Take those chances and you can achieve greatness, whereas if you go conservative, you'll never know. I truly believe what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Even if you fail, learning and moving on is sometimes the best thing.
I was very against pink and purple when I was young, because they were girls' colors. But that was only because I didn't want people to write me off for what I can do. When I got into my 20s, I decided that was stupid.
Indy, I have lots of great memories from there, and probably the part of me that doesn't feel quite as longing for it is that there is still a chance that I could do it again. It's not gone.
To be honest, when I'm home, every day is a Friday for me. It doesn't really matter what day it is for me. A lot of my friends actually have time off during the week, and so it doesn't prohibit me from enjoying myself when I am home on a Monday or a Tuesday.
I just go where my heart tells me, where my gut tells me to go, where I'm enjoying my life the most, where I feel like I can have the most success. I've truly enjoyed my experience in NASCAR, to the point that I want to do it full time.
The commitments, schedule and sponsor appearances don't change. It gets more busy, because you get more popular, and the more popular you are, it actually gets more busy. They're like, 'Yeah, let's use her, she's hot right now. Let's do a shoot!'
Sometimes it takes looking at the past to really be able to move forward and learn from it.
I think you can be happy and still be competitive. A good lesson for everybody is to think a bit before you speak and represent who you really are instead of the brash emotional you.
I've never been bashful to say that I'm not really interested in Formula One. When I lived in England, it's all I wanted to do and I thought that anything else would somehow be a compromise to my dreams. But then when I came back to the States, I realised how much I loved being back in the States.
On Memorial Day, I was out floating on Lake Norman and came across Denny Hamlin. We struck up a conversation, and one of the first things we were talking about was how much it helped him when he started racing the Cup car and how much it helped his Nationwide program.
I've never seen myself as a 'girl driver.' I'm just a driver.
We don't do things we aren't good at by nature. I wouldn't play basketball because I'm only 5' 1". Find what you enjoy - whether it's racing, flying a helicopter, being a doctor, or stitching clothes together. Once you've done that, you have the passion you need.
I'd love to do well on a big weekend with people watching and cheering, of course. But it's not fair to create an expectation level before I know what is realistic. I want to finish as well as possible. Is that top 20? Top 15? Top 25? You just have to play it by ear.
You know, sometimes the little victories that I have throughout the season are not necessarily obvious on the track. Maybe they're another aspect of what I'm doing, winning little victories here and there to get everything in line to be able to perform from top to bottom on race day.
Being nervous isn't always the worst thing for me.
I spent my whole childhood watching open-wheel racing. I spent years going to England and racing open wheel, coming back and racing open wheel. It's been my world for 20 years and beyond that. For almost my whole life, I've been watching it. I watch it and I think I know how to do it.
I know what it takes to be fast and I feel like every year I learn valuable lessons about how to be better the next time.
Since I started in Nascar, popularity has definitely gone up. I've become more attractive and helpful to companies that are looking for spokespersons. So from that perspective, things are going really well.
At the after-party of the Indy 500, I'm usually wearing jeans and a tank top.
In the Lamborghini I have to avoid certain roads because of pot holes, and there's nowhere to put my drink, no cup holder. And I'm not going to lie, it looks pretentious. I used to think it was cool to, like, drive it to dinner. Now? Like I really need to be looked at any more.
I've never asked for special treatment along the way. And I'm never going to hide the fact that I'm a girl, ever. That's obvious, isn't it?
I feel like, sometimes, people, because of the amount of media, because of the amount of attention, people seem to think I have to do things. Like, I have to win right now! But I don't feel like that.
I take none of that to heart. I don't feel like there's anything that I need to do for anybody else. I want to win bad enough for myself anyway, that nothing anybody can say can make me want to win any more.
You know, it's always good to have seen a track before, just to kind of know where the little bumps are here and there, and just the general feel for the size.