It is fair to say that without John and everything he has done for my career, I would not be where I am today. From my beginning years in the Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development Program he has played a tremendous role in every race car I have touched. He is one of the biggest life mentors that anyone could ever have and I will never be able to thank him enough for everything he has done for my career.
I’ve been very fortunate to be one of the few in my generation that have had the privilege to meet Ed Sr. Justice Brothers was my first major sponsor when I was just starting at the karting level and have supported me through every step of the way. The life lessons and motorsport history Ed Sr. taught me will always be something I cherish.
When my career really started to get serious, Ed was always the first to be onboard for the next season. His support has not only been product based, but also incredible amounts of motorsport knowledge that has helped shape me into the racing driver I’ve become today. I cannot thank him enough for not only continuing his fathers footsteps, but for literally doing anything in his power to help advance me forward in my career.
From my beginning years in open-wheel cars, Jeremy has played a tremendous role in my career and still does to this day. Not only is he the founder of the Team USA Scholarship in which I’ve been very lucky to be apart of, but he also has given me superior career advice in the most difficult times. I owe a lot of what I’ve been a part of to him, and I hope I will be able to one day support his program that gave me my first experiences in Europe.
If it were not for the support of Charles and Modspace in 2012, it’s fair to say I would have been without a ride for the season. His support on and off the track is something that’s found very rarely in motorsport, and I feel very fortunate to have Charles as one of my key supporters. He also gave me my first opportunity to race a sports-car in the Mazda MX-5 cup series, which was a very special experience for me.
From my late karting years to this very point in my career, Todd and everyone at Oakley have been massive supporters of mine. When I sent him my handwritten proposal letter at age 13, I never thought I’d get a call back just a few days later. His support and introductions into the motorsport world have been huge for my career.
Mr. McKenna was my first sponsor when I became part of the Porsche Motorsport family, and without his support I would not of been able to have the success I’ve had while competing over in Europe. To have such great support from back home in the USA while racing over in Europe is very special, and I cannot thank him enough for his continuous backing.
Mr. Franz and Competent Motorsport have become an integral supporter of mine, and his the Porsche Motorsport passion we both share creates a great partnership. His support to get me on the race track is greatly appreciated and I’m always excited to see where his Porsche Championship continues to grow.
In my recent transition to sports car racing, Patrick has played a huge role in my career. I’m proud to say that this year I am part of the Porsche family with him and I hope it will stay this way for many years to come. I cannot thank him enough for all of his advice and I am looking forward to the future.
Growing up at his family owned kart track provided some of the best racing and learning experiences of my career, but in 2011 I had the chance to work with Rocky as a coach. I learned an immeasurable amount of racing knowledge and really developed as a racing driver. Rocky has always been a huge supporter of mine and I cannot thank him enough for teaching me so many life altering things both on and off the race track.
With thanks to David and everyone behind the scenes at the David August brand, I know I will always have the most stylish suits. Their extensive support of keeping me on the race track and looking good off of the race track is something I’m very fortunate to have.
On my 5th birthday I received the greatest birthday present I could ever ask for, and I have my Grandpa Tony to thank for that. His support from the beginning has been the real reason as to how any of this was even possible and I hope one day I can repay him at least a fraction of what he has done for me.
Mom, Papa Player and Anthony. Through thick and thin you all have always been there for me. Everyone makes sacrifices, but the amount of sacrifice that you all have put forth means the world to me and I cannot thank you enough. I can’t wait to keep pushing towards my dream and hopefully one day being able to repay you for all of your love and support.
The Mazda Road to Indy program by far has impacted my career the most, especially when I was trying to make the transition to open-wheel cars. Their program rewards winners and I was very lucky to be a multi-scholarship winner in their program. It is fair for me to say that without their support, I may have never been able to make the transition into open-wheel without their scholarship funding and I will always remember my roots with them.
In late 2009 I had one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my entire life. Racing in Europe was something I always wanted a shot at, but realistically I could never find a way to afford it. The Team USA scholarship run by Jeremy Shaw gave me my first european racing opportunity and I am proud to say we went across the pond and won! It is an incredible program and I am very thankful for all of its supporters that truly help make it possible for America’s greatest talents to compete in Europe.
Skip Barber was where it all began for me when I wanted to continue climbing the motorsport ladder into cars. With grade A instructors and North America’s greatest racing tracks, they have developed a bulletproof program that really teaches the fundamentals of wheel to wheel racing. In 2008 I was very lucky to win their karting scholarship which gave me my first opportunity to compete at a national level in open-wheel racing. I cannot thank them enough for giving these opportunities for drivers like myself.
Karting is and will always be the purest form of racing in the world, and Tom Kutcher has done a remarkable job for karting in the North America. The whole Kutcher family has put in a massive effort and it’s great to see it all continuing to grow as a whole. Some of my greatest memories were made at the SKUSA SuperNationals and it still is the most incredible karting event in the world. Thank you to everyone at Superkarts! USA for giving me an affordable and extremely competitive training ground in my karting days.