Julia Landauer is a 2-time championship winning NASCAR driver from New York City. Starting when she was 10 years old, Julia has amassed dozens of wins in many different racing series. After becoming the first woman to win a NASCAR Track Championship in her division in 2015, Julia graduated to the televised NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in 2016, where she finished 4th in the series championship, becoming the highest finishing female in the series’ 62-year history. Julia is currently competing in her second season in the K&N Pro Series West.
In January of 2017, Julia was selected as an honoree for the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the sports category. Julia is also the only female member of the highly selective NASCAR Next class of 2016-2017.
In 2014 Julia graduated from Stanford University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Science, Technology, and Society. She has since purposefully built her brand where technology, community and racing intersect and fuse. While in college, Julia competed on the CBS show SURVIVOR and started her motivational speaking career. Her activities on and off the track have been recognised by many publications, including The New York Times, ESPN, Inc., NBC Sports, and many more.
Now settled in North Carolina, Julia is climbing the NASCAR ladder and uses her racing platform to continue advocating for STEM education and women’s empowerment.
How does your day start and how does it finish?
My day starts with making coffee and going through my list of what needs to be accomplished that day. Then I make breakfast and read through the various newsletters I get to stay up-to-date on current events, especially as it pertains to racing and to women.
My day typically ends with dinner (I eat consistently throughout the day so dinner ends up being on the late side) and talking with my boyfriend. I do love a good movie too, it helps me escape and give my brain a rest.
What has been the high light of your career with NASCAR so far?
Winning a NASCAR Track Championship in 2015 has been the highlight of my NASCAR career thus far. A championship shows that all of your hard work, obstacles, and successes were the best they could be. It also helps gain attention and momentum to further my career.
What is on the horizon for 2017?
In 2017 I will be racing in my second year of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, with races televised on NBCSN. I will be with a new team, Bob Bruncati’s Sunrise Ford Racing Team, so I’m looking forward to building on my momentum from last year. I will also continue to develop my brand, give motivational talks, and we have some cool media spots that will be developing over the year.
Where would you like to see yourself in the next 5 years?
In five years I’d like to be racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It will involve a fast learning track, but I’m confident that with the right partners and teams I will be able to succeed and climb up to that level. I would also like to see my Julia Landauer brand continue to grow across many channels, contribute to meaningful STEM education initiatives, and help bring the joy of racing to more fans.
Congratulations on being selected as an honoree for the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the sports category, what would you say has been the hardest challenge you have had to overcome?
Thank you! The hardest challenge I’ve had to overcome is funding. Auto racing is an extremely expensive sport, and a driver’s success is largely determined by whether or not they’re able to secure funding from partners to advance. Talent is also important, and winning drives many decisions, but at the end of the day a driver needs to attract business as well. I always view racers as start-ups, and if a racer doesn’t have the personal funding to advance, they need to make the case for why others should invest.
We noticed your activities on and off the track have been recognised by many publications, including The New York Times, ESPN, Inc. and NBC sports. Can you tell us how it feels to be recognised for your work?
I’m a very internally driven individual, which is what allows me to do what I do, and I love that. That being said, it’s certainly rewarding to be recognized for what I’m doing. I’ve been working my butt off in racing for 15 years and have been actively building my brand for over 6, so the hustle is nothing new. It’s also satisfying to know that my story is getting out there and motivating others.
As you graduated from Stanford University in 2014, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Science, Technology, and Society, how do you wish to apply that into racing?
Being more technically literate has helped my communication with my crew chiefs and with understanding the dynamics of the race-car. I will also continue to authentically advocate for STEM education in ways that seem appropriate and where I can have the most impact. There are also so many opportunities for technical development within the sport, so who knows what else may happen!
You are also the only female member of the highly selective NASCAR Next class of 2016-2017, how difficult is it do you think too is to get your foot in the door?
It’s very difficult to stand out when there are thousands of racers who want to make it to the top. By being my authentic self, showing my work ethic, and providing value, I’ve found that people pay attention and that’s what I’ll continue to do.
You are currently advocating for STEM education and women’s empowerment, can you talk us through it how important is it for you to give back to the community?
I am very lucky that I have been encouraged to do what I love, been given the tools and resources to go after my dreams, and have the support of my family and friends. With that privilege, I view it as my duty to give back to others so that they can thrive and our society as a whole can benefit. Communities are the richest when every member is an active participant.
Finally, what is your number one rule when it comes to perfecting your craft?
Besides racing a lot, which helps perfect my craft, my number one rule is to keep moving. Once a race is done, good or bad, move on to preparing for the next race. If one plan falls through, figure out another plan. Being stagnant is the worst thing when it comes to building my craft.
Images credited to Getty Images
Twitter: @julialandauer | Instagram: @julialandauer
Facebook: facebook.com/julialandauerracing (the page is called Julia Landauer)