In Gratitude

It’s usually about this time of year I get a little misty. Not because the race season is over or because I have a long list of projects ahead, but because this is one of my favorite times of year, and Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday.

It has nothing to do with turkey or stuffing, but rather because it’s the only holiday I can think of that has remained pure and true to the reason it became a holiday in the first place. About this time of year, I realize how lucky I am, and I’m glad there’s a day we can acknowledge it.

I’m grateful to be able to race with NASA. Not everyone gets to do what we do, and although I have played with cars for as long as I can remember, I wasn’t always in a position to be able to race them. It’s a privilege for which I’m thankful.

Of course, racing cars wouldn’t be possible without the support of my wife and family. I’m grateful for that. I couldn’t do it without their blessing.

Race weekends wouldn’t be as gratifying as they are without the friends I’ve made at the track over the years. In fact, that was one of the more satisfying things about doing HPDE and then racing with NASA. I was drawn to NASA because of the clear ladder into racing, but it’s the people who make it that much better, and I’m glad to know them.

Just being involved with NASA was what led me to become involved with this magazine and eventually to be named its editor. It’s a challenge to get everything written, edited and polished to a luster, but magazine publishing is the only place for me. Good thing, too. It’s the only thing I’m qualified to do, and I’m grateful for the trust NASA places in me to put this publication out for our members.

Producing this magazine also gives me the opportunity to travel around to the different regions and meet members from far and wide, and I’m thankful to be able to do it. I only make a few of those trips a year, so If I haven’t been to your region yet, or at least one of the crossover events your region shares with another, I’ll be seeing you as soon as I can.

During those trips I get to meet the series leaders who write the race reports for the “Around the Regions” section at the back of each issue. I always enjoy learning what’s happening around the country from those reports and I’m grateful to those guys for taking the time to put them together.

I’m also hugely thankful to the track photographers who supply images to Speed News. Guys like Steve Cabana with HeadonPhotos.net, Chris Schutze with Finish Line Productions, Brian Reynolds of Caliphotography, Eric Tillotson with AWOLPhoto.net, Tom Hitzeman with F51-GT Motorsports Photography and John Hiatt all shoot NASA events on spec, meaning they hope to cover expenses and turn a profit, but there are no guarantees. I show my gratitude by buying shots as often as I can. I hope NASA members can do the same. It’s not easy to get the kinds of images they do without a lot of skill and dedication to their craft. They’re really top-notch shooters.

The above is just a small sampling of what I’m grateful for. There is a lot more to be grateful for, but I’ve got all month to give thanks. Good thing, too. I might need all 30 days to fit everything in.

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