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2014 NASA Nationals!


68Cobra

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Well they finally announced Nationals for next year! It's official, Jim snookered us on that late August date!

Road Atlanta, here we come!

 

http://www.nasaproracing.com/2013/11/nasa-expands-championships-to.html

 

While I like the idea of a single NATIONAL Championship, the split format will be better & a lot more people should be able to attend. Nice not having to spend $3000+ just to get there & stay for 6 days too!

 

James Ray

#68 NASA-SE

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Maybe all the winners will get half a trophy and half a bottle of champagne to go with their half title.

 

 

Let’s be honest here, it’s hardly ever a national championship anyways. At this level few people can afford to take off a full week, tow 2000+ miles for a plastic trophy. Most times the only drivers that showed up were the ones closer to the track the championship was being held at. This was painfully obvious at this past national event where several classes didn't even run because no one showed up, and even the ones that did were painfully low on participation and missing most of the east coast drivers.

 

It would be different if this was a pro series.

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Maybe all the winners will get half a trophy and half a bottle of champagne to go with their half title.

 

That's all they are anyways. Half titles. If you look at recent Nationals, you get a few specks of cars from the other side of the country and that's it, but it usually boils down to people who drive the track regularly anyways. Might as well make it what it is and call it what it is. Nationals was dwindling pretty badly from where it was a few years ago, even during the recession. People aren't driving all the way across the country for what was more like one of the more popular regional events, just double the cost.

 

I'll also bet this way, the East/West championships will be harder to get than the previous nationals. Thereby making them more valid.

 

So as long as the half a trophy is bigger than the old full trophy and it's half a double size bottle of champagne, it should be good representation.

 

Though I'd still like NASA to have a mega national at COTA (maybe in a couple of years), this is the second best option by a wide margin over the old format IMO.

 

Congrats to Jim and Julie.

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Let’s be honest here, it’s hardly ever a national championship anyways. At this level few people can afford to take off a full week, tow 2000+ miles for a plastic trophy. Most times the only drivers that showed up were the ones closer to the track the championship was being held at. This was painfully obvious at this past national event where several classes didn't even run because no one showed up, and even the ones that did were painfully low on participation and missing most of the east coast drivers.

 

It would be different if this was a pro series.

 

I see your point and agree that location does tend to weed out competitors, but at the end of the day national champions are crowned and are decided between those that are crazy enough to make the trek and shell out the money. It's all part of the game. I've missed several national events because of different circumstances, but I can't blame anyone for that except myself.

 

I don't think it's fair by any means to say that previous national champs aren't really 'champions" because not everyone was able to attend.

 

Splitting the championship into 2 series just diminishes the value of the ultimate trophy or a podium.

And while it sounds cool, the whole "drive a spec Mazda" to see who's the NASA Grand Champion is completely ridiculous. Ridiculous beyond mention. It takes building the best car within the rule set out of the equation.

 

I truly hope that someone is able to take full adantage of what Mazda is offering, but I'd say that 85% of us who could become eligible for that gig are over 35 with a family. Tell me how many pro race teams are out there looking for that in a rookie. Zero.

 

I agree with heavychevy that a mega national event would be nice, but wouldn't that be what we already had and stopped doing?

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So how does this work with regional classes like Thunder Roadster? Are they going to be considered STR3 for Nationals or will we get our own official class?

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Fred Crawford

I was at 2006 and 07 Nationals. I enjoyed Mid Ohio and meet some great guys, had too much social fun. However I was on the record then, locals have a great advantage, we will too at RA. I also thought what Nasa put out there as a National Championship Week race was a joke. I still have nightmares of driving 1000 miles only to sit down to a clown party , cold hot dogs, cold fries, unsweetend tea dinner. I did get a balloon creature tied up just for me

 

Anyway, I think the 2 venues will be great. Nasa is spread out to far. Not sure of the business plan there.

 

Fc

Hoping for Atlanta.

Thx Jim

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I agree with heavychevy that a mega national event would be nice, but wouldn't that be what we already had and stopped doing?

 

No, that was the intent, but it wasn't working. I think that's the whole point for the change, the old formula was not working. Miller and Mid Ohio were getting played out for nationals. You may get people traveling across the country, but it doesn't mean it's the best ones. This format allows for better competition, which is a bigger point than a who's included formality. The tracks will rotate keeping the competition and excitement fresh. An impossibility under the old format. Think about East Nationals rotation at Road Atlanta, Road America, Sebring, Watkins Glen, VIR!!!!

 

That alone makes this better.

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National Championship = National Classes....?

 

maybe tweaking your regional rules such that you fit the National class a little closer could help.

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Fred Crawford

 

 

 

I agree with heavychevy that a mega national event would be nice, but wouldn't that be what we already had and stopped doing?

 

No, that was the intent, but it wasn't working. I think that's the whole point for the change, the old formula was not working. Miller and Mid Ohio were getting played out for nationals. You may get people traveling across the country, but it doesn't mean it's the best ones. This format allows for better competition, which is a bigger point than a who's included formality. The tracks will rotate keeping the competition and excitement fresh. An impossibility under the old format. Think about East Nationals rotation at Road Atlanta, Road America, Sebring, Watkins Glen, VIR!!!!

 

That alone makes this better.

 

Unless they fund it properly and have a class event...... it still wont work. However, it does sound nice to me.

 

Fc

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I agree with heavychevy that a mega national event would be nice, but wouldn't that be what we already had and stopped doing?

 

No, that was the intent, but it wasn't working. I think that's the whole point for the change, the old formula was not working. Miller and Mid Ohio were getting played out for nationals. You may get people traveling across the country, but it doesn't mean it's the best ones. This format allows for better competition, which is a bigger point than a who's included formality. The tracks will rotate keeping the competition and excitement fresh. An impossibility under the old format. Think about East Nationals rotation at Road Atlanta, Road America, Sebring, Watkins Glen, VIR!!!!

 

That alone makes this better.

 

 

 

Unless they fund it properly and have a class event...... it still wont work. However, it does sound nice to me.

 

Fc

 

Well, at least they are starting in the right place. There are what now 5-6 Road Atlanta events on the NASA SE schedule in 2012 and 2013? That's because Road Atlanta is a crowd drawer and Jim and Julie put on great events. I think the price will be important, but otherwise you can't lose vs most NASA regions skipping most or all of the month of September to nudge people towards going to nationals. Low nationals count = LOSE/LOSE.

 

I'll bet right now that both regional events will be bigger (and more competitive) overall than NASA championships were in 2012 and 2013. Grassroots people are less inclined to pay 1k to get into an event, take a week off from work and then drive or pay someone to drive 2,000 (or more) miles cross country to Utah or vice versa to Ohio, that's just to get there. To be competitive you more than likely need multiple sets of new tires, many laps to learn new tracks. It just doesn't fit the grassroots business model as well as a shorter condensed, more accessible and almost surely more competitive event.

 

I'm just sayin' as far as alternatives go, I don't see how anyone can argue the old format as better, other than being able to say you might have beat a dude or two from the opposite coast with no track familiarity. That's small beans compared to the upside.

 

The great part is that they can build on this. Late August still leaves room for a Nov/Dec Championship COTA event in the future. I think that's the only middle point venue that will draw the real deal for a nationals event. (Maybe Road America). Maybe give the regional winners reduced entry and auto qualify (vs 5 minimum races). I've been saying they should have a regional for years now and let people gamble on being an automatic qualifier for nationals if they won regional. It would result in better competition, and more ways to get to Nationals and more people at Nationals.

 

I'm interested in hearing a good counter point, because I certainly can't think of any, other than you get to say you won nationals because you won even with the small spattering of drivers who could afford to make the trip from the other side of the country. I can't think of any.

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Local nationals with contingencies and winners get a free arrive and drive. Hmm, sounds horrible to me. Proof that it's impossible to make everyone happy.

 

Next year will be great with more out of regions racers coming down to RATL to test and tune for nationals. I can definitely see megabuck Cali teams making both National events too. Now I just need to find a class to run.

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Firebird Man
I do agree that COTA would be the best for a National. About as centrally located as it gets and a world class facility.

 

They just had the SVRA Nationals there, over 500 cars from what I heard. Little bit of logistics problems dealing with that many cars.

Like one guy said, it's a nice place for putting 150,000 butts in the seats, not so much for 500 cars in the paddock, but it'll get better.

 

I was thinking NASA would go full regional runoffs, E,W,N,S and then a full combined, maybe this is the first step to see how it pans out.

Now, just how to get to get Vintage into the Nationals format?

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Fred Crawford
I was hoping for VIR so I had a shot against the RA home field talent, but this will do!

 

It sounds like they are rotating tracks yearly..... so you will have your chance

 

Fc

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I was hoping for VIR so I had a shot against the RA home field talent, but this will do!

Doubt I will even bother. It makes no sense to pay double the rate (estimating) to run in an event with half the contingencies and no real carrot.

 

Dez - I can honestly see your points and you make some really good ones (most that I agree with), but why call it a National event? It's really nothing more than a really big SE event. You think I would be excited since it's my home track, but it just doesn't make sense to me. I know the national office felt like they had to do something because of last years turnout, but what did they expect when they held the event in the middle of nowhere? How was turnout for 2011 and 2012 Nats at MO? Honest question because I don't really know.

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With regards to why they chose a track in the middle of nowhere, I think because there are another 500-700 miles and 8-10 hours to any of the other tracks people are willing to travel cross country (west) for. A likely deal breaker for many that were willing to travel that far, especially if you were driving yourself. Track selection/distance I'm sure played a big part in both directions. People aren't going to keep coming to Mid-Ohio over and over again from AZ or CA or TX.

 

The way NASA has staggered the events makes it possible for people to attend both, I know I'm considering it if I can find reasonable transport to Sonoma. There are two months between events, plenty of time. They will call it nationals, because just calling it a big event isn't going to draw the crowds they are looking for. Right or wrong, it makes business sense. And with a good rotation of quality tracks, there is much to be excited about in coming years. I'm ok with them having an East National Champ, West National Champ and Double National Champ. Has a nice ring to it.

 

All of the nationals have been big regional events with a few more guests from other regions than normal. Mid-Ohio was probably 70-80% Midwest and Great Lakes, same groups that run that track all year. Spattering of SE, NE, FL, TX and western regions made up the rest. I think with the stagger we will see an equal amount of out of region competitors if not more.

 

I've been wanting to go to Nationals for 2 years now, but TT1 had 2 people in it this year, and maybe 4 or 5 last year, which ended up at 2 or 3. I don't care what they call it, I'm not traveling all sorts of distances for that. Personally, I'm interested in the quality and at least some depth of competition. A "national" event has more standards to live up to than just being an exclusive, inclusive event. IMO of course.

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mcmmotorsports

Doubt I will even bother. It makes no sense to pay double the rate (estimating) to run in an event with half the contingencies

 

I am hearing full contingencies for both events.

 

NASA finally going to Daytona was a hit towards my return to racing after only a 5 month hiatus.

This morning's announcement? Put the nail in the coffin for me.

Stay tuned

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