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Blog Archives

Can the Best New Female Racer Make It to Nascar? That’s the $15 Million Question

Bloomberg Businessweek
By Josh Dean

Julia Landauer is just what the sport needs, yet she’s still scrapping for sponsors.

PHOTO CREDIT: CAIT OPPERMANN FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

PHOTO CREDIT: CAIT OPPERMANN FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

As soon as she could see over the steering wheel, Julia Landauer switched to cars, and it was good. Up to that point, she had been racking up trophies as one of the country’s best young go-kart racers; at 13 she was finally able to see out a car’s windshield while also working its pedals, so off she went in 2005 to the famed Skip Barber Racing School. She took immediately to the upgraded complexity, and speed, of a vehicle that had a clutch and could do 120 miles per hour, and the next year, at 14, she became the first female champion in the 31-year history of the Skip Barber Series, a launchpad for professional racers.

As is the case with all child racers, Landauer’s expensive hobby was funded by her parents, a doctor and a lawyer who got all three of their kids into go-karts because, her father decided, racing was one of only three sports that allowed boys and girls to truly compete on equal footing (archery and sky diving being the others). “The goal was just to get them to take responsibility, to get used to functioning under a little bit of pressure, and to have fun,” says Steve Landauer (he’s the doctor). The Landauers also liked that racing taught their girls to “not succumb to a lot of the social norms about stepping out of the way,” adds Tracy, her mom.

But the Landauers had no idea how talented their oldest child would be until she started winning races—and then didn’t stop. Even before Julia won the Skip Barber Series, she had decided she was going to be a professional driver someday. “By the time I was 12, I was like, ‘I could do this forever,’ ” she says.

And that posed a problem: If Julia really did stick with it, becoming a pro racer was likely to take years and cost tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars just to get to a point where she might start earning money. The Landauers were happy to support their daughter and would keep contributing to the best of their ability, but they weren’t about to go broke doing it. So they began an open dialogue that put some of the onus on her. If Julia wanted to keep racing, she’d eventually have to figure out a way to supplement the costs.

Read the full article.

7 Lessons for Young Entrepreneurs from Julia Landauer, NASCAR

Entrepreneur
By Kelsey Humphreys

Julia Landauer knew she wanted to pursue racing as a career by the time she was 12. At that time, she and her parents started organizing her life around her dream. Landauer began working hard on and off the track, trying to land small sponsorships and grow brand awareness. Since that time she has become a NASCAR Next and NASCAR K&N Pro Series driver. At 24 years old, she has made a name for herself in a male-dominated sport, and done it all on her own, from handling her own publicity to personally pounding the pavement for sponsors — landing herself on the One Love Foundation/GCR  team. She has also become a sought-after speaker and an advocate for women in STEM.

As entrepreneurship grows in popularity, and the internet continues to provide new opportunities, more and more tweens and teens are following their entrepreneurial passions. Here are a few lessons for those hustlers and their families from the successful speaker, spokesperson, athlete and driver.

Be present.

Pursuing a dream and building a business, while still in school, requires a lot of energy and focus. Landauer missed around 130 days of high school for racing. She missed not only homework, but also the big games, pep rallies and birthday parties as well. The way to juggle it all well, she says, is to be fully present where you are when you’re there.

“When I was at school, I really dedicated myself to being in school. I try to be very present where I am, and I knew I wasn’t gonna be able to hang out with [friends] on the weekends,” she shared. “So when I was there, I really tried to make sure I was giving my friends the attention.”

Tailor your education.

There is an entire discussion about the state of the four-year college education in the United States that we won’t dive into here, but you can see why someone building a racing career may decide to skip university altogether. Landauer wanted her degree, though, so she decided to tailor her major for her specific needs. She blended computer science, mechanical engineering, communications, history and English. She wanted to “get a well-rounded education to be able to help, primarily with my racing career and brand.” At 18, having been in racing for eight years, she knew what was expected. She wanted some technical knowledge about the machinery, but she also needed to excel at communicating on camera, writing sponsorship proposals, making presentations and selling herself.

“When you’re hungry for something, you figure out what you need to do to make it work,” she explained.

Figure out the training you need to set yourself up for success, outside of your specific talents. This could mean honing your writing skills, learning basic coding, public speaking, etc. A few of my guests on The Pursuit say focus only on your strengths, but I have found that the reality for most is this: You won’t be able to outsource all of your weaknesses for years. Build your strengths in the most important brand-building areas where you need improvement.

Read the full story here.

Pocono Raceway Releases Sustainability Report, Continues Diversion Efforts

 

2017.06.20-NewsFeed-Pocono-IMAGE

Pocono Raceway has become the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race track to release a Sustainability Report touting its sustainability and green efforts.

Pocono Raceway President & CEO Brandon Igdalsky issued the report today, days before the NASCAR XFINITY Series Pocono Green 250 race.

“We are very proud to make this report available to the public,” said Igdalsky. “We had a lot of help from NASCAR Green, the Green Sports Alliance and Penn State among many others and we are grateful for their assistance. This report showcases our diversion efforts as well recycling, food donation and much more as we try to do all we can at Pocono Raceway.”

The Pocono Raceway Sustainability Report .pdf can be found by clicking here.

In addition to the report, Igdalsky also announced that Pocono Raceway has increased the amount of special waste receptacles to separate waste from recyclables and compostable materials in select areas of the raceway. The containers will allow fans to properly depose of items in Igdalsky’s quest for 75% diversion at the raceway. “This is the next step in our process to hit our goals and fans will see more of this as we progress the plan,” he said.

Continuing in the recycling efforts, Monster Energy NASCAR Free Friday at Pocono Raceway is set for June 9. Fans can bring any size empty Monster Energy can to be recycled and will be admitted free of charge.

Justin Zeulner, Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance will serve as Grand Marshal’s for Saturday’s Pocono Green 250. He will also tour Pocono Raceway’s 39,960-module Solar Farm, meet with representatives from NASCAR Green while proving an up-close view of all Pocono Raceway does.

Read the full story here.

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