Pelfrey Pilot Profile: Dexter Czuba
When did you first start driving, and what made you want to start?
"I started kart racing at 7 and car racing at 15. I started karting because since I was 3, I was interested in racing, and I wanted to experience it in real life. I started car racing because I wanted to follow some of my karting friends into the "big leagues" as it were, and because I still wanted to peruse my dream of becoming a professional racer."
How has Team Pelfrey's structure improved your on track performance?
"The structure of Team Pelfrey is very organized and analytical, and this has helped improve my on track performance because I tend to be a very analytical person, and through doing this I can focus more easily on what I need to improve on or what strategy I need to employ."
How do you balance school and racing?
"I tend to schedule the races I do around the vacations or weekends of my school year, as college is my number one priority right now. Even when I have to miss school to go racing, I work with my professors to get any notes I need or do any homework that will be assigned during that time before hand."
What sets Team Pelfrey apart from other teams?
"There is a greater work ethic and hospitality present at Team Pelfrey than I have seen at any team I have worked with before, both in karts and cars. This makes it easier for me to communicate with my teammates and crew as I feel like an integral part of the team, and it gives me confidence that what improvements were are making to both me and the car are the right ones."
What are your hobbies outside of racing?
"Outside of racing, I am currently busy with college, as I am attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute in order to get a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Outside of that, I also enjoy playing tennis, skiing, and, like many other guys my age, play video games."
What advise would you give someone interested in pursuing a career in racing?
"I would advise anyone who wants to start racing to first spend a lot of time practicing on driving simulators like iRacing using a wheel and pedal setup in order to understand how to control a racecar and to learn how to learn how to analyze tracks and improve your speed on them."
What is the most memorable moment in your racing career?
"The most memorable moment of my car racing career was when I got my first FRP podium (2nd place) last year at Watkins Glen. The most memorable moment of my kart racing career was in 2014 when I won a 150 mile endurance race at X1 Outdoors."
What is the biggest challenge that you have had to overcome going from karts to cars?
"Two challenges I had to face when transitioning from karts to cars was the greater weight of the car and the fact that the car required me to change gears. While I got used to changing gears pretty quickly, the greater weight was a bit more challenging to overcome, as at first it felt less like I was a part of the car, like what I felt in karts, and more like I was a passenger trying to control it. Overtime however, I have managed to get used to it, and now a feel like a part of the car again."
What is going on in your mind when you are racing at speeds of 130+ mph?
"I have a mantra that I like to repeat in my head when I am racing; this mantra is basically me going through everything I've learned an continuously applying it to the situation I am in, like how to get through certain corners or how to pass a specific driver."
What is the most daring thing that you've done outside of racing?
"Outside of racing, skiing is the most daring thing I have done. I have raced down ski slopes, skied down trails with moguls, and even done some tricks over ski jumps."
Is there a current or past driver that inspires you?
"When I was young, I was inspired by Fernando Alonso (F1) and Jeff Gordon (NASCAR) as they were my favorite drivers and at the time, I wanted to grow up to be like them. Nowadays, I am inspired by drivers who have a smooth and steady driving style, like me; two of these drivers are Jenson Button (F1) and Andrea Dovizioso (MotoGP)."
What sports do you follow outside of racing?
"Outside of the many forms of racing I follow, I follow American football and hockey."