The mistake I really learned from was in 2005, leading the Indianapolis 500. I had a decision whether or not to save enough fuel to finish the race - which meant slowing down - or going all-out for the win. I went conservative and saved enough fuel to go to the end but finished fourth.
The commitments, schedule and sponsor appearances don't change. It gets more busy, because you get more popular, and the more popular you are, it actually gets more busy. They're like, 'Yeah, let's use her, she's hot right now. Let's do a shoot!'
I've never been bashful to say that I'm not really interested in Formula One. When I lived in England, it's all I wanted to do and I thought that anything else would somehow be a compromise to my dreams. But then when I came back to the States, I realised how much I loved being back in the States.
I'm a big believer in everybody being themselves. If not doing a swimsuit calendar is yourself, that's great. But if doing a swimsuit calendar is yourself, then you should be able to do it. What I do outside the car adds to who I am and expresses a different side of me.
I think you can be happy and still be competitive. A good lesson for everybody is to think a bit before you speak and represent who you really are instead of the brash emotional you.
My goal is people associate November with COPD awareness month as much as they notice October with breast cancer and pink. That'd be a great thing if it happened. The fact that COPD kills more people than breast cancer and diabetes put together should raise some red flags.
You know, it's always good to have seen a track before, just to kind of know where the little bumps are here and there, and just the general feel for the size.
Maybe back in the day you didn't need to be the greatest looking to be on TV and you didn't need to speak the best, but in this day and age, I think you need to be the package. You need to look the part for your sponsors, you need to be able to speak the part for the media and to big CEOs.
I'd love to do well on a big weekend with people watching and cheering, of course. But it's not fair to create an expectation level before I know what is realistic. I want to finish as well as possible. Is that top 20? Top 15? Top 25? You just have to play it by ear.
I've been fortunate Daytona is a place I've run better than anywhere else, and that's a big race. Maybe it has to do with attention and pressure and the drive to do well when a lot of people are watching.
On Memorial Day, I was out floating on Lake Norman and came across Denny Hamlin. We struck up a conversation, and one of the first things we were talking about was how much it helped him when he started racing the Cup car and how much it helped his Nationwide program.
I think there's a lot of deep-rooted history in England with racing. Lots of Formula One teams are based there. Formula One is obviously a huge sport over in England and Europe.
To be honest, when I'm home, every day is a Friday for me. It doesn't really matter what day it is for me. A lot of my friends actually have time off during the week, and so it doesn't prohibit me from enjoying myself when I am home on a Monday or a Tuesday.
Indy, I have lots of great memories from there, and probably the part of me that doesn't feel quite as longing for it is that there is still a chance that I could do it again. It's not gone.
In motorsports we work in the grey areas a lot. You're trying to find where the holes are in the rule book.
We don't do things we aren't good at by nature. I wouldn't play basketball because I'm only 5' 1". Find what you enjoy - whether it's racing, flying a helicopter, being a doctor, or stitching clothes together. Once you've done that, you have the passion you need.
In the Lamborghini I have to avoid certain roads because of pot holes, and there's nowhere to put my drink, no cup holder. And I'm not going to lie, it looks pretentious. I used to think it was cool to, like, drive it to dinner. Now? Like I really need to be looked at any more.
It would be hypocritical of me to use being female in some ways, and diss being female in other ways. It's part of the programme.
I mean, you've kind of got the track down, especially with ovals. The only thing that improves is that when race conditions come, you know what to expect slightly more from the track and from your car.
Every single aspect of myself, let me put it this way, it's all about trying to incorporate. It's about trying to weave the web and keep everyone happy. And of course, it's about giving value to those people so they continue to sponsor me.