To say that 26-year-old Lindsay Brewer is a born racer is likely a bit of an understatement. Her parents let her ride her first snowmobile when she was just 3. At 11, she raced a go-kart at a friend’s birthday party. From there, she was hooked.
Since then, Brewer has worked her way up the ranks of competitive racing, which isn’t to say that she hasn’t faced challenges along the way. In a recent chat with Erik Huberman of HawkeTalk she discussed the perils of entering a sport at an early age, being the only woman in what has historically been a male-dominated profession, and more.
TURNING A HOBBY INTO A CAREER, ONE STEP AT A TIME
Erik Huberman: What were your thoughts at 13, 14, 15 as you start to really step it up? Were you thinking that you were going to pursue it for the rest of your life?
Lindsay Brewer: I always knew that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I always felt super grateful that I had found my passion early on. It was unfortunate because, obviously, racing is a very expensive sport. My parents were no longer able to fund me when I was about 17. They told me that it was getting too expensive, and I need to find sponsorships.
Huberman: What is the cost of that level?
Brewer: The USF2000 level was about, at that time, $300,000 per year. It was just something that they weren’t able to do. So I took three or four years off from racing. I went to college. I got a business degree. I learned a lot about myself, business, personal skills.
Once I graduated, I was able to get back in a car again. But I felt like I kind of had to start at the lower levels of the sport still. I’m playing a little bit of catch up, but everyone’s journey is different in racing. I’m grateful for the journey I’m on.
JUST BECAUSE YOU LOVE SOMETHING DOESN’T MEAN IT’S YOUR PASSION
After gaining some strong momentum and finally feeling like she’d secured a seat in competitive racing, the COVID-19 pandemic brought all the progress she’d gained to a standstill in early 2020. It was then that she was at a turning point: She could pivot and do something she loved, but to do so she would have to give up on something she was truly passionate about.
Huberman: What did you do during 2020?
Brewer: I didn’t have the budget to practice or anything. I really didn’t know if I would race again. I was in a really weird period of my life. I was actually studying for my real estate license, because that’s something I’d always loved. If I wasn’t racing, I would probably be in real estate.
But then I realized, “No. I need to be putting all my energy into doing my passion.” I stopped with the real estate. So I really put all my passion into continuing to build my social media brand, and hopefully that would help secure sponsorship, which it did. That’s when Clubhouse happened, and they were able to sponsor me for 2021.
WHY SPONSORSHIP MATTERS TO WOMEN IN A MALE-DOMINATED PROFESSION
Brewer has become known for her strong social media following. While this has garnered criticism over the last few years, it is something that she finds necessary as a woman in a male-driven field.
Huberman: Do you continue to build out the influencer side of your career? Is that helping with the sponsorship side at all?
Brewer: [The reason] why I have sponsorship is because it’s a double-edged sword being a woman. Obviously I don’t get taken seriously, especially being blonde, having fake nails, being an Instagram influencer girl. Sometimes people don’t take me seriously in the racing world.
But again, this is how I’m able to race. So if I’m making a tick mark at the racetrack, you guys can judge me all you want, but this is how I’m sitting in the car and being able to race and doing what I love.
Huberman: Everybody wants to hate.
Brewer: Hating on me while I’m going to drive this badass race car, so it is what it is.
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT
Brewer is looking forward to continuing to build upon the success that she has been able to achieve up to this point.
Huberman: So what’s next? I know you’re going to be racing again, but what’s the goal? Do you want to get into F1?
Brewer: I mean, of course! F1 is the pinnacle of racing, so I think any driver would want to get into Formula 1. But you need a certain amount of Super License points, and you need to be racing over in Europe for that.
Right now, my sights are set on IndyCar and racing the Indy 500. That’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing. Right now, I’m in an IndyCar Feeder Series. So I’m going to keep working my way up. I’m hoping to do Indy Lights [Indy NXT] by 2024. Then, fingers crossed, hopefully IndyCar by 2025. That would be the goal.