Feels Like Leaving Las Vegas

We’re in the process of wrapping up the final details from the 2023 NASA Championships. It is a monster of an event that requires a lot of effort from everyone involved, from all of us at the National Office, the regions and Regional Directors, track personnel, volunteers, series leaders, tech officials and, of course, the drivers who came to compete on the biggest stage on the NASA calendar.

We work on the event all year. In fact, we’ve already started talking about the 2024 NASA Championships at Utah Motorsports Campus. As the event nears, things really start to ramp up, what with all the details that need to be sewn up. Everything from determining parking assignments, trophy orders, T-shirts, goodie bags, dynos, vendors takes work. The punch list is long and loaded.

For my part, things really ramp up when we get there. The daily stories we put out with help from my good friend and writer Gregg Mansfield make for some long days when we’re on site. From the first story we put out Thursday, Sept. 7 to the very last of the coverage that just ran Oct. 4, we cranked out 30,000 words of copy.

By the time we make to Sunday night when we finish writing the coverage of Time Trial and racing Championships, we are a bit punch drunk from the long days, and I’m confident everyone involved with the event and the livestream broadcast feels the same way.

When I get on the plane to fly home from the Championships, the feeling is a bit like leaving Las Vegas. You can’t believe what just happened over the last few days, you’re not even sure if your memory is trustworthy because the details are a bit murky. My guess is that competitors feel the same.

As much work as it is to put on and compete in a NASA Championships event, it brings a feeling of satisfaction like no other when everything is said and done. I must have interviewed at least 60 people during the event, and many of them talked about the amount of hard work and long hours they put in before they even loaded their car onto the trailer. I hope NASA’s latest class of racing and Time Trial champions feel the same level of satisfaction.

Here’s what I hope we can accomplish for 2024: bigger and better.

We’re already talking about ways to improve the livestream coverage. Utah Motorsports Campus is an ideal venue for a Championships event in a location that is reachable by drivers from a lot of regions, so we’re hoping for more than 350 competitors.

I’ll say it now to plant the seed as early as possible: I’m hoping 100 or so of those competitors are Spec Miatas so we can go for that Guinness World Record that we didn’t get at Daytona in 2021. Given the regular Spec Miata car counts in nearby SoCal, NorCal, Arizona, Rocky Mountain and Utah, it’s doable. If we can get drivers to come from Great Lakes, MidAmerica, MidSouth and Texas, which are a little farther away, it becomes even more plausible to be able to call the offices of Guinness World Records.

As any of those 60 or so people I interviewed at this year’s Championships can tell you, it’s time to start planning and preparing now. We’ll see you in Utah.


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