Making of A Race Driver in 30 Days--Rob D'Amico Ready For Mustang Challenge Debut Millville, NJ (30 April 2009) -- For many watching the races from the stands, it might seem like no matter how close you are to the race, it'd would take a...
Making of A Race Driver in 30 Days--Rob D'Amico Ready For Mustang Challenge Debut
Millville, NJ (30 April 2009) -- For many watching the races from the stands, it might seem like no matter how close you are to the race, it'd would take a million years to actually get in and do it yourself.
But that's not the case, and Race Day On Fox broadcast talent Rob D'Amico is living that dream as he is experiencing the "Making of a Race Driver in 30 Days" as he gears up to make his Ford Racing Mustang Challenge debut this weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park in round 5 of the 2009 season.
With little background in the sport save for a massive amount of passion, and the good fortune to work covering the sport as Race Day on Fox is broadcast to over 440 affiliates around the country, D'Amico's experiences serve as a good example of someone accelerating their life to become a race driver.
Like many racers in the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge, D'Amico's journey started with a visit to the Miller Performance Training Center in Tooele, Utah. The Performance Training Center also utilizes the Ford Mustang as the platform, which helped D'Amico get tuned up for his actual racing machine, the Ford Mustang FR500S that is the centerpiece of the Mustang Challenge.
But like many rookies, the experience didn't get off to the start he was hoping for.
"My first day, I was several seconds off the pace, and was thinking 'uh-oh, what did I get myself into here??" said D'Amico. "But they just kept working with me and the times kept coming down and even though it was nerve-racking at first, it was a great experience and they really knew how to coach me to perform. The Miller Performance Center guys are just phenomenal and the Miller facility is amazing--it was just a first-class experience for me."
After emerging with some training, D'Amico got his first taste of competition with some regional race action at Miller Motorsports Park. And despite his newbie status, the radio rookie had several strong outings, enough so to score podium appearances in four different races.
But even though D'Amico showed impressive speed and generated strong results in his first race outings, he still made a pretty big rookie mistake.
"I showed up at the track the next day, and everyone was asking me, 'Hey, where did you go yesterday after the race?' It turns out I missed the podium ceremony--I had no idea!!"
While D'Amico is geared up for his big debut this weekend he is excited about getting the chance to check this item off his lifetime to-do list, no matter what the outcome of the race.
"To me this just shows that you can do it no matter what your age," said D'Amico, who lists the 1965 Mustang as his favorite. "I've always been a bit of a late bloomer but I think for anyone who has the desire to do this, working with the Miller guys showed me that it can be done, you just have to go for it."
Looking ahead to the New Jersey race weekend, D'Amico will bring some confidence from his Miller outings, but he knows that he's going up against some very tough competition.
"I will be learning the track so that will be all new to me," said D'Amico. "I am optimistic about the weekend, having had the podiums out at Miller, but I know it will be hard to do that this weekend. It's amazing-one second seems like such a short amount of time, but when you are chasing that one last second in your lap time, it can be like forever!!"
The Ford Racing Mustang Challenge round at New Jersey Motorsports Park will officially kick off on Friday with a 1:00 PM practice session.