Graham Rahal in for a pit stop 2018 Indy 500
Cover photo by Andrea Mead Cross on location with Pro Tennis player, Bethanie Mattek-Sands in Miami.
side orders The Tech guy HIGH TECH SPORTS
Garmin Senior Industrial Designer, Camille J. Jean creates absolutely beautiful watch designs made for active and sport lifestyles!
right brain FIT DESIGN
Nike Footwear Lead Designer, Ashley Comeaux gives us an idea what it’s like to design for the world’s largest supplier and manufacture of athletic shoes.
FIRST DRAFT BOOK REVIEW
Photographer Andrea Mead Cross takes an up close and personal look at world-class athletes outside the arena in her most recent book, Sports Souls.
The Sound MUSIC
Listen to your World and find out what they’re listening to!
behind the scenes SPORTS SPOTLIGHT
Check out this year’s 102nd Indianapolis 500! It’s UNPLUGGED and it’s a rush.
NowVIZ sports + beyond is a hip online visual magazine that evolved because we wanted a place to showcase all things sport. We’re committed to presenting exceptional work in design + photography. The usual rules don’t apply. Enjoy!
Follow us on
Andrea Mead Cross, a former world-class athlete, has traveled across the globe competing on US teams as a competitive swimmer and in the triathlon. Sponsored by top companies in the industry, she ranked among the top 10 in the world. Transitioning from sports into the corporate world, she started her own design business, working with many national and international clients, including Parade, Huffington Post, ESPN, and HSBC while teaching Visual Communications as an adjunct professor for both Florida International University and Miami Dade College. Photography soon became Andrea’s passion, which she turned into a thriving career photographing some of the best athletes on the globe. Her work has been featured in Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, Outside Magazine, Fitness, and MORE, in addition to Oprah Winfrey’s, “Super Soul Sunday” and ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer. Andrea recently released a collection of her photographs entitled, Sports Souls the book, featuring over 25 world-class athletes, available on Amazon.
NowVIZ sports + beyond
Photographer Andrea Mead Cross at the 2018 Indy 500
Best known for his insights on women’s ice hockey, Mark Staffieri is based in Canada’s capital region and has reported on events such as the Clarkson Cup and the Women’s World Football Games. With works included on Bleacher Report, along with features for Hockey Canada during its coverage of the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championships, Mark has also covered WWCFL football. Among a group of writers that recently voted for the inaugural NWHL Awards, Mark is currently a regular contributor to Women’s Hockey Life and Women Talk Sports. Mark Staffieri, Writer
Kelley Kwiatkowski, Producer and Designer Kelley Kwiatkowski, Producer + Designer
Kelley Kwiatkowski has always had sports in her blood as part of a family who lived and breathed them. Growing up with a father and uncles who played or coached professional football, sports filled her existence. Following in the family tradition, she became a professional triathlete and for over a decade was one of the best, competing for the USA worldwide on national teams, world teams, and the Pan Am team. Seeking new challenges as her athletic career came to a close, Kelley began working in NYC at one of the top firms in the country using her background in industrial design to design products for companies such as, American Airlines, AT&T, and Polaroid. Eventually, she started her own business relocating to South Florida, where she worked with Disney and Warner Brothers, while also teaching both undergraduate and graduate students at Florida International University. For the last ten years, she has been collaborating with Andrea Mead Cross, producing projects and designing all media content. Her most recent design work can be seen in Sports Souls the book, by Andrea Mead Cross and in this issue of NowVIZ sports + beyond!
Having displayed proficiency on the race track from a young age,
Graham Rahal has evolved from a racing prodigy into a full-fledged superstar. Racing this season in the #15 United Rentals Indy car, he continues to proudly build on the legacy of his legendary father, 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal. And like father, like son, the younger Rahal drives with extraordinary confidence and unrelenting composure, while compiling his own equally impressive group of achievements. Winning the Formula Atlantic class at the tender age of 16, Rahal would impress in the Champ Car Series during 2007, becoming the youngest podium finisher in series history and attaining a second place finish in just his third race. The transition into the IndyCar ranks would prove to be a seamless one for Rahal. Debuting at the 2008 Honda Grand Prix of St.Petersburg, a 19-year old Rahal demonstrated sophiscated poise and wisdom of competitors twice his age. Emerging victorious in his first-ever race, it marked a rare milestone in racing, akin to a baseball player hitting a home run in his first at-bat or a hockey player scoring a goal on his first shift. Adding luster to this achievement was the fact that he defeated two-time defending champion Helio Castroneves. Coincidentally, St. Petersburg would play another pivotal role in his career. At the 2009 edition of the race, he captured the pole position, becoming the youngest in IndyCar to do so. In addition, Rahal would begin this 2018 season with a second place finish, his best finish at St. Pete track this decade. While 2009 was a year filled with six finishes in the top 10, including seventh place in St. Petersburg, and a pair of spots on the podium, this promising superstar displayed maturity in the year to follow, paying his dues in the sport. Taking to the track in 17 races with four different teams in 2010, including an appearance in the Indianapolis 500 with the Rahal Letterman team (owned by his father Bobby and TV talk show legend David Letterman), his season would end on a strong note. Appearing in seven races with Newman/Haas racing, he enjoyed five top-10 finishes, highlighted by a fifth place finish in Toronto, his best of the season. Undoubtedly, Toronto holds a strong connection for his father. Not only did Bobby Rahal win the first IndyCar race contested in Toronto (back in 1986), the last pole position of his distinguished career would also take place in Toronto, achieving the feat in 1992.
Race day at the 2018 Indianapolis 500
Although father and son would reunite professionally in 2013, as Graham earned a full-time spot with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the impact of family would take on a more profound role. Marrying Courtney Force, marked the unification of two of racing’s premier families. Becoming a brand name in Funny Car racing, the Force family, headlined by patriarch John Force, a 16-time NHRA national champion, would include a second generation of star racers, as daughters Ashley, Brittany, and Courtney followed in his footsteps, each making their own mark. As a side note, Courtney would become the first female driver to win 100 NHRA races. Certainly, the feeling of family and unity is one that has also followed Rahal off the track too. With the admirable Graham Rahal Foundation, the raison d’etre is to support worthy causes such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a national childhood cancer foundation, SeriousFun Children’s Network, geared towards helping children with medical conditions, and most recent Turn for Troops, a program supporting veterans across the country. For Rahal, this venture is both a labor of love and a chance to tap into his racing roots. Famed actor and philanthropist Paul Newman w a s pa rt ow ner of the fir st te a m (Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing) Graham raced for in the IndyCar series. Finding inspiration in Newman’s benevolent efforts, Rahal has not only sought to continue his legacy of giving, it has established him as a sporting humanitarian, looking to providing others the chance to overcome their personal obstacles and experience the thrill of a victory lap. Graham Rahal, ready for the 2018 Indianapolis 500.
NowVIZ: What motivates and inspires you to keep getting behind the wheel? What motivates me is the competition. I love competing in anything I do in life whether it’s racing, business, or etc. I’m just a competitive natured guy and it drives me to want to be better. What inspires me is my family and my wife. Particularly my wife, I want to make her proud. I try to make them both happy and to give them something to cheer about. NowVIZ: As an athlete there is always that under lying pressure to win. When do you feel it most and how do you deal with the challenges? There is always pressure, but frankly I don’t concentrate on it too much. The most pressure I feel is the pressure I put on myself to succeed. I’m most disappointed when I don’t succeed; it’s just the worst feeling. But overall I’m pretty good at blocking out the expectations and focusing on the job ahead. NowVIZ: Can you tell us a defining moment in your career that has been intricle to your success? An important moment in my career was last year winning both races in Detroit. Sweeping that doubleheader definitely stands out! But personally the moment that means the most was 2015 winning at Mid-Ohio. It’s my home track and it was a dream come true! NowVIZ: Many top athletes have a mentor that helps navigate them through tough situation whatever it may be. Is there someone throughout your career that has been that guiding force? Someone who has guided me throughout my career is my dad. He was so successful in open-wheel racing, sports cars, and everything else. And I’ve also been very fortunate in the past to have had some good teammates help me, but it’s certainly been my dad who continues to influence me. NowVIZ: The Indy 500 is one of the most watched races in the world! Give us an idea of what this particular race means to you and what’s your race game plan this year?! The Indy 500 is the one we want to win. If you look at my dad’s career, it’s a race he won in 1986. And it’s more than just a race, people live for the Indy 500! It’s a lifestyle, it’s a big event, and it’s been a tradition in many families for decades. People tell me their families have attended the last 70 year’s plus! We definitely want to win the damn thing! lol! We’ve been awfully close in the past and we’re motivated and focused on being the first father and son combination to do it since the Unser’s in 92’.
Quote St. Pete IndyCar Series opener 2018
NowVIZ: Each team’s pit crew is an essential part of any driver’s success. What is it about your current crew that helps you to race your best? My crew is a great group of people, they’ve worked extremely hard over the last couple of years and we’re a very tight knit group. We all push and motivate each other to go out and do our best. Without a doubt I’m fortunate to have these guys and even though the main focus is always on the drivers, it’s definitely a team sport and my crew makes it all happen.
NowVIZ: Racing is definitely all in the Rahal family! Your dad Bobby Rahal former Indy driver now team owner and your wife top drag racer Courtney Force, daughter of the 16-time Funny Car season champion John Force! Can you give us an idea of what it’s like when the two families get together?! It’s a lot of fun! Unfortunately we don’t get the two families together very often. My family is spread out all over the country. One of my sister’s is in Pittsburgh near our family’s dealerships, my little sister is in Houston, and my brother and mother are in Indianapolis. Then my dad and the rest of the family are in Chicago. The Force’s on the other hand are all in Southern California and we certainly spend a lot of time with them, but to get the two families together is always a huge challenge and lately we haven’t been able to do that. But we do try as often as we can!
NowVIZ: We’re just curious—when you and Courtney head out for an evening who grabs for the keys?! It’s always me! lol! Courtney is a great driver, but she’s a great passenger too! She’s just gotten used to the fact that I grab the keys and that’s how we go!
NowVIZ: What’s you’re passion off the track? I’m a car guy and a gear head; I just love motorcycles and cars. I have a performance facility where we work on cars, modify them, and produce performance products. Other than that, you’ll find me playing golf. But truthfully cars really encompass my entire life!
NowVIZ: You started the Graham Rahal Foundation in 2009, can you tell us about it and why you started it? In 2008, I was racing for Paul Newman (Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing) and later began my Foundation in 2009 to continue his legacy. In the past, we focused on children’s charities and children’s cancer groups. But most recent we’re spreading our message for Turns for Troops, a military initiative we partner with United Rentals. We also work with One Cure, another great partner, helping them spread the word about a cancer link between our “four-legged” family members and our human family, as well as, help any funding opportunities to fight cancer. I also started my annual charity golf tournament in 2012. This has all been a huge, huge focus of mine!
hanks Graham! Good Luck this season!
the tech guy
High Tech Sport
Designer Camille J. Jean
+ AGE: 32 COMPANY: GARMIN TITLE: SENIOR INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER
NowVIZ: As a product designer what key elements of design enhance a technical product such as a heart rate monitor? Designing the best product is the focus of any designer. So when designing a wearable product, such as a heart rate monitor, it’s important to make sure it’s comfortable to wear, as well as, look great! At Garmin, we make cool products.
NowVIZ: What challenges do you encounter when you design products that center around technology? And how then do you go about solving those issues? We face challenges all the time, but as an industrial designer at a technological company, part of my job is to face those challenges head on and find a solution. We have a great team of engineers and designers who help lessen and/or find resolutions to those problems before they arrive on my desk. A typical problem we solve is form vs function. We work hard to implement style without sacrificing the functions that are important. We adapt to the challenges; we don’t overlook them.
NowVIZ: You’re into a healthy lifestyle and working out! Does this give you any additional insight when designing products for fitness/sport? My healthy lifestyle and workout regime truly help me to see “through the lens” of the user. And since I am apart of that active environment, I believe I’m a true example of what a Garmin consumer would be! I understand peak performance and how important it is to achieve your goals. It’s all about beating the clock and the crushing the results we did yesterday!
NowVIZ: What is your favorite part of the design process and why? So. Like a burrito, you can’t just like the salsa or just like the steak, together they make a great burrito...lol! (I just ate Chipotle!) With the design process, it’s the same way, each phase together produces one great product. First, in the sketching phase, you get to visually articulate endless possibilities. It’s part of the foundation to achieving a great resolution. Next is the 3-D modeling phase, which is just as challenging, because you’re taking the 2-D ideas(sketches) and building them into a form you can hold. And in the final phase you create a 3D rendering in the computer. It’s essentially a photorealistic image of the final product and it’s definitely the “WOW factor” of the process! It’s so cool--I still get blown away!
NowVIZ: How do you stay inspired and creative on a daily basis? I continually expand my palate and approach design out of my comfort zone. I get inspired by graphics, interior design, cars, furniture, jewelry design, photography, graffiti, fashion, nature, music, movies and so much more. Staying curious helps me see the beauty in everything and always keeps me fresh!
Camille J. Jean generates his ideas into sketches.
NowVIZ: Is there a particular project to date that has become an important addition to your portfolio? Descent Mk1, is a premium dive watch/computer by Garmin, it’s the most important addition to my portfolio thus far. It bonds my classic analog watch experience to the smartwatch market. The fact that it is a true utilitarian watch that divers use is awesome. I’m proud of the success it has on the market.
NowVIZ: Do you incorporate high tech materials into your designs? If so, what type of materials and why? We do. For example, the Descent Mk1 watch has a titanium bezel version with a brushed DLC titanium bracelet. Titanium helps the watch to be lightweight, while the DLC makes it scratch resistant. We’ve also added a sapphire crystal to avoid scratches on the screen.
NowVIZ: You’re also an Adjunct Teacher at the University of Kansas! What design philosophy and message do you practice with your students? The guidance of a teacher is important to a student’s future. I learned so much from my high school industrial design teacher, Ms. K. She gave me the tools and guidance I needed to make a significant impact in this industry. One of the things I preach to my freshmen at KU is: “Don’t waste my time or your time,” which is basically saying, be passionate about what you do. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to make it in this industry and going to school just to get by is far too expense. So my ultimate message is, “hard work is an investment that rewards you in the future.”
NowVIZ: When you’re not designing what is your passion? I live life to the fullest, while dreaming big! I put God first in everything I do; because of his grace, I’m here today. Staying healthy and active is part of my lifestyle. Since heart disease runs in my family, I’m running in the opposite direction and immersing myself in CrossFit, boxing, weight lifting, and eating healthy. My creative outlet right now is photography, seeing the beauty of life through the lens. Being the best me is my passion!
Awesome work Camille!
Pro tennis player
Bethanie Mattek-Sands is back on the ATP Tour after a very public ligament injury to her right leg at last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2017 Wimbledon. And after close to nine months of rehab, she returned to the court in March at the Indian Wells, BNP Paribus Open. We recently caught up with her to get an update!
Make up + Hair, Shirley St. Fort Mattek-Sands in the Miami Design District
Thanks! It’s great to be back on the court competing again. The knee is feeling good and every week I still feel it improvementing as I go. As physical as the rehab and training process has been, it’s been even more of a mental journey. Building that trust in your movement again is just as crucial as strengthening the quads, hamstrings, and other supporting muscles. Competing always has been my favorite part of tennis, so it feels amazing to be back playing tournaments.
NowVIZ: Welcome back! We’re sure you’re happy to be back on Tour! Would you give us an update on how you’re feeling and what it’s like to be back in the game!
NowVIZ: How did this particular injury effect you both physically and psychologically? And what inspired you to get through the recovery process? First, I made the choice that I wasn’t going to feel upset or bad for myself and that I was going to listen to my body and not push my knee beyond what I could do. I couldn’t change what happened, so in the meantime I had to find other things in my life that I enjoyed and could focus on. Secondly, I have a REALLY great team! My doctors, trainers, and therapists are the best at what they do and I enjoyed spending time with them on my rehab journey. It was important to appreciate as many things about the process as possible, including spending time with the people I worked with. And lastly, my FANS!!! I had SO many encouraging and inspiring notes all over social media! All the positivity meant so much to me!
I wouldn’t say there is anything completely new. It’s always been essential that I implement the best training methods to enhance performance and recovery. But I think the biggest challenges I’ve had to face with this particular injury have been on the mental side. This injury was different from ones in the past and I had to keep in check mentally throughout the healing process for it to be successful.
Photo Credit: Justin Sands
NowVIZ: Is there anything new that’s been added or revised in your training schedule that not only helped you recover, but will continue to enhance you’re overall game?
Behind the scenes in the Miami Design District.
NowVIZ: What are some of the challenges youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had to face returning to competition? The challenge has been to continue the same daily mindset I had during my injury, one step at a time. Because now that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve started competing again, it can be very easy to compare to my past performances. So to continue that mindset, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important that I begin each day fresh!
NowVIZ: Longevity has arrived in sports. The age of players keeps rising and athletes like Serena, Venus, and Federer are at the top of their game! What’s your approach to this topic and what motivates you to keep getting back on the court? 30’s are the new 20’s! Ha! I like to refer to age in terms of levels. It’s sounds great to say I reached level 32! But in all seriousness, I still feel mentally and physically fresh and when I think about playing and competing, it makes me happy. I’m sure there will be a time where something else gives me more happiness and that’s the day I’ll follow another path in my life. We’re meant to enjoy all the different season’s of our life! NowVIZ: You were able to do some commentating during you’re time off the Tour, what do you like most about the job? I love tennis so of course I love talking about it! It made me happy to share my experiences, talk about all my friends on tour, and promote how great the game of tennis is! NowVIZ: What’s up next on your 2018 schedule?! Summer season is Wimbledon time! After that we have the US Open series and then head to Asia.
Good luck this season Bethanie!
Designer’s Name: ASHLEY COMEAUX
Company: NIKE Title: Footwear Design Lead Nike Sportwear Men’s Designer Highlights: • Nike Women’s Air Huarache Ultra
• Nike Women’s Air Footscape Mid Utility • Nike Women’s Ashin Modern Run • Nike Air Huarache Run City • Nike Free Forward Moc + N7 • Nike Free Forward Moc 2 +N7 • Nike Women’s Air Huarache Mid • Nike Women’s Free Viritous
Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s All About the Kicks!
NIKE WOMENS FREE VIRITOUS
NIKE AIR FOOTSCAPE MID UTILITY WOMENS
NowVIZ: You’ve been a designer for Nike in many areas of the company! Could you give us a brief overview of your path, as well as, your current position? My design career at Nike began in the summer of 2010, I was hired as an entry-level Footwear Designer I. I worked in the North American Product Creation Geography of our organization on a wide variety of product categories including Performance Running, Walking, Training, Cheer, and Young Athletes(Kids). During this time period, I had the opportunity to experience a wide breadth of Nike product. In 2012, I moved to the Nike Sportswear Division, to design Men’s Basketball and NFL Category. After a year, I transitioned over to what was at that time the newly created Women’s Sportswear Category and spent four years as a Footwear Designer II. And currently, I’m the Footwear Design Lead for the Men’s Sportswear Category, where I design, lead, and drive a portion of the Men’s line. I also mentor entry and mid-level designers when I have time.
NowVIZ: Footwear design is extremely competitive today. As Nike’s Footwear Design Lead in Men’s Sportswear what keeps you fresh and creative on a daily basis? What keeps me fresh and creative on a daily basis is staying up on the latest music, fashion, culture, trends, and happenings. A huge part of my profession, is staying current on what’s going on now and having a pulse on what’s to come in the future. Because we design approximately two years in advance, it’s important to be aware of all facets that drive and motivate the footwear industry. Social Media, Instagram in particular, really keeps me up to date with relevant material necessary to inspire and influence my work.
NowVIZ: What advice would you offer to other aspiring female designers? I’d give a few important words of advice. One, I’d like to encourage aspiring female footwear designers to keep honing their craft and strive to create forward product for the future. It’s important they understand and be influenced by what makes women unique, because that’s ultimately what sets us apart. It’s essential the design world continue to embrace the different perspectives, experiences, and problem solving methods, women bring to the design table. Also as a female designer in a male dominated profession, it definitely has its challenges. But NEVER underestimate the power of a female creative in a room full of male creatives. We rival the opportunity! We’re savvy and embrace the attitude of a win today is also a win for the next group of female creatives. Lastly, always find a way to pay it forward. Be inspired to always do your best and help others; it makes the world a better place. Had it not been for the mentors previous who paved the bricks before me, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today!
NIKE WOMENS HUARACHE ULTRA
NIKE FREE FORWARD MOC + N7
NIKE FREE FORWARD MOC 2+ N7
NowVIZ: As a Footwear Design Lead what do you feel has been the biggest challenge in the industry the last few years? I would have to say the biggest challenge in the industry the last few years has been the rate at which the consumer metabolizes a product. A good percentage of consumers dial on and off a product even before they’re able to purchase and enjoy it! And with the rise of social media in the last 5 or 6 years, we’ve found that the “must have sneaker” purchased a month ago is now old news and it’s already on to the next hot item regardless of brand. It’s been extremely challenging to create a product that truly sticks for more than a few months! But then again that’s part of the fun in this profession, the challenge of creating a product that can truly withstand the unpredictability of the market over time!
NowVIZ: What is your most favorite part of the design process and why? My favorite part of the design process is working through my ideas in 3D. This entails making hand-made mockups of my thoughts using scrap materials, a hot glue gun, and whatever else I can find! It helps me quickly and physically bring my ideas to life without having to wait for a sample to be made at the factory. I probably enjoy this stage the most because it’s one of the few times I can truly zone out, be creative, and see where the process takes me. I tend to frequently stumble upon the best made mistakes using this method, rather then traditional pen and paper.
NIKE AIR HURACHE RUN C
NowVIZ: What are some of the cool perks designing at a company like Nike?
WOMENS AIR HUARACHE MID
Hands down, the travel! I absolutely love the traveling we do!!! I’ve been fortunate enough to visit countries and places all over the world. Places I never thought I’d visit in my lifetime. I’ve been all over Europe, Asia, and the US. And I just got back from Mexico City, which is pretty much my new favorite city! Another cool perk is we’re encouraged on a daily basis to be active, workout, and lead a healthy livestyle. We also have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with top athletes and influencers. Seriously, my entire job is technically a perk and I get to design Nike footwear for a living!
NowVIZ: What’s your passion and inspiration outside of the design world? My passion and inspiration outside of the design world is my baby girl. I’m a new mom to my 15-month old daughter, Sam. This little nugget of mine is my entire world, and truly my greatest design! It’s definitely been a rewarding experience to take on the role of “mother” as it challenges and inspires me in ways I never could have imagined as a person and creative. Being Sam’s mom has motivated me to be the best I can be in all areas of my life, both personally and professionally. She’s just the best!
THANK YOU ASHLEY!
With a charismatic
presence that has translated off the race track into other facets of popular culture, James Hinchcliffe has become a household name. As the self-proclaimed mayor of HinchTown, he currently steers the #5 Arrow Electronics Indy car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Having gained a new legion of his fans for his television appearances on Celebrity Family Feud and Dancing with the Stars, where he reached the Finals, such illustrious stints ran parallel to his glories on the race track, where he has participated in over 90 races in the IndyCar series. Prior to his arrival in IndyCar, Hinchcliffe had raced in five different series over the course of six years, highlighted by his Rookie of the Year win with Formula BMW USA in 2004. Before making the transition to IndyCar, where he joined Newman/ Haas Racing, Hinchcliffe received a tremendous honor that encompassed both emotion and gratification. Recognized as the recipient of the 2010 Greg Moore Legacy Award, it symbolized a passing of the torch. Having found inspiration in Moore as a youth in Oakville, Ontario, Hinchcliffe aspired to emulate his heroics, once waiting three hours to have his hero sign a steering wheel at Toronto’s Exhibition Grounds. Although Moore’s promising career met a tragic end in the last race of the 1999 season, there is no question that Hinchcliffe has honored his legacy. Most notably, he would wear a pair of his gloves as he qualified for the front row of the 2012 Indianapolis 500. Subsequently adding his name to the growing list of Canadian-born racers, such as Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve, along with Scott Goodyear and Paul Tracy, that have made their mark globally in the sport, it is a fraternity that Hinchcliffe is proud to belong to. A proud connection to this group took place in 2012, when he joined Andretti Autosport. Replacing the iconic Danica Patrick on the team, taking the wheel behind her Go Daddy car, he would don the number 27 made famous by the Villeneuves. Although Hinchcliffe had big shoes to fill, he handled it with tremendous grace. Enjoying a front row start in only his second race for the team, along with podium finishes in Long Beach and Milwaukee, his drive to succeed gained the admiration of racing fans, who voted him as the circuit’s Favorite Driver of the Year. Worth noting, such a win added to a haul of awards and accolades from the previous year, which included garnering the 2011 IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year, and the Tony Renna Rising Star Award. It was also with Andretti Autosport that Hinchcliffe would experience the milestone of his first IndyCar victory. Grabbing the checkered flag at a 2013 event in St. Petersburg, Florida, it would prove to be a breakthrough year, winning races in Brazil and at the Iowa Corn Indy by season’s end.
Making the jump to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2015, finishing first in New Orleans, only his second race with his new team, that year would also incorporate a new element to his racing repertoire. Launching an entertaining podcast dubbed “The Mayor on Air with James Hinchcliffe,” it marked a new chapter for this magnetic personality, finding acclaim off the track. Accompanying the launch of this recent season, Hinchcliffe reinvented his podcast, while tapping into his racing roots. Co-hosting the “Off-Track Podcast” with Alexander Rossi, a member of Andretti Autosports, the energizing program blends sports and current events into a mélange of topics that cover a broad spectrum of appeal with an equally diverse group of guests. Not to be forgotten, Hinchcliffe has been just as animated on the track this season, reaching top-ten finishes (including two in the top-five) in the first four races. Regardless of the endeavors that Hinchliffe pursues, he is definitely one of modern sport’s renaissance men. From television to broadcasting, racing to entrepreneurship (he has also developed beer brands,) there are no limits to the enthusiasm of this supernova, racing through life with a keenness that demonstrates the journey is just as exciting as its completion.
NowVIZ: You’ve had an extensive career as a race car driver and watching these last few years it really seems like everything is falling into place for you. Along with some key highlights, to what can you attribute your success? I’d love to say there was some magic formula or some trick I’d picked up, but the truth is pretty simple: hard work is the key. Hard work from my side as the driver. Hard work from the team. From my first win in St Pete in 2013, through coming back from my accident, to pole at the Indy 500 in 2016, there was hard work behind every step.
NowVIZ: As an athlete how do you stay on top of your game both mentally and physically? Physically I train six days a week. A lot of people don’t appreciate the physical demands of racing an Indy car. The forces the car generates on the body means we need tremendous strength and the length of the race means you also need incredible endurance. It’s a very physical sport. There’s a company in Indy called PitFit Training that specializes in drivers fitness; I’ve been working with them since 2004. The mental side is different. Every driver is different. Personally I’ve worked with mental coaches and sports psychologists to help make sure I keep my mental game as strong as possible.
NowVIZ: You have an awesome podcast with Alexander Rossi called, Off Track with Hinch and Rossi (on CastBox). You two have great chemistry and it’s fun to listen to! Could you give us a little history about how Off Track evolved and how do you decide who to have on your show? Off Track began when CastBox decided to get into original programming. They approached Alex and I with this idea for a show that really wasn’t a sports show or a racing show, but a show about what our lives are like away from the track. It’s also about people that have excelled in their chosen field. Sure, we touch on the racing side of our lives, but it’s really about finding guests that have dedicated their lives to being exceptional at what they do. It’s awesome getting to talk to like minded people in every possible industry, and I don’t think there’s been a guest yet that Alex and I both haven’t learned something from. From that stand point it’s been great for us, and I hope the listeners get the same result from it that we do!
NowVIZ: We love that you work hard to be as successful off the track as you are on the track! You’re partners in a Toronto production company, own two beer brands; Hinchtown Hammerdown and The Bricks, a former contestant on Dancing with the Stars(finishing runner-up!) appeared on Celebrity Family Feud and had a part on Private Eyes! Is this just a slice of how you live life?! No, I think you pretty much hit on all the cool stuff! You know, I like keeping busy, and the IndyCar schedule and life keep me very busy, I am always on the lookout for fun new challenges or opportunities. It’s how I’ve always been and I don’t see that changing. I understand that racing at this level has a shelf life and I want to make sure I have some cool things to work on once I hang up the helmet, which is hopefully still a ways away!
NowVIZ: What philosophy do you live by? “Live each day as if it’s your last, because one day you’ll be right.” It was a much smarter person than me who said it, but I think they are words to live by. Life is short, and you never know when your time is up. I learned that lesson in nearly the hardest way and it really made me change the way I lived my life.
NowVIZ: You do an incredible job marketing yourself! Does this come naturally to you? Yes and no. The branding side of our sport is massively time consuming and very challenging. That side doesn’t come naturally. It takes a lot of work. A lot. But where I make it easier on myself is the guy I’m marketing is really who I am. It’s not a character, it’s not an act. What you see is what you get. If I was doing all this stuff, but had to pretend to be someone I’m not while doing it, I would’ve burned out years ago.
NowVIZ: We noticed “Stop” written on the top toe of your left driving boot and “Go” written on the top of the right boot. Can you give us the scoop and tell us why that is?! Well an Indy car only has two pedals; one for the gas and one for the brake! So we use one foot for each pedal. When I was younger, I used to write “Stop” and “Go” on my boots in sharpie as a joke, because when you went to the go kart track, in the go kart, one pedal is green and the other is red. So, when I got to Indy car, I had been doing this for so long that even on my brand new boots I would write “Stop” and “Go!” Then one day Sparco, the company who’s equipment I use, came to the track with a custom pair of boots and had stitched the words “Stop” and “Go” already on there for me! It was a very cool gesture and has been what I’ve had on my boots ever since.
NowVIZ: We recently met your girlfriend actress, Rebecca Dalton. You two definitely seem to have the same energy level! Is it tough balancing both your schedules? For sure there are times when it’s really challenging. She will sometimes need to be in a different city on set for three straight weeks or longer during the season. Those times are hard. But what makes us such great partners is we both know what it takes to have a career that you must fully dedicate yourself. The down side is it seperates us occasionally, but to be successful we understand it takes sacrifice. So we’re really able to support one another, especially on those long days when it all starts to feel like too much. She really is my partner in crime.
-THANKs Hinch, you’re the be
Andrea Mead Cross
My passion + World-class athletes + For a cause
sports souls the book began with a love of photographing world-class athletes, a passion for helping animals in need, and the ambition to combine the two successfully. Over a twoyear period, Andrea Mead Cross traveled across the country to capture an up close and personal moment with each athlete. The beautiful full color portraits are unassuming and fresh with a unique perspective away from the competition arena. The bold series includes and features renowned athletes Misty May-Treanor, Beach Volleyball star and three-time Olympic gold medallist. Taylor Phinney, two-time Olympian Cycling; Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux, two-time Olympian silver medalists Ice Hockey; Sam Mikulak, Olympian and seven-time NCAA champion Gymnastics; Lauryn Williams, two-time Summer Olympian; gold and silver medalist for Track and Winter Olympian, silver medalist Bobsled and Diana Nyad, history-making Marathon Swimmer. Also featured Christy Gardner, USA National Sled Hockey Team; Tony Azevedo, four-time Olympian and silver medalist Water Polo; Mirinda Carfrae, triathlete and three-time Ironman World Champion; Connor Jaeger, Olympian and American record holder Swimming; Anna Tunnicliffe. Olympian Gold medalist for Sailing; Steven Langton, Olympian and two-time bronze medalist Bobsled and more! The athletes also write their inner struggles, philosophy on life, and what it takes to be the best. The body of work is truly inspirational for those who appreciate awe-inspiring images and the quest for perfection. Andrea is recognized as one of the premier sports photographers in the country. Her work has been published in numerous magazines including Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, Outside, Fitness, has been shown on Oprah Winfrey’s “Super Soul Sunday” and on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer. Additionally, her photographs can be found in the projects of well-known athletes published by Random House, Knopf, and Crown Publishing.
All proceeds benefit animal charities!
@AndreaMeadCross For more info! AndreaMeadCross.com
Sports Souls available on Amazon
Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Pro Tenni
-1950 -Read -You -Outs
Graham Rahal, Ind
“Typically I d I do I’m a to there. I’m no all! I wish I h me, it makes times better
James Hinchcliffe, IndyCar driver #
“Well it k AC/DC,
0 By King Princess! dy to Love you by HEDGEGAARD Might Be (ft Lils) by Autograf side by Palm Trees, MdL, Abi F Jones
dyCar driver #15, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
don’t have time to put my headphones on before a race, but when op-20’s guy. There’s also some great country and classics out ot a one trick pony when it comes to music. I listen and enjoy it had more time because I recently discovered that music inspires s me happy and puts a smile on my face. It makes the tough r. I don’t get the time to listen to it enough.”
#5, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
kind of depends on how you qualified! Usually some , though. I love their music. Great driving tracks!”
ey Comeaux, NIKE designer
J.Cole KOD Album Cardi B Invasion of Privacy (Album) Alina Baraz The Color of You (Album) Nicky Jam & J Balvin’s X (Song) Master Kraft, Flavour, Sarkodie Finally (Song) The Entire African Heat Playlist on Spotify
Camille J. Jean, Garmin designer
Artist: NF Album: Perception Favorite Line, “I thought you had me in prison this whole time, but I’m the one holding the keys.”
behind the scenes
Considered the Triple Crown of Motorsports and held traditionally over Memorial Day weekend, the Indianapolis 500 is the biggest sporting event in the world. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 102nd run was no disappointment, the track was packed, the snake pit was amped, and the weather was hot; a degree short of a record-high 91! In her final race, Danica Patrick spun out and crashed driving through Turn 2 on Lap 68 and Helio Castroneves wants another shot at Indy next year after he crashed on Lap 146, hitting the wall near pit row. And in the end, it was Team Penske driver Will Power, the Australian from Down Under, who grabbed the checkered flag and drank the bottled milk to celebrate his first win at the Brickyard!
Photographer Andrea Mead Cross on location in the Miami Design District with Pro Tennis player, Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
credits+(more) Huge thank you to Mark Saffieri for his efforts and mastery in writing the Feature Athletes intro for Indy car driver’s #15, Graham Rahal and #5, James Hinchcliffe. His writing talent is amazing and we’re very fortunate to have him onboard at NowVIZ sports + beyond! Additionally, BIG thank’s you go out to Veronica Knowlton, Fiona Hewitson, and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, as well as, Kathi Lauterbach and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Also, Thank you to Maria Ruiz at Dacra in the Miami Design District. And an additional thank you to real estate developer, Craig Robins who had the unique vision to create the Miami Design District, an international power space for fashion, design, culture and creativity of all kinds! And to photographer Andrea Mead Cross who has been essential in the inception, development, and launch of NowVIZ sports + beyond Mag! Her vision and creativity continue to exceed expectations and we’re fired up she is part of the NowVIZ Team! Thank you AMC! Rock on!
NowVIZ sports + beyond Magazine design and layout by Kelley Kwiatkowski Hope you enjoyed the ride see-you soon! Follow us on
All inquires please email us at: NowVIZmag@gmail.com 2018 All Rights Reserved NowVIZ sports + beyond ezine and NowVIZ.com COPYRIGHT 2016 No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission. This magazine is viewed with the understanding that the information present is from varied sources for which there can be no warranty or respondsibility by NowVIZ.com as to the accuracy or completeness.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;dwell in possibilityâ&#x20AC;? -Emily Dickinson