The end of the racing season is the same for me as it probably is for you: bittersweet. On one hand, I take a deep breath and look at everything that went into the past season of racing and recall all the standout moments that made it special. I also exhale deeply when I realize I’ve got a couple of months worth of projects to get the car ready for next season.
It likely will take every bit of all that time to get all the items crossed off my whiteboard and to put the car in race-ready trim.
Here at Speed News, the feeling is largely the same. I’m sorry to see the season end. I enjoy seeing who’s doing what in the regions, but during the winter, there are no regional race reports to read. There are no engineers or racers to interview and no cars to write about.
We do get to attend a couple of trade shows, and the 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by Hawk Performance is as much a journalistic challenge to me as it is a racing challenge to drivers and crews. However, there is a bright spot, and you’re reading it right now: The 2014 Annual Racing Guide and Setup Manual.
This is where we take the best features and departments from the year and compile them all into one manual for NASA members nationwide to use as reference material. Like the inaugural edition of this guide last year, this one is packed with the best stories on driver development, setup, power mods and hands-on tech pieces.
I thoroughly enjoy the process of hand-picking each story goes into the guide. It’s painstaking because I’d include more if we could, but space, as the saying goes, is limited. I’m grateful to have the contributors we do here at Speed News, and I’m always amazed at the depth of their knowledge and creativity.
One of my favorite regular “departments” is Toolshed Engineer in which Speed News contributing writer Rob Krider showcases the attention to detail and level of preparation it takes to win races. I’ve said it before and it bears repeating: Whenever I think I think too much about racing, I read Rob’s material and realize I don’t think about it enough.
One of our other writers, Neil Roberts, has contributed some great stuff this year. We didn’t have room for all of it, but what we did have room for is top-shelf content. Neil did a couple of stories on data acquisition, another on driver development and another on choosing the appropriate gear ratios in axles and transmissions. They are all excellent, which is why it was especially disappointing when Neil told me he would not be contributing to Speed News in 2015. With work, projects and family, he’s simply spread too thin. I’ll miss reading his work, and he’ll be difficult to replace.
We still have writer Don Alexander going into the new year, and I’m glad for that because he’s critical to the content of Speed News. Don has done it all, it seems, on a racetrack and behind a keyboard. He’s been a writer, editor, racer and engineering consultant to many brand names you’re familiar with on the racing scene, and his contributions this year have presented a trove of information. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
We understand it’s difficult to use a laptop or iPad out to the garage. For that reason, we also offer the magazine in print through MagCloud.com. Buying a copy is easy. Just click the link to get the “2014 Annual Racing Guide and Setup Manual,” and MagCloud.com will ship one to you. http://www.magcloud.com/browse/magazine/525089
As we head into the offseason, I hope NASA’s annual guide is helpful to you in the shop, and, especially, beneficial to you in finding your way to the podium.