Alex Tagliani has taken a very diverse path the past few years, sampling multiple forms of racing.
Alex Tagliani is known mostly for his prowess behind the wheel of an Indy car. In recent years though, he has branched out, making starts in NASCAR's Xfinity, Truck, and Canadian divisions. He's also made appearances in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and V8 Supercars.
I’m always working. I’m not content and I’m trying to come up with things
So where will the 41-year-old eventually hang his hat? He hasn't been full-time since the 2013 IndyCar season, but he's certainly been busy.
Wanting to try all the desserts
"Last year, I would have said it's not ideal because everyone loves stability but honestly, I had a lot of fun. NASCAR Canada, I'm on the road with the motorhome. Then the Xfinity races with Penske, testing, and racing for Keselowski in the Trucks. Then Indy. The advantage is that as a driver, you are in front of a dessert menu and you can pick five or six desserts, tasting them all instead of having to choose one and stick with it. You have the best of both worlds.
"The disadvantage is that because you are part-time in every category, you have to make each of those races your SuperBowl or the World Cup because there's no championship at the end for you when you're not competing full-time. It's one chance and that's kind of how I look at it.
The money factor
“I would want to pick just one place to race for sure, but I said that awhile back and I was not always able to do it,” Tagliani said. “I tried to make the best decision and it has to make sense. But the problem is that you’re so passionate about what you’re doing that sometimes, you’re just raising money and just dumping it into the team.
“You don’t see where it’s really benefiting you and your future or financially.
"Instead of having to race in one category for one reason and then try to raise money in another category for other reasons, it would be nice to have one brand, one ambassador, one series and just focus on that. That's always the dream for every driver.
"You look at Briscoe - When you lose a ride, it's difficult. Racing is very weird.
Although it's difficult to be that driver with helmet in one hand and a suitcase in the other, there are positives.
Tagliani's 2014 motorsports tour included driving a Penske stock car, a Keselowski Truck, a Sarah Fisher entry in the Indy 500, and an RSR Racing PC prototype in multiple races that included the Rolex 24 and the Sebring 12 Hours. Oh, and he also ran his own NASCAR Canada team.
"It was interesting to be able to be in every car and drive everything. I really enjoyed it but I'm still more of the type of person that loves the stability and just focusing on one thing. But, I would not be sad if it continues the way it's been.
“I’m always working. I’m not content and I’m trying to come up with things, you know. If I keep doing what I’m doing and nothing else comes along, and rides come and go, and I get to 50 and I don't get to drive anymore, I’ll still be glad I did it.”
Despite the desire for stability, he cited Scott Pruett as a model he wouldn't mind following. The California -native went from full-time in CART to testing the waters of NASCAR before switching to Grand-Am (what is now TUSC) in his 40s. Pruett is now a 5x series champion with over 40 victories in the category.
"And he's 53, 54," noted Tagliani. "That's just crazy."
When Motorsport.com asked the Canadian if there is a particular race he has yet to compete in that sits high on his personal list, he simply replied, 'Le Mans.'
Next week - Tagliani discusses his thoughts on a full-time switch to NASCAR and why he would choose the Xfinity Series over IndyCar, in the right situation