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Mar 29, 2013 - 04:29 PM
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Kasey Kuhlman--A Driver And A Gentlemen
Posted by: newsla on Mar 29, 2013 - 04:26 PM
Sports Cars
Kasey Kuhlman--A Driver And A Gentlemen


While some look into the No. 15 Wright Motorsports

car and see a racecar driver, others see a savvy businessman. Like most other executives Kasey Kuhlman needs time to relax and unwind from the hectic day-to-day decisions that involve a corporate lifestyle. Kuhlman's version of a little R&R usually involves several miles of asphalt, a blazingly fast 911 GT3 Cup Car and fierce competition.

 

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"It's my version of going to the golf course," said the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama veteran. "The starting grid is my green and the green flag is my tee time."

Kuhlman has been around the race scene in one way or another since the early 2000's. After a trip to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2004 for a single day high performance class he found himself hooked on racing and living out a childhood dream.

The Cincinnati resident pursued his racing education at Skip Barber's two and three-day racing schools. Firmly hooked on speed and adrenalin as a form of relaxation, Kuhlman raced in the Skip Barber Regional Series for three years.

From the Skip Barber ranks, he set his aspirations toward learning the nuances of the Porsche GT3 Cup car and began to hone his race craft in several Porsche Club of America events.

Kuhlman's ever-growing respect for racing, and a tightly-knit friendship with John Wright has currently landed him in the "Wright" place at the right time, contending for the Masters Championship in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Series with Wright Motorsports.

Kuhlman readily admits that he is proud of what he has accomplished in his car. He measures his success through what he learns from season to season. While that means he's not wholly satisfied with himself as a driver, it also means he's still out there having fun.

"I tell this to (teammate) Madison Snow all the time, and he kind of gives me a look when I say it, but this is a vacation for me, this isn't my job training," said Kuhlman.

Contrary to popular belief his title at Wright Motorsports is nothing more than driver. It is what falls under that title's description that makes all the difference. Beyond all the fun he has driving, he acts as an interest-invested businessman.

Being a driver has given Kuhlman unique qualifications to understand and manage the business side of racing. He has the perspective to see drivers as customers and the advantage to know exactly how to care for those customers. In addition, he is marketing minded as well as business savvy and these skills led Kuhlman to approach his friend and team owner, John Wright, about helping make his team more efficient off the track.

Kuhlman is taking some of the question marks out of the business of racing. He understands that many competitors in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Series are funded gentlemen drivers who come from highly structured company cultures. According to Kuhlman, racing can seems like a "loose environment" to them. He has worked to bring more comfort to those drivers.

Kuhlman knows firsthand how important peace of mind is when racing is meant to be your hobby and not your headache, so he strives to continually improve the conditions of customer communication and clarity.

"John Wright has something he always likes to say and that's, "Nobody has to go racing," said Kuhlman. "When it gets down to it, when times get tough, the first things these guys are going to cut is their racing program."

When he hits the track for his "mini vacations," Kuhlman has nothing but respect for his team and peers, which drives him to improve, both as a businessman and a driver. His passion for the sport shows through every facet of his performance both on and off-track. He has used his passion for a hobby to accomplish what some would only hope to manage in their professional lives.

"I love being in the race car. I love being at the track and I really enjoy the people involved," said Kuhlman.

Catch Kasey Kuhlman's next race on May 9-11 at Rounds #3 and #4 on the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge schedule at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.


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