Going to St. Petersburg on race weekend was different from going to Houston or the Cooper Tires Winterfest at New Orleans Motorsports Park and Barber Motorsports Park. This is simply because it was the opening round of the 2014 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. It was more exciting; more was at stake as you're hoping to start the season strong and carry that momentum for the rest of the season. Coming into the race weekend, I felt more prepared than ever. I worked hard at PitFit and at RaceCraft1 on the simulator. I spent time in good talks with my engineer Larry Nash and driver coach Scott Harrington, and I felt ready to go racing.
The St. Petersburg Grand Prix is a street race just like Houston, so I was nervous. Safe to say that I let my nerves get the best of me in Houston; it was my first street race and first race in a couple of years, so the nerves were understandable. I was prepared for Houston--at least I thought I was. It turned out that it was not the case at all.
I went to St. Petersburg on race weekend with the same goals as Houston: to learn and improve every time I went out on the track and to bring the car home in one piece. But this time, I can say that I was more mentally prepared.
My dad arrived in Indianapolis on the Saturday before and we slowly started making our way to St. Pete the following Monday. It's about a 14-hour drive (I guess he wanted more father-daughter bonding time while driving instead of flying). We eventually made it to St. Pete on Tuesday afternoon and rested up for a busy schedule the following day.
Read the full blog here at TopGear.