If you’re familiar with the column that regularly appears in this space, you might recall I have sworn off setting goals in racing — well, other than to have fun and improve my skills each time out.
When it comes to producing Speed News, however, I always have the same goal when I’m sitting at my desk staring at a blank page and a blinking cursor: make the new issue better than the last. Like apexes, that mark can be tough for me to hit every time, but let’s back up a bit.
Each winter, when our racecars are tucked away in the garage and we’re all plotting ways to win races in the coming season, I have this magazine up on jack stands, so to speak, plotting ways to make it better. The overall goal is to deliver a magazine with such a variety of stories that there is something in it for everyone.
We’ve been offering hands-on tech since we opened up shop, and we try to run stories on different kinds of cars, and even stories with mechanical principles that apply to cars other than the one in the story. The last issue had a story on solving cooling problems in a C5 Corvette, but anyone could make use of the lessons learned on his or her car.
For 2016, we’ve also started some new regular features such as “Class Syllabus,” which highlights a given class to help prospective racers decide what kind of car they might like to race, and what class they’d like to race in, once they earn their competition licenses.
We’re also continuing “Tech Matters,” which takes an inside look at a given technical subject. This month we look at the latest 360-degree video cameras, courtesy of NASA Great Lakes member Ed Baus.
If you have been paying attention to the “Driving Tips” page, you know Joshua Allan has been writing them for us for a few months now. His ability to break down a subject and really explain not just what to do, but how to do it is what I appreciate most about his contributions. I’ve learned a great deal from them, and I hope you have, too.
So, to be more specific about what we set out to do when we begin a new issue each month, we strive to deliver stories that will help you get faster on the racetrack and help you become more knowledgeable when you’re out in the garage with a wrench in your hand. At the very least, we strive to provide you with stories that are interesting and engaging to read.
Yes, I call them stories because that’s what they are, and I have called them that since journalism school. These days stories are often called content, especially when those stories are hosted on a website, and we have some news to report on that subject, too.
Now, in addition to the monthly delivery of Speed News, we’ve got a great new website at www.nasaspeednews.com. The site is packed with all the great feature content we’ve presented over the years. If you remember reading something in Speed News, but you can’t remember what issue it was in, all you have to do is go to the website and type a few key words into the search function and it’ll pop up.
It’s a great service NASA has put together for its members, so I encourage all of you to access and share the stories on social media. The more people that access the site, the better.
Now, after writing this, it’s time for me to move on to the next blank page and its corresponding blinking cursor.