Race car driver Julia Landauer on 'Survivor'

Julia Landauer loves a challenge.

No wonder the 21-year-old race car driver and Stanford student has joined the new season of "Survivor: Caramoan," which debuts tonight on CBS.

"I thought it was a cool platform to incorporate all my strengths," Landauer said. "I'm competitive. I love strategy. I love the social aspect of it. It was a perfect challenge for me."

It's the 26th season of "Survivor" with "Fans vs. Favorites" competing for the $1 million prize with 10 returning contestants against 10 new players in the Philippines' Caramoan Islands.

Playbook had a few minutes to talk with Landauer, who is a earning a B.S. in Science, Technology & Society at Stanford, about the show.

What did you find out about yourself?

"I took a lot away from the game. Working with a team in racing and being in school was totally different from the competition. I had the great opportunity to work with people of so many different backgrounds. I realize that I'm even more competitive than I thought. I think I picked the right profession."

You're studying a pretty complicated subject at Stanford. What do you want to do after school?

"My first goal is to become a pro race car driver. I'm really trying to learn the business and tech-related stuff so I can get involved in off-track aspects. I think it's important we make all automobiles environmentally friendly. I'm hoping to apply my knowledge to the entire automobile industry."

You started in the Skip Barber Racing Series in 2005 and then raced in the NASCAR Whelen Series. What series do you want to compete in when you graduate?

"It's going to be stock cars. I'm going to make a name for myself there. I'm open to a lot of series and would like to experience it all, but stock cars is a good place for me."

You're from New York City, so why go to Stanford?

"I always wanted to spend some time in California and I picked Stanford specifically because it's a huge research institution. It was extremely attractive to go there. I also like the different time zone. I'm very independent and I'm getting out on my own."

Did you like reality TV enough to do more?

"Reality TV wasn't huge for me growing up, but 'Survivor' was a cool show and really authentic. If I had the opportunity to do something similar, I'd do it. But my ultimate focus will always be on racing. I'm lucky my parents have been so supportive. They've dedicated a lot of time to my career also. We all want this to work out. Life is short. It's go big or go home."