“NASA” has had a long standing tradition of hosting a Christmas party in Dec. Originally started with the Sturla brothers, the baton was handed down to the Daytons for several years and this year the Evanson’s took over the honors. Since we were planning on having a Christmas party anyway, the Missus said, “hey why don’t we invite everyone and just make it also an awards banquet?”. Call her crazy but we did it, and actually there was no where near the carnage expected. On a serious note, thank you to all who attended for being respectful of our home and keeping the (majority of the) shenanigans at the track! 🙂
Every year NASA AZ recognizes competitors with a season end award. These are quite different from an individual event award as they require a significant commitment to run for an entire year in the same class and usually the same car. According to the NASA AZ Supplemental Rules “… to be eligible for a season end award, the competitor must attend at least 50% or more of the races in the same class.” While the intent of this rule is to keep folks from poaching on low/no subscribed to classes and/or getting a championship in more than 1 class, the reality is all of our Season end Champions and trophy winners deserve a round of applause for their dedication and loyalty to the organization. RESPECT!
For the past couple years, the club has done some pretty slick metal trophies that were laser cut. These were well received but The Missus decided to change things up this year with a 3 dimensional concept that really blew the socks off pretty much everyone. We captured several pics of the winners but if there was a vote for best podium pic of the night, it would have to go to TTU. 1st place Champion Travis Barnes couldn’t make the party in person but his Snail homies made sure he could experience recognition via FaceTime and his favorite beverage as you’ll see in the pics below if you look close enough.
In the front driveway was setup an official autox course complete with a timing system accurate down to the .001 sec. A leaderboard was established and two spec classed cars were provided via TTP (Time Trial Plasma-car). The vehicles were sponsored by and courtesy of my kids so make sure you tell them thanks the next time you see them at the track for the consumables on the tires and relatively minor body damage. As much as yours truly would like to claim victory, I simply couldn’t beat NASA AZ’s oldest Jr. Official and newest HPDE driver Austin Dayton with a blazing time of 10.072 that no one could touch! My best efforts could only muster up a 10.255 (which I would like to publicly claim as the fastest NASA Competition Licensed driver time – Ha!). Jason Noel with a 11.656 followed by Eric Dayton with all 11.920 rounded out the top spots. There were many other participants and even more excuses why others couldn’t be a participant but if you’ve never driven a Plasma Car need to give it a try! According to the Amazon advertisement, they can accommodate children up to 220 pounds so it seemed like the perfect NASA ice breaking activity!
The garage was setup with some PS3 and race car driving action via the PA system, HPDE1 projector and even a race car chassis to sit in while driving! Out in the backyard Tom Johnson (NASA AZ’s newest ST3 competitor and owner of http://airpowerinsurance.com/) & his trusty sidekick “The Help” could be found cooking for hours so all could enjoy some good eatin! Gordon Levy (http://levyracing.com/) of course also assisted with cooking duties. Huge thanks goes out these guys so I didn’t have to cook!
One tradition with the “NASA party” has been the infamous “white elephant” gift exchange which we continued and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The other big highlight of the night was a live performance of the 12 Days of Christmas which was full of good times and plenty of laughs.
Written by: Tage Evanson
Some photos by: Tage Evanson (others stolen from Jay Ronquillo)