After scoring a pair of top-10 finishes last season, Colin Kaminsky will return to the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, poised for the full campaign with Pabst Racing. Recently, the Illinois native shared his thoughts entering the year with POPULAR OPEN WHEEL.
POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts entering the season?
COLIN KAMINSKY: I am excited about being with Pabst Racing. It should be a good season with the equipment, and hopefully we can win the USF2000 Championship to win the scholarship and move up to Indy Pro 2000.
PS: What are your goals and expectations?
COLIN: My expectation is to try and score podiums and win the championship as I know that I have the right equipment underneath me, and I feel that my goals align right along with those expectations. Looking forward to chasing the championship and seeing what we can do.
PS: What track are you looking forward to the most?
COLIN: I think that’d obviously be Road America. It’s Pabst’s home race; they always have a good car there. It’s where I got my best finish this year. It always produces exciting racing. I’m really excited to go there. That should be good for us.
PS: What is one track that you wish was on the USF2000 schedule that currently isn’t?
COLIN: Probably if I had to pick one that I’ve done on IRacing, it’d be VIR or Watkins Glen. If I had to pick one, it’d be VIR as that’s a really cool track. I know the Nationals run-offs for the SCCA are there later this year, and that’s a really fast track I’ve done in IRacing. So I think that’d be really cool if we could go there.
PS: What is something you learned last year that you feel will be beneficial for 2019?
COLIN: I think the biggest thing is putting myself higher on the grid in qualifying. I think I learned the times that I was able to do it, I was able to put myself top-five or close to it; you could better place yourself for success in the race as you stay out of the garbage and crashes on the opening lap. Qualifying upfront really helps so I think that’s something I learned last year.
PS: How did you get started in racing?
COLIN: I started in racing when I was 15. My dad took me out to the Autobahn Country Club and he had two cars from when he used to run a team as he raced in the SCCA doing Formula Mazda for a few years. He took it out to the track one day in the summer in 2014 and I just fell in love with it right there just playing around, driving around having a blast.
It was kind of a unique start for me. I didn’t do go-karts or anything like that as a typical young driver would do.
PS: What’s been the most memorable moment of your racing career to date?
COLIN: I’d say there’s two that stand out. First race that I won in the SCCA. So in this series, my dad and I would do the spec ford series; that’s how I got my training racing around other cars. I did that series and when I got my first win in Michigan in 2017, that was pretty cool. All the time my dad spent teaching me on and off the track paid off. It was just really cool to win that first one.
Or I would have to say finishing fourth at Road America. In the first race, I was the highest of my teammates as far as qualifying. So to see that hard work pay off at the track, which is my favorite track, stuck out to me. It was cool to get that result.
PS: Who is your racing hero?
It’s hard to say. I’d think someone I aspire to me, rather than hero, would be a James Hinchcliffe. I really admire the way he is off track with the character he is, and obviously he is successful on track too.
PS: What would it mean to you to make your way up the Road to Indy ladder and race in the IndyCar Series one day?
That would be amazing. Just being in USF2000 for a season and a half has been amazing, more than I ever thought coming from playing baseball and hockey, any sport other than racing. To get this opportunity this summer with Pabst and actually have a really good shot at a championship and ultimately trying to find my way up to the IndyCar Series, I think to have that opportunity is amazing in itself.
If it was to happen, I’d be blown away. I couldn’t imagine what it’d be like. That’s something I’m working really hard to do.
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