In His Own Words: Scarallo's New Driver Blog
My name is Jonathan Scarallo. Every month or so I will be doing a blog, to help people see what it is like competing in the F2000 Championship Series as a rookie. I am moving up from the Bertil Roos F2000 Series. I will be covering different aspects of my life this year; what its like being a high school student racing in pro series, following my older brothers foot-steps, and trying to live a normal teenage life on Long Island.
I go to Smithtown Christian School. I have been there since kindergarten and all things considered, it’s a great place. The teachers there are great and work with me, not against me when I go away racing. A good portion of them were teaching at that school when my brother was still in high school, so they know what to expect from me. Outside of that I am really just an ordinary teenager. I like to hang out with my friends, go to youth group, and I even get to play the drums at a church here on Long Island in Amityville. There is just one thing different from me, and the other kids in my school, and that is the passion and desire to make my dreams a reality of becoming a professional race car driver.
Literally as far back as I can remember, I have memories of traveling the country to watch my older brother Joey race. He raced in the U.S F-2000 series back in 1996-1998, with K&N in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2002, and Trans-Am from 02-05. He nearly won the championship in 05, but due to Trans-Am going away, he didn’t get another shot at it. He made the switch back to open wheel cars in 07 in Indy Lights, but then switched back to sports cars to race in the SPEED World Challenge GT Series in 08, and will be back there in 09. So, racing has been in my blood since I was born, and there was no way I wasn’t going to have my crack at this sport as well. I can remember getting one of those typical questions from my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Shrek saying; “Jonny, what do you want to be when you grow up?” Even then, my answer was “a race car driver”; nothing much has changed since then.
While I was never able to spend to much time in go-karts (just a handful of races) I did spend the last two years in the Bertil Roos Racing School, and Race Series. Let me say this right now to everybody that is reading this; anybody looking to get into a racing school or race series the Bertil Roos School and Series is the best place to start. Dennis Macchio runs a great program there and I am looking forward to taking all the training they have given me to the pro series. In 2007 I competed in the Race Series, winning 4 out of the 16 races, and on the podium 8 out of the 16 races. I finished fourth in the overall championship and I was the Rookie of the Year. In 2008 I won 8 out of the 16 races, and on the podium 15 of the 16 races, and won the championship. Thanks to everybody that ran in that series, because there really was some stiff competition.
This winter I have been so excited to get the race season started. I really have no idea what to expect going into this year. Hopefully it will not take very long for me and my engineer to start to click. When VIR comes around I really don’t know where I will qualify. I have had great success in everything that I have raced in so far, but this is pro racing and the competition is a lot deeper than anything I have raced in before. My Father is my mental coach and has been preaching to me to not worry about anyone else. But to concentrate on myself and everything else will fall into place. With it being such a challenge, it makes it so exciting for me and I can’t wait for it to start! The big thing this year is to learn as much as I can. I really just want to be a sponge soaking up as much information and knowledge as possible. Whether it’s from the engineering/mechanical side of the car or the driving side.
When I lay in bed at night, and close my eyes do I visualize hoisting up the trophy above my head and winning the championship? Of course I do, but I have to be realistic. “Dream the dream” my Father tells me. “But don’t get caught up in the dream” he also says. “Keep learning your craft every week, and everything will fall in place.” It’s going to be an exciting year, stay tuned we’ll see how it unfolds. All the good, all the bad, and all the ugly. I won’t jelly coat anything!