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EJ Viso: Go-Kart Racing Leads to Career In IndyCar

Riding in the No. 5 car, EJ Viso will race in the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston
Riding in the No. 5 car, EJ Viso will race in the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston
Photo by Shawn Gritzmacher

There will be a thunderous roar echoing through around the stadia at Reliant Park this weekend, and the 2-2 Texans won't have anything to do with it.

For the first time since 2007, the IZOD IndyCar Series makes it return to Reliant Park for the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston.

Making his first appearance in the Bayou City, 28-year-old EJ Viso currently sits at 12th in the IndyCar points standings. The six-year veteran is enjoying his first season with Andretti Autosport, a move Viso most excited about.

"For me, it's been very refreshing working with [Andretti Motorsports]; with their assets, the information, experience, everything that is needed is here," Viso told Hair Balls. "So it's been good. I've been learning a lot and creating a foundation that is going to help also for the future."

And good it is.

Viso grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, and got his first need for speed and the ripe age of 5. And the catalyst that got him going down the fast lane was a go-kart. In fact, Viso was able to make a name for himself racing in circuits around Venezuela.

"Things got very serious at the age of 12 or 11; I moved to Europe and starting racing officially for different go-kart manufacturers," Vizo said. "Then I jumped into open-wheel and just pretty much went through all the categories."

2001 was when Viso jumped into open-wheel racing. He enjoyed success in the United States and Europe, eventually breaking through into IndyCar in 2008 with HVM Racing.

 

IndyCars zoom through Reliant Park at speeds upward of 230 mph
IndyCars zoom through Reliant Park at speeds upward of 230 mph

Bracing for two days of racing

For the third time in the 2013 season, IZOD IndyCar is having races on back-to-back days. Dubbed as "H-Town Doubles Down," Viso and counterparts will race on Saturday, October 5 at 2:30, and Sunday at 12:30.

Viso knows he's going to have to put out "twice as much effort" if he wishes to leap-frog anyone in the standings. But he also has to be a bit more "conservative" than usual, because racing twice in a weekend will put physical strains on both himself and his No. 5 car.

"[You will be] flirting with the limit more than necessary," Viso explained. "You're probably putting the car in a few unhealthy spots - which is something you don't want to be doing constantly."

Mathematically though, the Venezuelan can still finish the season in a top 10 spot for the first time in his IndyCar career. And with the prospect of racing twice in a weekend, Viso knows he can leave Houston in a good position to finish in a top 10 spot.

"But both races give you full points, so you want to be - at the same time - pushing hard," Viso said.


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