NASA March Madness 2021

A week after camping, I had a track event with NASA. This was the same weekend as Super Lap Battle in Austin, Tx. I was contemplating to attend the Super Lab Battle event, but unfortunately I decided not to. The main reason was because I would be out classed in my group. Super Lap Battle classes the cars based on mods. My car is caged and fully stripped, only retaining the stock dash. The cars are modded this way, have a lot more horsepower and aero then me. No point to bring a knife to a gun fight.

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With that in mind, I ended up attending the NASA event. I’ll be driving with cars that are in the same class as me because it is based on HP to weight ratio. I’ll be getting quality seat time and do some wheel to wheel action.

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I recently bought a trailer from another 86 friend. I’m glad I did because this will save money in the long run, instead of renting a haul trailer for the weekend. All the NASA events will be out of town, and I plan to put some good use of the trailer.

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Friday I loaded up the trailer and headed to MSR Cresson. I convoyed with some other track friends, and left in the late afternoon. Perfect time for the afternoon traffic rush. The 4hr drive ended up becoming a 5 hr drive. When we arrived, it was dark and cold. We unloaded the cars, and had to go at Whataburger. My friends stayed at a hotel near the track, but I camped. I was dropped of back at the track, and ate my dinner in the tent. I watched a movie on Netflix before calling it a night.

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Saturday I woke up to the sound of cars rumbling. The weather was sunny and cool. Perfect for a track day. For racers, we don’t have drivers meetings. We just show up and do our stints. 8am was practice, I quickly got ready to make it to grid. When I was on the out lap, my car started fuel starving after every corner. The 2nd lap I pitted in and drove to nearest gas station. Only to forget my wallet. By the time I filled up and got back, practice was over. Great. Last time I was at this track was 4 years ago. Next session would be practice and my lap times was super slow compared to the other at least 5 seconds off the next driver.

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Well, racing is about getting podium not the fast time. Im still slow but I was battling it out for last place. What a rush. It’s fun to have wheel to wheel action regardless of position. I managed to shave a lot of time to be able to keep up with the back pack. Pretty proud of that.

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Then Sunday came along and the race director changed it up with longer race. The sprint races are 20 mins long. This race was 45mins. A long race, and I was kinda hesitant. I was worried if I, as a driver, and my car can take that abuse. I did the usual practice and qualifying, and getting more comfortable with the track. My fastest time was 1.5 seconds off the 2nd place car. I knew that seat time was making me a better driver.

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The 45min race started and it was fun! The longer race taught me to not over drive the car. I didn’t want a fast lap then at the end of the race I’m trying to fight the car for traction. Granted I did make mistakes and had some offs, but I was learning how the car behaves. The long races allows you to think, and make adjustment on the track in order to catch up to the leaders. In the end I placed 2nd from last in my class but I got a faster time then the driver that was ahead of me. This meant I can be a fast driver, but Im not consistent enough. Probably becuase I would make mistakes on the next lap. Learning about race craft is diffenent, then just all out fast times.

The race came to an end, and I wanted to join my other friends on a DE session but the drive back to Houston is a long drive. One of the other things I love about racing, are the racers finish early from the DE people. I was able to load my trailer and pack out sooner then my other friends. If I didnt have work the next day I think I would have stayed longer to join in on the DE fun.

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Thankfully I didn’t incurs any race penalties. Next race is in April at Eagles Canyon Raceway! Thanks for reading!

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