In this week’s interview, Speedway Media catches up with race car driver and motivational speaker, Julia Landauer. Landauer has competed in all kinds of racing series including the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West Series, specifically the west. She has also competed in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series in Canada and the NASCAR Euro Series (competing internationally).
During the interview, Landauer discusses her first race as a driver, the toughest track she’s competed on, and when her career is over how she hopes to be remembered.
SM: What was the very first race that you competed in as a race car driver? Was it everything you expected?
JL: “Ha! My first race in a race car was awful,” Landauer said. “I was 13 and it was in Skip Barber in October 2005, at Lime Rock Park in the rain. Lime Rock is hard in the dry and notoriously treacherous in the rain. I was pretty nervous and I did not thrive; the leader lapped me twice. But then, I won the championship the next year, so I figured it out. Perseverance is key.
SM: How calm are you during a race? Are you a driver that’s more fired up behind the wheel or do you take it easy until the halfway point?
JL: “My calmness depends on the race,” she said. “Races, where I’m in the lead and can just get in the zone and focus on hitting my marks with no one in front of me, are pretty calm. But if the car has a problem or we’re all really close or something, there are more variables to juggle and I can be more “fired up” as you say.”
SM: What’s the most exhilarating race you’ve ever been a part of? Any come to mind?
JL: “I’ve had a lot of exhilarating races,” Landauer said. “National go-kart races in WKA (World Karting Association) or Stars were really intense and things happen so quickly in go-karts, so they’re always fun. My first win at Motor Mile in 2015 was also pretty exhilarating, because although I was calm during the race, I felt so much pressure and hadn’t won in a couple of years, and then I won. It was amazing.”
SM: Which track has been the toughest track that you’ve driven on in your career so far? Why is that track so tough for you?
JL: “Honestly, I’ve had a really hard time at Sonoma,” she said. “I’m good at road courses in general and got my start in road courses, but for some reason, Sonoma hasn’t been good to me.”
SM: Speaking of racetracks. What track out there are you hoping to improve on?
JL: “My goal, whenever I go back to a track is to be better than I was before,” Landauer said. “But I guess Sonoma would be the obvious answer to that question.”
SM: Have you participated in any iRaces during your time off?
JL “I have not,” she said.
SM: Are you a driver that goes back to watch old races? If so, what races have you watched?
JL: “Definitely,” Landauer said. “I watch old races from any tracks I’m going to be racing at. I watched the entire K&N season from 2015 when I raced in 2016, I’ve been watching the EuroNASCAR series from last year in preparation for this year, etc. It helps me get a sense of where passing happens, how the races play out, and it helps familiarize myself with the track ahead of time, etc.”
SM: This pandemic has been a little crazy for everyone. Have you discovered any new hobbies during this down time of racing?
JL: “I’d say I’ve “rediscovered” hobbies,” she said. “I really like painting and have been doing watercoloring, I had an Instagram series called Because Racecar where I did mundane home stuff in my suit and helmet, I’ve been cooking and baking, reading, and getting creative with workouts and building strength at home with limited equipment.”
SM: If you could go without one social media app for a year, which app would you choose?
JL: “I’d give up Facebook,” Landauer said.
SM: If you were able to visit any planet in the solar system, what planet would you choose to visit?
JL: “Saturn,” she said.
SM: When your career is all over years from now, what do you want your retirement story to be?
JL: “I want to be remembered as a fierce competitor, great to work with, and driven.”
In Landauer’s career, she has a total of 28 starts in what was then called the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. During that series, she has eight top-fives and 20 top-10 finishes, with a best career finish of second in 2016 at Meridian. In the East Series, she scored one top-10 finish, finishing seventh at Bristol in 2017. Meanwhile, Landauer has earned a top-10 finish at Bowmanville in 2019, placing 10th.