appraiser, stopped by the race track Road Atlanta one day and brought my brother and I home some magazines and brochures. One article in particular, about the 24 Hours of Le Mans, caught my attention and that was all that was required.
Unfortunately, I did not grasp the costs of motor racing. Wanting to get into karting, we had very little money to do so. I began mowing lawns to slowly save for my first kart. With a little additional help from my parents, I managed to buy a very cheap kart. I spent as much time as possible doing lap after lap.
When indoor karting grew a larger interest in the U.S. we were lucky to have an Andretti Speed Lab open about an hour and a half from our home. We went as a treat but my real break came when Red Bull announced their Formula One Driver Search. This was an effort to find an American F1 driver and consisted of a national qualifying at numerous karting locations (including the Andretti circuit near us), a shootout for those finalists, then another shootout in Rotax karts to qualify you for the car portion.
I made it to the regional finals but fell short of moving on in the program. However, I was extremely excited with the races and seat time I had from Red Bull and learned a lot. My next move was moving to endurance karting where we raced numerous events thanks to some small sponsorships and did quite well. I was self-taught early on in the ins and outs of motorsport marketing. It's also one of the reasons I went back to earn a Bacherlors degree in business management with a minor in marketing.
After karting as much as I could afford, I continued my path, starting with autocross when I was fifteen. Yes, my dad had to ride with me since I only had a learner's permit! The following slides will tell you more about my career behind the wheel and the series I race in and have raced in.