Last weekend kicked off the start to the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car (TC), Touring Car A (TCA) and Touring Car B-Spec (TCB) classes at Barber Motorsports Park alongside the IndyCar Series.
For Shea Racing the off-season included a major facelift with cutting off the front of our transporter, lengthening it by 5 feet and redoing the lounge completely taking just two guys, Jeff and Kurt, three tiring months. For me, it was on my normal grind preparing the teams marketing efforts with partners and my daily ritual of continuing to find sponsorship.
Last season was a great learning experience for me wearing two different hats, driver and co-owner. I wasn’t perfect, I could have been more prepared, I should of hit the off switch more to focus on just driving while at the track. Some people say most young adults my age have “normal” jobs. To me, all that entails racing is normal. I’m always clocked in almost never taking time off, well, unless I’m posting Instagram photos out on the water. I may not enjoy the tough times racing brings I do enjoy the mental fight, the constant change and desire for perfection and when things actually do turn out the way you hoped there’s nothing more satisfying.
This season I’m focused and Shea Racing is focused on measuring performance, not results.
Performance is everything from when you leave the shop, show up at the track, setting up at the track, data acquisition, notes, practicing mock qualifications, adjusting car setup, race strategies, attitude, eating right, getting proper sleep, encouraging each other, patting a crew member on the back for their hard work and keeping you safe, even social media and working with partners.
Our team performance at Barber was a good step in the right direction for the longrun. Canadian driver, P.J. Groenke, returned to drive the No. 65 Verax.ca/Tundra/Mulligan Gold Honda Fit who now sits sixth in the championship and 17-year-old newcomer, Paul Holton, of Tallahassee, FL joined forces with us driving the No. 66 Radium/TRUECar/Lucas Oil Honda Fit and is comfortably in seventh after a respectable drive for his first pro event in TCB.
Jeff, Nick, myself and the team put my No. 67 TRUECar/Lucas Oil/Radium/Women’s Sports Foundation/Hendrick Honda Civic Si on pole, won the first race and are leading the TCA championship. Why? Because we all put in the same amount of effort in order to achieve the best possible performance for that day. We were all students studying.
When I run I hit all the apexes, when I’m at the computer slamming on the keyboard I try to achieve greater things for my partners and the team and when I dream I dream about the perfect lap.
Each day I will be steadfast on achieving a better performance than the last.