This past season, Julia Landauer made the trip north of the border to take part in a select number of NASCAR Pinty’s Series races.
The New York native spoke about that experience with POPULAR SPEED and more recently.
POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts looking back on your Pinty’s Series season?
JULIA LANDAUER: I wish we could’ve been ran stronger, but we had some mechanical issues. I was thankful for the opportunity and the ability to go racing this past year, and it was nice to be able to try something different.
PS: What was the biggest surprise?
JULIA: Quite a bit different than I was expecting it to be so it took a little bit. I was surprised that it took several sessions to get comfortable in the car, and I was speaking with Brandon McReynolds who had also raced in the K&N cars, and he was also surprised by how different they were.
PS: A lot of people like to compare K&N and Pinty’s. Now having driven both, what are some of the differences and similarities?
JULIA: I think they’re a lot different. Obviously how they drive is very different, but there’s similarities. The number of races per year, and how competitive both series are. A couple things that were different are the people who race in Pinty’s Series have been racing there for years so a lot of people know each other well, whereas K&N a lot of drivers spend two years and then move up.
Also, how the car drives is very different as the K&N car, you can attack the corners more as you have better brakes. So it’s a different styles, but the racing is competitive and the races are longer in the K&N Series, so there’s more of a preservation going into there and pacing yourself back. It’s really hard, clean racing in the Pinty’s Series, and I was surprised by how few crashes there were and caution laps there were.
PS: Could we see you back in the Pinty’s Series again next season?
JULIA: I would love to, and I think we’re trying to figure how to get our plans in place and are talking to a bunch of people. I love racing up there and I’d love to do a street course in a stock car and I’d love to do that so we’re working on it. But I think that’d be really cool to run again.
PS: How did you get started in racing originally?
JULIA: My parents were looking for an activity all of their kids could do on the weekends and were looking for something with girls and boys, so they liked the idea of go-kart racing so that’s how I started. Then I fell in love within a year or two, and wanted to figure out how to do it as a career. So we’ve been working together to climb the ranks.
PS: Who is your racing hero?
JULIA: I have a couple. So on the NASCAR side, I’ve always liked Mark Martin and Carl Edwards. On the Formula 1 side, I really like Michael Schumacher – obviously he’s been really impressive, and Lyn St. James. She’s been a great mentor and obviously very accomplished herself. I look up to Paul Newman and the fact he was able to do many different things. He’s not known primarily for his racing, but he led such a cool life that he got to do a lot of things he loved.
PS: You mentioned Lyn St. James. A lot of talk lately about female racers has been happening due to the W Series announcement. What is your take on the W Series?
JULIA: So on the one hand, anything that gives woman the opportunity to get into good equipment, that’s good. I think that’s important. On the flip side, I love racing is co-ed and when you win in racing, you get to prove you’re the best – not the best female, not the best male, but the best. I’m a little worried that making a female only series, it might hurt the overall progress of seeing more woman in co-ed racing.
It might not, it might help and if it does help woman get into Formula 1 – which we haven’t had a woman full-time in a long time, that’s great. I’m just a little worried that it won’t.
PS: Being a spokesperson yourself, what would be your advice to females aspiring to get into racing?
JULIA: I think this advice applies to any field you want to get into, but do a lot of research and see what makes the sport happen. I think everyone is surprised at how expensive it is to go racing. I think having a concrete idea of what that’s like and the business side is really important because so many great racers and only a handful racers do make it. So if you’re trying to figure out what you have to do on and off the track to really progress, and obviously you need results on track and talent and work with a team. But learning the other things that go into racing is very important.
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