From the onset of my blog racing has been a prime fixture, as I mentioned yesterday in the origins of my blog on how excited I was to blog when I traveled to the San Fransisco area to flag a race and then I was able to blog about it. Well, when the 2010 season started I just had three events I was scheduled to do but then May happened and I became a starter for USAC and in one of my first events I got to assist at the Hoosier 100 which I called the, "Best Experience Ever."
At the 2010 Hoosier 100 I met a man by the name of James who was the USAC Developmental Series Director and he asked if I'd be interested working the .25 series. I said, "sure" having never done an oval race and less than two months later, in my first event, I was working the largest event of the season, the Battle at the Brickyard.
My first outing was somewhat rocky with a minor mistake that haunts me to this day, but I didn't do too awful because I was invited to work an event in Columbus where I got to work with Tom Hansing once again (he's one of the Indycar starters) and that day was a big thrill.
As 2010 went to 2011 I got word I was the starter for the entire season of the Generation Next Tour which meant an additional 11 weekends to the 3 SKUSA weekends and all of a sudden my travel schedule ballooned to something I never could have imagined.
Right now, as I'm in the midst of the off-season, I can feel a big difference within me. I have no doubt that my working at race tracks, and the process of traveling there, as well as the interactions I have has furthered my ability as a presenter, and my confidence as a person. Another thing it has done has provided me with many things to write about, like this experience at a Mongolian BBQ place in 2011.
I've also had some fun making video blogs at tracks as shown by this in 2011:
And what does it look like when the race starts?
I firmly believe I would not still be presenting without my times at the race tracks. Confidence is so vitally important and that's what all these travels have done for me. From the time I found out that I became the SKUSA chief starter for the Supernats to traveling many miles with James and Kyle with USAC who would constantly push me it's been an important part of not only my professional career, but my personal one as well.
In 2012 the amount of events I worked went over 20 and one of those events was my first USAC National Midget Race and my dad was there to capture it and, in his fashion being in the video trade, made this video:
By the end of the 2012 season I was worried that I was working too many races. I went coast-to-coast twice in 2012 as well as having two ER visits (I'm not sharing that video again, you can go to Youtube and look it up yourself!) but in the offseason I was pining for a flag in hand and cars on track.
For myself, racing in a balance to my presentations. Presenting, the way I do, takes more out of me than I think anyone outside of a performer could appreciate. Also, a presentation to me is almost sacred as I know what's on the line; I know that my words have the possibility to shape a person's future, or give a new level of understanding that needs to be there. That being so there is a lot of pressure on me, or at least that I put on myself, and while working a race has more split-second pressure and any mistake can prove to be disastrous I live for that pressure. It's odd because this shouldn't be the case, but when I'm on the stand (or track if it's a kart race) I am at my most relaxed state. That's why, as the 2013 season began, all that exhaustion that had built up disappeared.
2013 started with a bang with a new miss in Tucson, but my eyes were firmly set on Indy and May. While this wasn't the Indy 500, it was practice for the Indy 500 and I got to start the activities with my green flag which I promptly retired:
What does the 2014 season have in store? I don't know but even before I have flown my first flag I've had an impact with my Blue Wave campaign which is great because I can now bring about my two worlds.
I could write on and on about this, and I know I've only scratched the surface of what racing has meant for me over the course of my blog, but I am eternally grateful to those at SKUSA, and at USAC for giving me the honor of being their chief starters. Above all though, my origins of flagging began all the way back in 1990 and I would be doing Duane a disserivce if I didn't share this video blog from 2012. In fact, a moment like this deserves to be the ending of this post because the history of my blog, and the process of me becoming the person I am, began much sooner than this blog.