I’m on the plane headed down to St. Petersburg, Florida because the wait is over. The 2010 season is getting ready to start! Not the unofficial start with the safety meeting, or even with testing, both official and private; but the first race of the year. I grant you that it is only the first of the season and the champion won’t be crowned on Sunday afternoon. But, when the green flag drops, the nonsense stops. And hopefully, when the checkered flag flies, I will be heading into Victory Lane!
And I do feel particularly positive about the start of this season. Coming to St. Pete last year, I had done a couple of days testing with the team, had no idea how Indy Lights race weekends worked, wasn’t sure what to expect or how I’d do. This year, I know and am friendly with all the people running the races, I have a full and great sponsorship partnership put together, I am running with a Championship caliber (technically double Championship caliber) team and am more relaxed and confident than at the start of any season in the past. I really like the character of the track at St. Pete. I know that when we unload on Thursday, we will already be miles (so to speak) ahead of where I was last year. And that is before I turn my first lap.
This winter has seemed especially long. Not because I have been bored, in fact it has been the opposite. Since my last blog nearly a month ago (shock, horror, I know!), I have tested in Alabama, Texas, and Florida; moved (and drove through a snowstorm in doing so) to Indianapolis; was in 12 states in less than 7 days (these links are to photos of the state signs on the road trip); went to two ADA Expos (Portland and Salt Lake City); went to my first TCOYD of the year in Kalispell, Montana (first trip to MT and loved it!); and even got some time to train with Jim Leo at PitFit in Indy. Some of the smaller accomplishments of the last month include furnishing my new bedroom (I do love IKEA) and even attempting to decorate with drapes, photos and lamps. I have cooked a few meals and was even called ‘quite domesticated’ by my engineer.
But now, all that matters is this weekend’s race and winning. The wait is over. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Championship is here. Let’s go racing!