Multi time shifter kart champion and Team Sahlen Grand-Am Rolex Mazda GT driver, Memo Gidley, was the guest speaker at the annual RLOKC awards banquet this past weekend honoring the 2010 Karting Champions in Northern, California. Gidley is known as a driver who has made a career out of overcoming his humble beginnings and every adversity that has ever come his way to get to where he is today in racing. He is also a multi time karting champion that rose to the top in three short years and established himself as one of the best shifter kart drivers in the country during the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
“It was a real honor to be asked to speak and to inspire the next generation of karters from my hometown area,” said Gidley. “I came from a background that was about as far away from car racing as possible and really only succeeded because I had the desire and the work ethic to do it. When I started my journey up the ranks, I was told by most everybody it was a waste of time because I had no family money or a famous name. Hearing that only motivated me even more to follow my dream and make it happen. I really enjoy being able to inspire anybody that has the same dream that I had in the sport that I love.”
Gidley spent the better part of thirty minutes talking about the steps he took to go from a fan to an Indy Car driver in seven years, and also talked about the key steps and qualities that any new driver should learn in regards to making themselves successful both on and off the track. Gidley also talked about some of the key things that are important to get and maintain sponsorship that is so important to a new driver’s career.
“To get started in racing is all about having people that want to help you achieve your goals because they believe in you and what you stand for,” said Gidley. “I was fortunate to have had this and continue to have this. Also, the cool thing also is that I now have a lot of really close friendships with people that started as personal sponsors. I have always considered myself to be lucky to be able to do what I love and will never take this for granted.”