Over the past few years of hosting Speedway Digest Thursday Night Thunder, I have had the pleasure of chatting with many amazing drivers, all with a story to tell. Some of these competitors are so compelling that you just know that they are something truly special.
With this series, Five Questions hopes to give you a bit more insight into the minds of some of these racers, and perhaps make them seem a bit more...human!
What is one racing moment you are most fond of? My win at Laguna in 2015. The marine who saved my life was there. I kept the car in the top 5 all day and Andrew snuck in a last lap pass to take the win.
What was your impression of the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona? While the class battles were extremely tight, the field size was disappointing. I'm hoping John Doonan has a plan to get car counts back up and reduce costs and maybe payouts!
However, the Michelin Pilot series field and racing was awesome. I don't think this series gets enough recognition for the racing, cars and drivers. Numerous pros have raced in it and some current pros do double-duty. If you are looking for tons of great racing in easily identifiable cars, this class is the place to see it!
What are your on-track plans for 2020? I only found out in December I won't be signed for this year. Its left me scrambling looking for funding. I spoke to quite a few teams at Daytona, especially the new ones, handed out my resume and business cards Many showed interest, but of course it comes down to $$$
Do you feel that the Mazda Road to 24 helped your career, and do you think the program can survive in today’s racing environment? Absolutely! Without a doubt. We're not having this conversation if it wasn't for Mazda, John Doonan, Derek Whitis, Tom Long, Andrew Carbonnel and Freedom Autosport.
Mazda Motorsports is going through a whole restructuring as we speak. As we know, Nelson Cosgrove has come over from TRD and taken the reigns. He's getting things in-line with how he sees fit. He's got TCR moving along, he's watching Mazda Global MX5 transition to the sequential gearbox, as well as the Prototype program being taken over by Multimatic. He has a lot going on, but Mazda isn't going anywhere.
Outside of Racing, what are some things you most enjoy? Right now, I'm enjoying my last semester of school, finally walking daily (zero wheelchair use) and getting back to the gym. School takes up almost all of my time with 6 classes, group projects and upwards of a dozen papers due each week.
I'm looking further ahead in life. I'll eventually have to hang-up the helmet, maybe earlier than I want, so I'm trying to best prepare myself for when that might happen. However, I am already looking forward to this semester being over!
We'd like to thank Liam Dwyer for taking the time out of his busy schedule. Stay tuned for the next installment of this continuuing series.