Normally I like to fill this space with something cohesive and pithy if at all possible, but as I write this, I’m in a bit of a post-holiday rush, and I have more random thoughts than I do one clear idea of what to write about. From new year’s hopes, projects and aspirations to the usual resolutions, and some things NASA members should be aware of, here’s what’s been rattling around in my head. To wit:
— In Southern California, where I live and race, we have a new Regional Director and a healthy 2021 event schedule that includes two dates at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. — probably the last times we’ll get to race there before management tears out the infield road course. That track is the site of my one and only win and a rain race I lost by about a foot. The last events at Auto Club will be bittersweet.
— I have resolved — yet again — to become a better driver in 2021. I have signed up to be a member of the Driver’s Lounge on Racers360.com and I plan to make good use of its video coaching services throughout 2021. I’ve been out of the car for a while, so it seemed like an easy choice. Hope springs eternal.
— I also have resolved — yet again — to recommit to a fitness regimen. My gym closed last spring, and rather than find a way to work out at home, I used the pandemic and the overall glumness of 2020 as an excuse to live the life of a lazy, drunken hillbilly. Well, it wasn’t that dramatic, but the one weekend I did make it to the track to go racing, I could feel the difference. I was exhausted. That needs to change, or I don’t stand much hope of becoming a better driver.
— Behind the scenes with NASA, I’ve been privy to some of the new developments of the NASA Prototype racecar, and it’s been eye-opening. The new car, the NP01 Evo from SEBECO Motorsport has undergone a number of improvements that have resulted in about 25 more horsepower and more grip. Somehow, SEBECO has managed to put all that together and sell an assembled car for $69,995. So much racecar for the money.
— The 2021 NASA Championships will be held at Daytona International Speedway. Daytona, people! One idea we have been kicking around is to try to set a Guinness World Record for the largest field of Spec Miatas ever assembled, and it’s doable. Technically, we achieved that record at Circuit of The Americas in 2018, but technically we didn’t because didn’t put all the cars on the track at the same time. 2021 is another prime opportunity to set the record, but we’ll need a lot of Spec Miata participation to do it. I’m thinking 100 cars is the benchmark. Of course, setting a record costs money, so we’ll need to push hard, but I know we have enough Spec Miatas east of the Mississippi to put 100 cars on track in Daytona. That doesn’t even count the lunatics from west of the Mississippi that I know will show up. Tell your friends. Mark your calendars. Let’s make history at Daytona!
— New features series are coming in Speed News in 2021. One idea kind of came to me the way ideas often do — when you’re thinking about something else. The other came from a Speed News reader.
The first one is called “Baseline Setup,” and the idea is simple. I’ll be reaching out to NASA drivers across all regions to get the baseline setups that they use on their cars. I think we’ll probably do it by class for the spec racing classes and probably by model for the ST and GTS categories. It’s a great way to share information to build competition in the class. I know close racing is always better, so I’ll be interested to see how forthcoming NASA drivers are.
We’ll call the second series “Spares,” and it’ll be about what spare parts NASA drivers carry for the cars they drive, and I thank NASA driver Paul Coleman for this one. As you know, a good kit of spares can keep you out on track racing rather than going home with a busted car. A good set of spares also can be a resource for your friends in the paddock. Loaning out a tie rod can increase the size of the grid and the amount of Toyo Bucks up for grabs.
— That should be enough to keep me busy this year. I want to wish all NASA members a healthy and prosperous new year and to thank you all again for reading Speed News. I serve at the pleasure of the NASA member, and I’m honored to do it. See you at the track.