NASA-SE Spring Brake at Roebling Road, April 7-8 2018: Having a race car means learning to deal with a broken heart

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Qualifying before the car died. “What’s a girl gotta do to get a clean lap in around here?!”

Sometimes, bad days make for exciting YouTube videos, like last time I raced at Robeling. This time, bad days made for no video at all. After running about 30 events in two different Miatas, I had a mechanical failure end my weekend for the first time. This is my second “bad day” event at Roebling in a row. Intellectually I’m not superstitious, but emotionally I feel like Roebling is my unlucky race track.

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NASA-SE Winter Meltdown at Carolina Motorsports Park, February 10-11, 2018: My first time racing in the rain

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What’s the rain line? Stay out of the puddles.

This is really a story about Carolina Motorsports Park’s (CMP) strange pavement. The asphalt at CMP is made up of small, very pointy, sharp rocks. On the track’s surface, the tar has worn away leaving all the tiny pointy edges of the rocks sticking up, making the track less grippy and harder on tires. I knew all this going into the weekend. But what I didn’t know, and what no one else knew either, is what this track was like to drive on when wet. Somehow it hadn’t rained on a race weekend here in recent memory. This was the weekend it finally rained on us at CMP. And we all learned that CMPs grip levels don’t seem to be correlated to how wet the track is.

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NASA-SE Winter Carnival at Roebling Road, January 20-21 2018: Bad days make for exciting YouTube videos

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Brake failure, mid save.

In racing, there are good days and bad days. You’ll often here professional drivers tell the video cameras, “Today just wasn’t our day and our performance on track didn’t reflect what we’re capable of.” I always want to hear more about bad days because I’m always looking to learn from other people’s experiences, and you often learn the most on the worst days. But between sponsors and egos, it’s hard for racers to talk about bad days. However, in the spirit of this website, I’m going to tell you all about mine – even the embarrassing parts.

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Making it official – NASA-SE Competition License School

Many large racing organizations require you to have a competition license to race with them. NASA competition licenses are earned by attending a “competition license school” event, which is really more of a “prove yourself worthy” event than a “school.” The full day event is designed to stress and exhaust comp school students and concludes with a “mock race.”  The idea is to demonstrate that not only are the students safe and competent racers, but that they’re safe and competent races when they’re so hot and exhausted they can barely remember their own names.

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