Breaking News…Shaun White has officially decided to quit his illustrious snowboarding and skateboarding careers to pursue a career in Nascar!
Ok…that may be the furthest from the truth but as the honeymoon stage begins to wear off between Shaun and BFG (Benjamin Franklin Goodrich) the outcome of this eyebrow raising sponsorship is slowly taking shape. When the two sides announced a two-year partnership in January before Winter X Games, the initial intention was to put Shaun through their progressive drive program labeled “Learn how to Drive.”
BFG certainly has held up their part of the partnership, providing him with the opportunity to learn specific driving skills such as learning how to drive a stick on a stock mustang, drift in the “crazy swede” Samuel Hubinette’s 600 hp Viper, take hot laps at the famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey CA, and most recently complete rally school at the Old Mill Rally Park in Snoqualmie, Wash.
Thanks to BFG, Shaun has experienced what most race fans only dream of; the chance to become a competitive driver using resources that even the best racers in the world don’t have at their disposal. It’s been clear from the start, the objective for BFG has been to introduce Shaun to the different disciplines of racing and surround him with the best coaches and most capable cars while introducing their brand to a whole new audience, who may not know tires, but know Shaun White.
But the real question is, besides the luxury of yet another sponsor, what does Shaun White really want to get out of this whole driving experience?
“This has been my chance to really learn how to drive, experience all different types of cars, different terrains, and actually learn,” Shaun explained immediately after finishing up the rally portion of his training.
The ear-to-ear smile on his face suggested the possibility for something down the road with Shaun and rally car racing. Out of the three different driving experiences, rally is the discipline that felt most natural and exciting.”For my future in driving, competing in X Games would be the ultimate, I’m taking it step by step, but I would love to see myself compete in something like that.”
However he’s quick to point out that he has no plans of getting ahead of himself.
Shaun understands that you don’t become a professional at anything overnight, even if you have a sponsor like BFG backing you every step of the way. He knows more than anyone how much time and dedication it takes to excel at the highest level in just one sport, and now in Shaun’s case it’s competing at the highest level in multiple sports.
Lead instructor at Dirt Fish Rally School, Forest Duplessis had the task of instructing Shaun throughout the training, “You can see Shaun has a different level of focus and limitation than your average person driving rally for the first time but for Shaun to become a competitive rally driver it will take three things; money, since rally isn’t cheap, a large team such as BFG backing him, and more seat time behind the wheel.”
That’s the big question on everyone’s mind, does Shaun have enough time in his celebrity life to hit the track and develop his driving skills? We’ll just have to wait and see how the future of him competing at X Games plays out.
However all Shaun White fans should know, one thing’s for sure, don’t think for a second this is going to distract him from dominating his favorite sports, it’s only going to give him a renewed focus to push the limits to a new level,”the more I distract myself from my sports, the more I come back with a hunger to learn more and try new things.”