Director, Bridgestone Americas Motorsports
Competitive. Demanding. Thrilling. The words often used to describe motorsports. Another word that comes to mind is family as it reflects one of the things that makes this community so special.
Regardless of your favorite series, team, driver or venue, the global racing community prides itself on being one big family. And as someone who’s been fortunate enough to experience it for more than 25 years, I can attest that this spirit is genuine and one of the true hallmarks of our sport.
I didn’t grow up a race fan. I was the beneficiary of the perfect storm of timing, opportunity and raising my hand when I had the chance during my first job at an advertising agency to make the leap into full-time motorsports. The first race I worked was at Michigan International Speedway. I was greeted warmly by crews, sponsors and drivers. I stood on top of a transporter and watched the Indy cars take the green and that was when I knew I wanted to be part of this family.
It’s often in the most difficult times that our family is at its strongest, and the current situation is proving that once again.
We’ve seen cross-over participants from different series in iRacing
events to help promote the sport, teams stepping up to help their local communities,
and drivers sharing their day-to-day “safer at home” adventures to give us a
laugh and stay in touch with fans.
At Firestone, our teammates in Akron, Ohio – where we design
and build our race tires – are using prototyping and research equipment, as well as their own personal
3D printing machines at home, to produce face shields that are being donated to
This united approach extends to what takes place behind
the scenes, too. We’re in almost daily communication with INDYCAR to
collectively plan our return to racing in an appropriate and safe manner.
Multiple series are working collaboratively to share best practices and explore
ways to race together. Everyone is coming to the table to stay connected and
In the more than two decades since I was welcomed into this community,
I’ve never seen its spirit weaken or waiver. We are focused forward and fueled
by the fans who are the heart and soul of this sport. Their loyalty allows us
to do what we love, and their passion makes us love what we do. Together we
will be back on track soon.