I consider myself a mix of someone who goes with the flow and a planner. But in racing there is only so much planning a driver can do. Dynamics change quickly in the NASCAR world, and there is more happening now than ever before.
Being in the Right Position
I wish I could predict the future and plan accordingly. But no one knows for sure what will happen. The key to my future in this sport is being in the right position. With a handful of drivers close to retirement, and the Next-Gen car coming to the Cup Series in 2021, it will take the right combination of skill, timing, and a bit of luck to make it to the top.
Embracing the Unknown
When you work hard every day to prepare for the future, it’s stressful to face the unknown. Even if you’re used to going into the off-season without knowing the plan for next year, the off-season is short, seats fill up quickly and options become limited. But I still try to look on the bright side.
As drivers we never know what might fall into our lap if we’re in the right position. It’s comforting to think about how a team owner who’s been watching you, or a sponsor who wants to work with you might call tomorrow. And then you’re suddenly back in the seat for another season.
Finding a Good Balance
At the same time, it’s hard to stay focused and try to live in the present. Whether I’m traveling a lot, working with different sponsors, or making appearances at the track, I still have to keep 100% focus on driving my car each weekend. Balancing it all while trying to live in the moment, enjoy the process, and not worry too much about the future has been hard for me. It’s tempting to get sidetracked.
Having a Marquis hot tub to go home to and relax in definitely helps me reset each week. Hanging with some friends, spending time with my dog Bristol, it all helps me to recharge mentally before I have to do it all over again the next weekend.
Ultimately, it comes down to finding a good balance. That’s something I’ve had to learn as I’ve gotten older. Focus on the task at hand, be optimistic about the future, and never give up. Like the saying goes, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Ryan completed his 2019 racing obligations for JR Motorsports on October 19, 2019 at Kansas Speedway. What does 2020 have in store? Great question! Stay tuned by following our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In the meantime, watch Ryan’s full race of the Marquis No. 8 car at the Charlotte Roval.