Catching Things Up: Race Season 2021


It’s the end of April, I’m 2 events and 6 races into the 2021 season and I’ve been MIA since the end of 2020. A new business opportunity presented itself early 2021 and pretty much consumed my life. It’s one of those high risk high reward moments with potential to fulfill every gearheads dream, to play racecars all day. I’m not quit there yet but I am at a point where I can slow down a bit again or at least shift focus and devote a little more time towards racing, this site and future plans.

NASA Midsouth Summer in February at MIR (Feb 2021)

No surprise here but the season started at my local track in Memphis Tennessee aka Memphis International Raceway. Format this year included a TREC race on Friday with 3 944spec races spanning Saturday and Sunday. Weather factored into all three days with races taking place on a damp or wet track with mixed conditions requiring both slicks and rains in the wet.

The highlight of the weekend was hopping into Shawn Taylor’s spec Miata for a stint in the TREC endurance race. You wouldn’t guess it from the outside of the pink #901 944 spec but I am particular with my cars. And that’s what was so cool about the TREC race. I had no idea what I was getting into or what my performance would be driving an unknown car. In the rain and on way past their prime slicks as well. But after 2 laps I was on pace and enjoying the hell out of the car. This was another one of those moments that demonstrate my evolution as a driver to my toughest critic. Me.

Throughout Saturday and Sunday I won all 3 944 spec races by significant margins reinforcing that I am a lot more comfortable in the wet than even a year ago. If you follow the blog you should be intimately familiar with the track so I will let the video of race 2 do most of the talking. Overall it’s pretty uneventful but you can really get a feel for the dynamic conditions we faced this weekend.

NASA Great Lakes at NCM (Mar 2021)

Back to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green Kentucky for round 2 of the season. Last year, I was hit in 2 separate incidents at this track through no fault of my own and was anxious not to have a repeat experience.

I started race 1 maintaining a solid 2nd pace when a Miata found the wall in the sinkhole resulting in a full course caution behind the pace car for several laps. This bunched the field and I was slaughtered on the restart. I’m coming up the hill onto the front straight where the last corner worker is still displaying a standing yellow. Once the finish line is in view I see the green flag. Problem is, the other guys have radios and knew the track was green several crucial seconds before I did, leaving me helpless and in 4th place by turn 1. This scenario is starting to get old and we are working on a Midsouth region radio channel for future mixed region races. They work together so why aren’t we?

I finished this event with one 4th place finish and two 3rd place. No contact this time around and lots of clean and close wheel to wheel racing. Once again I’ve covered this track quite a bit so I will end with two videos of race 3. I’m pretty happy about the pass I made in the sinkhole around the 9:40 mark.

By Chris Simmons

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