Shea Holbrook’s transition from driver to driver and team co-owner came with a big dose of big picture.
In 2013 Shea Racing has expanded from just Shea Holbrook and her family-run team to a three-car effort with the addition of Jon Miller of Orlando, Florida, and P.J. Groenke of Toronto, Canada.
The team will continue to compete in Pirelli World Challenge, with Miller driving in the Touring Car (TC) category and Holbrook and Groenke driving in the Touring Car B-Spec (TCB) category. The move to add two drivers to the team required Holbrook to turn over her Honda Civic TC car to Miller. Holbrook and Groenke will drive slightly modified Honda Fits in the TCB class.
The decision to move herself down a class to give fully sponsored Miller the Civic was Holbrook’s Business Owner 101 moment wherein she expanded her viewpoint to include the bigger picture.
“It was a business decision to help advance the growth of the team. I took step back in class — but I don’t think it’s a step back in my career — to hopefully next year take two or three steps forward,” Holbrook said. “I was really looking at the bigger picture. I don’t come from a wealthy background; I don’t even come from a motorsport background. The way I look at is, if I can have a business in an industry I am in love with that will always keep me in my passion.”
At age 23 Holbrook hopes to still have many years ahead of her as a driver. Right now getting the team off the ground is the main concern.
“I really admire (former IndyCar driver and current IndyCar owner) Sarah Fisher’s model of going through the ranks, driving for all those years and deciding she was going to stop driving and move her career aspirations more to the team ownership role and she is doing phenomenal job at it. I would really like to, in my own way, mimic what she has done,” Holbrook said.
Moving from one to three cars and adding two new drivers makes life a lot more complicated, Holbrook said. “I’m used to just dealing with myself. Now I’m dealing with two other drivers. The intensity level on everything went up. It’s not just about me and my family anymore. There are times where I have to say I can’t put myself first in this situation, I have to make sure Jon and PJ are being taken care of.”
This weekend Holbrook gets on track at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), where she qualified Friday and will race today at tomorrow.
“It’s awesome,” she said. “Think of any picturesque race track in North America and quadruple that. That’s what COTA is. TV doesn’t do it justice. Turn 1 on TV definitely doesn’t do it justice. During our track walk we we’re walking into turn one and we’re like, wow, this is steep. It’s a flowing this big ribbon of red white of blue. It’s gorgeous.”
All three Shea Racing cars will be on the track at the same time this weekend for races Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and Sunday at 8:15 a.m. (times Central). Links to timing and scoring here, or watch online video coverage of the event here. For more about Woman of pressdog® Shea Holbrook, go here or visit her site, www.shearacing.com.