By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
CONCORD, N.C. – When the green flag waves for the Drive for the Cure 200, it will mark just the fourth NASCAR Xfinity Series start for Katherine Legge. In fact, very few drivers competing on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course have as diverse a racing background as Legge.
Legge currently competes full-time in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, sitting third in the GT Daytona Points Standings with just one race left on the schedule. During recent off weekends, the Guilford, England native made her debut in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series. In three starts, Legge has a best career finish of 14th at Road America.
In those three NASCAR starts, Legge encountered a different form of racing than what she has experienced in the Verizon IndyCar Series, CART, or IMSA competition. NASCAR teams have less technology in-car compared to their Open Wheel and Sports Car competitors.
“I think that the technology is here,” Legge explained. “We just don’t have the driver aids in the car, as far as live telemetry, traction control, ABS, and those kinds of things. We don’t have it in the car, but if you look behind the scenes at what the teams get up to, when you look at RCR, Ganassi, Penske, and all of those guys, their simulation software, engineering is more impressive than a lot of IndyCar and IMSA teams honestly.
“They have the technology, but just go about it in a different way. I don’t know which way is better or worse, it’s just different. It’s a different sport at the end of the day.”
Legge’s diverse racing career has brought her to the many extremes of motorsports. She worked her way up the open wheel ladder, becoming a test driver for the Minardi Formula 1 team. Legge’s career has also brought her to A1-GP, DTM, and Formula E.
As her racing career continues to evolve, Legge said she would be open to an attempt at running full-time in NASCAR.
“Absolutely. My whole career has been about driving. I love driving, I love racing. Sometimes to my detriment. I’ve jumped in stuff before that have not done me any favors just because I want to race. And then I have this problem knowing where the limit of the car is.
“For example, in IndyCar I drove for a team that wasn’t really very good, and people judge you off of that. Then I got the opportunity to do Indy with Sam Schmidt the following year and it’s like a whole different ball game. I think I would do it properly. If that opportunity ever came up, I would absolutely run (NASCAR full-time).”
Legge qualified 26th for the Drive for the Cure 200 in the No. 15 AirTec Chevrolet Camaro SS for JD Motorsports.