Riding in a taxi headed back to the airport after a work trip to Chicago several years ago, I spotted a bumper sticker on the car in front of us. It said, “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
Before I had a chance to comment on it, my friend and co-worker piped up, “Hey Brett, I’ve got an idea about an event. It involves some people.” Hungover and punchy from three days working a trade show, we had a good laugh at that.
I didn’t know it at the time, but the quote is widely attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt. I was reminded of this anecdote because for the last few months, the NASA National staff has been consumed with generating ideas for an event that involves a lot of people: the NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires.
By the time you read this, registration will be closed, but for those who are going to the Championships, you are in for an experience. Because we all work remotely, and in a few different time zones, every week NASA National staff have a conference call to keep everyone informed about how the NASA Championships are shaping up, and to discuss new ideas to make it a better experience for NASA members.
For example, this year, as a result of the surveys we sent out, we are going back to the old qualifying format in which the sum of your finishes in qualifying races Friday and Saturday add up to determine your grid spot for the Championships race on Sunday. It raises the stakes, but it’s what the majority of NASA competitors wanted, and we’re eager to see it play out on track. Of course, returning to an old format isn’t a new idea, but we do have some new things in store.
For example, we’ve invited FlaCarShows.com to hold a car show in the infield on Saturday. Those car show participants will also be able to watch the action on track, and if you’ve ever raced in front of spectators before, it enhances the experience, and we expect a lot of spectators for the Championships on Sunday, too. We’ve also got activities planned for families, such as an inflatable obstacle course, a climbing wall and more.
NASA National also came up with a few ideas that benefit people who aren’t coming to the event. This year’s livestream broadcast will be bigger and better than ever. More cameras around the track. More cameras in cars. More stories. More interviews. More of everything. Visit NASAChampionships.com during the event and click the button to see the livestream.
We’ll also have an ROTC color guard from nearby Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to help kick off the opening ceremonies, a live local singer for the National Anthem, and some special prizes for the podium finishers on Sunday. There will be a vendor village and the official photographer MotorImages will be there to capture the experience and preserve your memory of the event forever.
That’s about all I can tell you without spoiling a few surprises we have in store. The point here is that the NASA Championships is the result of a lot of hard work by the NASA National staff, a group of great minds discussing ideas for an event that involves a lot of people. We can’t wait to see everyone at Daytona.