By: Ashley McCubbin
Putting together an impressive season with three wins and 11 podium finishes, Sam Corry came up just one spot shy of winning the inaugural USF Juniors Championship. As he looks to move up to the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship with VRD Racing, he shared his thoughts with NEWS FROM THE PITS recently.
What are your thoughts looking back on the 2022 season?
We had a really good season this year for my first year being in a car. It was a very successful season for the team, winning the team championship, and second in the driver’s championship. So overall, it was a really good learning experience and season to carry on into USF2000.
What was your favorite moment of 2022?
Probably getting my first win at Mid-Ohio; that was pretty cool, and then Road America, locking up top-three in every race was really cool as well.
What do you feel that you and your team were missing towards the championship?
Obviously, it was my first year in a car so we were down in experience a little bit. But definitely some mistakes on my side – just through Mid-Ohio and a couple other races where I could’ve capitalized. But other than that, the team did really good this year and nothing we can complain about. Taking this year as a learning year and going into next year strong to go win a championship.
What track was your favorite of those on the schedule?
Probably Circuit of the Americas, just because it has everything. It has high speed, low speed, long straights, technical areas. That was probably my favorite track.
So what looks to be in the cards for 2023 as you mentioned USF2000?
Right now, we’re set to go run USF2000 next year and hopefully do well in that, but there’s definitely other opportunities out there to run some other cars and just get my feet wet in other things as well. But our main focus next year is USF2000 with VRD and see if we can get a championship.
What made you want to become a racecar driver?
I started when I was very young. I started when I was seven-years-old. I actually neighbors with Ricky Rudd who raced in NASCAR and he was really good. He and my dad were good friends and he got me into karting and my dad bought me my first kart when I was about six and I ran my first race when I was seven. Obviously, being in North Carolina, it’s NASCAR world, but I was invited two years ago in 2020 to test an F4 car at Homestead-Miami (Speedway). VRD invited me and test, and I really liked it right when I tried the open-wheel aspect of things. I’ve loved it ever since so that’s where I started and hope to continue.
So where do you see yourself in five years?
My goal is probably IndyCar. That’s at the top.
You’re obviously taken the open-wheel approach early in your career, but is there other cars you want to get behind the wheel of?
Anything I can drive, I would like to drive. If anyone comes to me and asks if I would like to test this car, of course. Anything I can drive, I would love to.
Who do you consider your racing hero?
That’s a difficult one. In IndyCar, it’d probably have to be Scott Dixon of course. But I really look back and see the Mario Andretti, Ayton Senna, and the older days of F1 and IndyCar and just really how cool those guys were – how bad to the bone they were and how they would put it on the line to win.
Being a fan of the sport, what has been your favorite race to attend?
So I’ve been to one F1 race, a few NASCAR races, and then obviously IndyCar. But we went to COTA in 2018 to watch Formula 1, which is really cool to be there and just with all the people there and surroundings. That was really cool. I met a lot of really good people. I got to meet some of the drivers. That was really cool for sure. And then I remember sitting in a Formula 4 car for the very first time there because VRD was racing there as a feeder series and thinking this is awesome. So being that I got to race there this year in that car, I never would’ve dreamed it but it was really cool.