In His Own Words: Richard Antinucci
November 13, 2009 | 4:45 P.M. EST
As a kid, I used to watch Emerson Fittipaldi battling it out with Mario and Michael Andretti, Al Unser Jr. and Rick Mears. What great battles. Those were the days. Ever since then I've aspired to be either an IndyCar driver or a Formula One racer. In a nutshell, I aimed for the top.
There were times this year, especially early on, when I wondered if I'd ever get a break in the top-flight series. We were still in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and things were looking tougher than ever. I had no funding and was therefore at the back of team's priorities. These are still times where teams need sponsorship or funding of any type. So you can imagine how powerless I felt.
I actually thought for a while that I'd be sidelined all year. Then Greg Beck and Steve Sudler came into my life. I was at the Indy 500 as a spectator and Steve and Greg shouted my name. I turned around and had a talk. The rest is history. They gave me the biggest break of my career - five straight IndyCar races from Watkins Glen to Sonoma.
I hope and believe that our partnership will continue to grow into the 2010 season. With adequate funding, we'll soar up the grid. No doubt. I plan to cement myself in the IndyCar Series and fulfill some of my other lifetime goals. I want to be champion.
Looking forward to 2010.