Amazingly enough, SCCA soloist Jeremy Foley walked away from a Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb accident that was so dramatic, everyone from the Today Show to Piers Morgan came calling.
Now that Foley is back in the Solo paddock this week at the 40th Tire Rack Solo National Championships, he’ll freely admit that Piers wasn’t the last one to ask him about the accident.
“Multiple times a day,” Foley laughed. “More so here, a lot of people I haven’t seen in weeks or months or even longer. It’s nice to have that type of support and know that you’ve impacted that many people that they care to even say hey. It’s a neat feeling.”
The 31-year-old Dallas resident is at Nationals this year following his best finish a year ago, a fourth-place trophy in B Street Prepared. In 2012, Foley is co-driving in the 51-car Street Touring R class with Mike McShane, of Desoto, Texas, in his Asset Management/Vorshlag Mazda MX-5.
It’s a solid ride, as McShane won the Tire Rack National Tour event this year in Colorado.
“Mike and I have known each other for several years now,” Foley said. “I’ve watched him develop his driving talent to a point where I think he can be pretty potent on the National scene now.”
After the first day of runs, Foley was sitting 12th in class, solidly in the trophies, and doing his job as tire warmer and leaving McShane in ninth.
“I think everybody wants to win, of course,” Foley said. “But having literally no seat time in this car my expectations were to just be somewhere mid pack and try to have fun, and more importantly support my co-driver and make sure he does well because I know he was capable of doing well.”
It’s a role Foley is comfortable with.
“I have ran with a co-driver since my first nationals in 2005,” Foley said. “It’s a team aspect. You always want to win and you definitely don’t want to get beat in your own car. But when the roles are reversed, you’re just there to help the other person do well and make sure the atmosphere is fun and friendly. Whether it’s a supportive word or just checking air pressures, you’re there to help each other along.”
And now that this season is ending, Foley is making his plans for next year – which includes both SCCA Solo and a return to Pike’s Peak.
“My plans are still up in the air,” he said. “What I’m looking forward to is solidifying those plans. We’ll definitely be back at Pike’s Peak next year in a new car, and working on securing sponsorship for that. I’m working on getting my Solo car back up to prep since it’s not quite ready yet, and enjoy some off season in the next couple of months.”
So while the Pike’s Peak accident is a part of Foley, and one he seems comfortable with, it’s not a moment that defines who he is.
“Immediately after the crash, we did a lot of interviewing up in New York and tried to get back to life as usual,” Foley said. “That’s taken a lot more time than I expected, being busy both professionally and personally. Now we’re up here just trying to forget about it all and trying to enjoy what we do, and that’s racing.”