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I have heard many say 2013 was not what they would call “stellar.” If you are looking forward to putting last year behind you and getting 2014 off to a great start, then you have come to the right place. Since you are reading the first issue of Speed News for the year, that means you are thinking about the new racing season, so let me give you a preview of some great things NASA will be offering this year.

I hope you had a chance to read the December issue of Speed News. We called it the “ultimate” issue, because we gathered all the car setup and driving instruction articles from the entire year and put them in a single resource. If you want to get faster, I urge you to review this issue and confirm you are doing many of the things that are proven to reduce your lap times. You can download this issue here: http://www.speednewsmag.com/Dec2013.html, or visit the iTunes store to get it on your iPad.

The great news is there is a lot more to come, so be sure to look for Speed News at the beginning of each month. Also, we just printed a NASA 2014 wall calendar that features NASA racers, which will be distributed for free at events in each region. Stop by Driver Information and ask them for your NASA calendar.

What was previously known as the NASA Championships will be more exciting than ever because we did something radical and added another race to this format. We created an Eastern and Western States Championship, which will take place at Road Atlanta and Sonoma Raceway. We made this move based on several years of customer feedback that indicated people could not tow four days across the country and absorb the cost of transportation. For the past several years, the majority of the participants came from the closest regions, so it was a clear choice to offer the best of both worlds. Host two events and move them to a new venue each year to keep it exciting. The feedback so far has been amazing. I’m grateful to all of you for your input, and we are happy we can offer something that pleases so many of you.

Change offers new opportunities, which is exactly what motivated me to approach Mazda with the “Mazda Race of NASA Champions” concept. The Western and Eastern States Champions reflect the best that exists in NASA. However, we have 36 classes, and who could say if the best Honda Challenge driver could top the best German Touring Series driver or the best from other classes? Enter the “Mazda Race of NASA Champions” for the ultimate throw down. All our East and West champions will be invited to this grand finale pro race, which will showcase the best of the best. It is one thing to beat 20 people in your class, but to beat another 20-plus class champions is another feat in itself. This person will start the year as a humble NASA racer and exit the Mazda Race of NASA Champions as a bona fide pro! This is a singularly rare opportunity in motorsports, and NASA is excited to partner with Mazda to offer this program to our drivers. NASA has begun the careers of many who have gone pro, and we expect to continue that tradition for years to come.

By the time you read this, the first two NASA events of 2014 are already in the books. Don’t let the season sneak up on you, so get out to the garage and get after it, or grab your gear and put in some fast laps. I hope 2014 will be a season to remember, one we all can call stellar.

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