Saving Money on Racing

Do you remember 20 years ago when voters were astounded that President Bill Clinton could play the saxophone? Well here’s my much less impressive equivalent: Florida Regional Director Jon Felton is a driver. In fact I have been a driver for much longer than I have been a NASA official, and I have been a NASA official since 1998. One of these years, with any luck and continued advice from pros like Mike Skeen and Ryan Flaherty, I’ll actually get good at one or the other — or both, I hope.

Anyway, why does this matter? Well, for one thing, it means that I’ve seen everything NASA does from your perspective, too. I know how exciting it is to do a standing start in a pack of similarly prepared racecars, and I know how disappointing it is to pack up early because your car is broken. But mainly, it means I know just how expensive this hobby/sport/obsession can be, and as an official, I do what I can to decrease costs wherever possible.

Let it be known that like many other NASA members, when it comes to driving activities, I’m on a pretty limited budget. The reality is that once my bills are paid and my kitchen is stocked, there isn’t always enough left over for entry fees or car parts. Case in point, I did an autocross the other weekend in my old beater E36 M3 on a worn set of Star Specs … from 2010. “Slippy” is an understatement. Click here for video: http://youtu.be/-VW_s-M9Fx0.

Because I know I’m not the only guy in the NASA family facing this dilemma each month, I try to create value for my fellow members in every way I can. As a result, my participants in Florida have a number of deals and specials to choose from each season, currently including:

— The “season pass” of three Sebring weekends for $999 for HPDE/TT, or $749 for racing.

— The “new participant special” of $150 off one’s first track weekend and membership.

— The “fine print discount” of $25 off for everyone who registers more than a month prior.

Our season pass deal is without a doubt the best and most popular of the bunch. The idea is that you can lock in your weekend plans for the year now, and save a pile of money in the process. Compared with at-track registrations, the season pass can represent a total savings of up to $426, which is more than half a new set of tires for many of us! The only catch is that the season pass can only be chosen before our first event of the year at Sebring on March 29-30.

The new participant special is another popular option in Florida. Come give us a try — it doesn’t matter what skill level you are, only that you haven’t run with us before — and we will take $150 off your first weekend and new membership, plain and simple. The only catch is that you cannot have, or cannot have previously had, a membership or event registration in any region. If nothing else, you can put that $150 you saved toward another set of good brake pads to use during your first NASA weekend.

Finally, the fine print discount rewards everyone who signs up early and reads the pre-event information on the Florida region’s website. The only catch is that the discount codes expire one month before each event.

I’m definitely not the only regional director who is also a driver, and NASA’s Florida region certainly isn’t the only program offering entry fee discounts and specials. We all do everything we can to get as many people on track as possible. So check with your nearest regional director to see if any similar deals exist in your area.

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