By Stacy Wilson, 2016 SCCA GT3 National Champion
Just qualifying and competing at the SCCA National Runoffs is enough, but winning one… Winning is the true moment that’s worth all the hard work on that long journey to the finish line, a journey that begins as a dream. I believe every accomplishment begins as a dream: the belief you can hit the home run, catch the touchdown pass, score the winning goal, or “Win the Big Race!” For me, this way of thinking is a way of life. Your passions are your calling and it’s up to you to follow their call regardless of life’s obstacles. Because once you pass every competitor and the risk is over, it’s just you, the car, the open track, and the finish line. You’ve reached the point where dreams become reality. You feel as if you could live within that moment forever and die happy.
Racing! Sounds simple. Those not involved have no clue what goes into it. Anything that consumes so much of your time, money, blood, sweat, and tears is worth all the effort you can devote. Your car is an extension of yourself. You must become one with your race car. Your race car is the main tool that will carry you to your dreams.
At whatever you do, I think it’s important to define your definition of success and determine what level of success you want to achieve. Don’t let pessimism or pessimistic people influence your passion. Don’t allow negative attitudes to enter your mindset. It only takes a few negative words to mess with your mindset and get you off track. You become like the people you’re around.
There are all kinds of obstacles or stumbling blocks and they are no respecter of persons: the trailer needs tires; the tow vehicle or motor home needs brakes; the race car needs a rear-end gear set, shocks, springs, oil change, etc.! The list keeps going and going! All this can be overwhelming, especially when you have little to no budget—- sound familiar? Keep a positive and realistic mindset and don’t lose your belief and confidence in yourself. If you do, you’re finished! I have been asked, “How do you do what you do?” My answer is always, “No one told me I couldn’t.” I never set myself up for failure by only reaching for my ultimate goal. Set small reachable goals and let them be your stepping stones to the lifetime goal for which you’re driving.
The trick to success is goal-setting and seeing the finish line before you start. You’ve got to envision it before you even lay hands on the steering wheel. Then everything you must confront – bumps in the road involving your family, your job, your finances, and the race car itself. It becomes just another set of competitors you’ve got to confront and pass to achieve your dream. So what do you do when you reach your dream? You keep racing! Because racing is where you meet yourself head-on, and challenging yourself in a race car is one great feeling of accomplishment.
Winning the 2016 GT3 National Championship still seems like a dream. From time to time, I watch the SCCA race footage to see if it’s true. It’s an accomplishment I believed I could achieve, but it still seemed almost out of reach. Finally after years of hard work and dedication, it happened. It can happen for you the same as it did for me. Now, I can’t wait to strap in and keep driving. Because “Racing is not just what you do. It’s a way of life!” Remember “If not today, then one day!”