Ask any high-profile athlete, and they will tell you that there is some value in looking back at where you’ve been, where you’ve come from, and what you’ve accomplished before looking forward. You don’t want to get stuck in the past, of course.
But part of growing as a person, and not just a driver, is understanding how you’ve gotten where you are.
I’ll use myself as an example. Last year was a great year for me. I finished my first full year of competition in the NHRA and did quite well. There wasn’t a world title at the end of the road, but I am proud that I was able to finish fifth in the standings.
Who could ever complain about four National event wins, 6 low qualifiers, and resetting the Top Fuel national e.t. record twice?
Of course, the problem with having such a good year is figuring out how to top it. The team has been hard at work figuring out just how to do that. We feel like we’ve identified what weaknesses we have. I feel pretty good about our cool track set-ups. But, going forward, we are looking to focus more on hot track set-ups.
Doing this will certainly help us head into the 2018 season just as strong, if not stronger than we were last season.
When it comes to looking into 2018, people want to know what I’m going to do or what the team is going to do to maintain our momentum after having such a good season last year. I think the answer to this is twofold:
Don’t go looking for hero runs. Don’t gun for the records. Look to perform at our best and the accolades will follow. If a record happens to be set—great. If not—no big deal.
We have the same crew chief and crew back this season. With one full season under our belts, we are going to be even better at communicating and understanding what everyone’s strengths and weaknesses are. Last year there was a learning curve for all of that; this year, not so much.
The 2017 season was a good one. But we want more—I want more -- and expect more out of 2018. I’m excited to continue participating in this great sport. I’ve been doing whatever I can to prepare and condition myself to be an even better driver this year and look forward to performing even better than before.
Finishing fifth was nice; winning a championship will be even better.