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Author Topic: NASA compared to SCCA
geneclev
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how do they compare which do you like better?

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Jeff Lyon Verified Driver
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6 of one, one half dozen of the other. [Big Grin]

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d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Good and bad with both.

Kyle Burkhardt
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My advice--go spend a weekend with both. Better yet, volunteer for a weekend. You'll get a great idea for how the club works, whether you like the people, etc. Another consideration is the quantitiy and quality of the racing available. Which club has more car counts? Which club has more races in your area (also, does one club do 2 races in a weekend and the other 3-4?)?

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Kyle Burkhardt
NASA Midwest
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Read their 'rules of the road' carefully. The philosophies on contact/passing differ greatly.

You may find one or the other more to your liking.

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Weekend Warrior Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Gene,

In our region, there are generally more cars in SM/SSM with SCCA, which usually means there is greater competition, this has been changing in last few years. I personally like the predictability of race times at NASA. I like this because my wife can know usually within 15 minutes when I will be on track. She likes to watch my race but doesn't want to spend the majority of the afternoon there. The comraderie of SCCA is different than NASA as well. I like both for different reasons. This year it just happened that I had other issues get in the way of the majority of races with SCCA. I have only raced a couple of races with SCCA where NASA's schedule fit my availability better. Neither I feel is better or worse and it depends on what class you are racing. The CMC guys at NASA usually have something fun going on after racing. Where the SM/SSM folks are the rowdy crowd in SCCA...

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Drago Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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Other than NASA nationals format, I like everything else better in the SCCA.

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Z-MAN Verified Driver
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The only thing I didn't like about NASA was the lack of corner workers at an avent a few years ago.

They will run a race with some stations empty - SCCA will not.

The race in question was at Road Atlanta - the station at turn 1 was empty at the time and a car went off and hit the wall going up the hill. The driver could not get out of the car and needed help but the start/finish station could not see him and neither could the station at turn three. They had to be told by the spectators that he needed help.

I don't know if this was normal but I didn't like it - I've been out there before and probably will be again [yep]

MZ

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Also their corner workers are trained to not respond, even with a fire thats in a good response position. Z-Man, you will never see a critical corner like turn 1 unmanned at an SCCA race.. even if it manned by just 2 people there will be warm bodies there. And typically if the amount of workers allow it 5-6 workers at turn 1 is ideal (2 on flags, 1 communicator, 2 across track).

The real question is what do you want to do? If you are looking for HPDE, TT and some racing or race and TT on a weekend, NASA is the way to go. If you are looking for just racing SCCA is going to be where it's at. An issue with NASA is the schedule is SO packed, any type of significant (5+ minutes or more) cleanup during a race will typically end your session... even after 2 laps, 1 lap or no laps.

That being said... I know many SCCA regions are working to incorporate TT's into race weekends so there is movement there. And there are plenty of folks who run both depending on life and schedule, you don't need to run just one.. or the other, but you can if you want.

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d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I prefer SCCA, mainly because of the lack of corner workers and only having 2 race groups in NASA.

The SM entries in the GreatLakes has been more in NASA vs. SCCA, 29 starters last Mid-O NASA event vs. 24 at IT-SPECtacular (which was a "big" event, usual 12-14 entries is the norm). Good competition in both clubs.

A couple specific things NASA does that I wish the SCCA would incorporate: Once you have your NASA annual tech you get a sticker for the windshield - no sign-in at tech the rest of the year = no filling out tech sheets, no standing in line at the tech shed every weekend. NASA let's me enter as a team so my wife and I can share the car for a weekend without paying extra. SCCA sometimes charges $75 - $150 more to share a double regional (deal breaker - I tend to skip those events). NASA lets any guest into the track by signing a waiver, no crew list needed, no fee for overcrew. These are thing the SCCA could adopt. NASA does not say "Because that's the way we've always done it". NASA schedules are almost always on time (sometimes that's a bad thing, like when your race group gets shortened to stay on schedule).

I still prefer the way the SCCA conducts the actual on-track activites - especially when SM gets it's own group.

But it's good to have options.

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This varies accross the country widely. Some SCCA regions are runn better than others. Same with chapters in NASA. You just need to experience both in your area.

Don't forget to look into some of the local groups like Midwestern Council, Wiera and COMMA come to mind.

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Z-MAN Verified Driver
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I definitely have to agree with a few of those comments NASA makes you feel welcome and wanted - I'll go back and race with them again.

I love racing with the SCCA but the old "That's the way we've always done it" really has got to go... Late charges, sharing charges and charging for spectators is STUPID - in this day and age when we are trying to get guys back to the track and get new guys (Gals) on the track why charge people to come check us out.

In my opinion an entry should only be late if it's not done one day before the race - not two weeks... The computers do all the work now days - they prepare all the docs...

You know what's funny to me?? It's always the big tracks like Mid-Ohio, Barber, Road Atlanta, Daytona, Laguna Seca... This is where we shine - they need to make it more inviting to get people out to the track not less - I mean really at all of those tracks visitors are going to buy the $9 burgers and $5 soft drinks most of the time - isn't that enough???

IMO - No one should ever have to pay to go watch a regular SCCA race week end - drivers should be allowed as many crew spots as they want - if they invite someone chances are they are interested in racing and might become a new member but if they have to pay they wont be so excited about coming out.

MZ

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Z-Man, a couple of years I went to watch a NASA event at Road Atlanta... guess what, it was 10 dollars at the gate.

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All this has happened before, and will happen again

wheel Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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SCCA, in many divisions, has incorporated PDX experience in your license requirements (up to now, informally). In Midiv, experience in Karting, PDX, and SCCA solo has led to many waivers for the second school requirement. At the last school/double regional at MAM, the entire Driver's School class was waived to race on Sunday.
There is a more formal movement to include this as part of the rule structure.

wheel

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Normally, the TRACK is the one that determines if there is a spectator fee, and not the organization running there.

quote:
Originally posted by Lance Snyder:
Z-Man, a couple of years I went to watch a NASA event at Road Atlanta... guess what, it was 10 dollars at the gate.


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Don't quote me, merely responding to Z-Man assertions that SCCA was the only one to charge for spectators.

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All this has happened before, and will happen again

Weekend Warrior Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Drago:
Other than NASA nationals format, I like everything else better in the SCCA.

Their National format is nice.

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d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Lance, were they charging everyone... or just you [Razz]

Z-ville Racing Club Verified Driver
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What does someone in NASA need to do to try an SCCA race weekend?

fishguyaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Z-ville Racing Club:
What does someone in NASA need to do to try an SCCA race weekend?

I think you just need to be a member of SCCA, pay for the year membership plus the competion license, basically the same as NASA does with its members.
your NASA competion license is recognized/accepted by SCCA

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Josh Pitt
AZ Region

John A - 5X Racing Verified Driver
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My thoughts since the topic was asking our opinions:

1. SCCA only offers contingency payouts for National racing accomplishments (as far as I know), NASA does not have a regional/national separation which means any NASA race weekend a racer is eligible for the contingency programs associated with their class (Toyo/Hawk/Mazdaspeed for SM). I am racing a full NASA season and I haven't had to buy a set of tires with my own cash yet this year, it makes a HUGE difference for some of the lower budget racers (like me and the guys racing in our region).

2. This might be entirely dependent on your home region, but, NASA seems to be much more gratifying if you do accomplish a podium finish. Our region (NASA FL) has a nice awards ceremony for all participants of the weekend where they announce the podium finishers and you go up and get your trophy while a picture is snapped. NASA SE even has trophy girls that stand next to you while you get your picture taken. [Big Grin] Definitely makes it seem like a bigger deal, and it feels more rewarding to you personally considering how much money we invest in trying to win the almighty $5 wooden plaque. My experience with the SCCA in this area was a little disappointing the first time I found the podium, I think a lot more can be done to make the competitor feel a bit more important in the SCCA in my opinion. [duck] Then again, the SCCA is a non-profit club and NASA is a business, so making the "customer" happy is what businesses should be aiming to do anyways.

3. In our local options of clubs, the SCCA has the biggest car counts. If car counts and all out competition is what you desire the most, this should be a determining factor for you in which club to choose. For me, after a few years the all out competition meant a lot of bent fenders and work in the shop after the race, which left me with less money to race after fixing my car. I like the lower car counts sometimes because it's easier on my equipment and wallet (not as much contact), and sometimes I like the higher car counts at places like Daytona or Sebring which can handle a 60 car field. This is why I race with both clubs.

The way I look at it is that it is all racing when you get out on track, no matter what club it is for. There are a lot of things that go on in the paddock that can negatively (or positively) effect your weekend, whether it is with the politics of the organization or with fellow racers. The most important thing is to make sure that you are having FUN! Find the organization and people that will support this the best, because you will stop doing something if it is not fun anymore, right? Some people consider high car counts and trading paint fun; some people consider coming home with a clean strait car fun.

I personally like it all, and wet my beak in both organizations racing activities down here in FL. So, support both organizations in some way or another, unless we want to figure out how to put on a race by ourselves!

Hope that helped despite how long it was...

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John Adamczyk

Owner: 5X Racing Online Race Shop
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Frank Todaro
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this was my first year of racing and I did it all with NASA, I did get my competition license and I did did do all the paperwork and now have my SCCA comp. I plan on doing the OVR event at Mid-Ohio in October. I was interested to read this as I have been asking the same question my self. I decided to do both and draw my own opinion. I have done 8 races with Nasa and it is on time and predictable. Its nice with the annual tech that your roll inn and just line up at the grid for practice. in the last two races we had about 30 SM cars in the field. we do a split start with SM in the front. Most of the time only a few of the front runners in the group behind run me down.

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Frank
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I've been to regionals with both clubs(spectator) but only paid at a NASA event to enter...but this may have been the track(Infineon)?

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NER88 Verified Driver
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Entering the track is all about insurance.
At our tracks in the NE, once registration closes, you enter the track on their insurance.
I'm not sure I want to be on track with cars that their log book has not been checked, how do you know if repairs from another event are correct?
Discounting entry fees is all about costs to operate. We offer our drivers discounts if they run more than one class but giving discounts to spouses can open up a whole can of worms, what about my brother or my son??
Remember someone has to pay the overhead, if you discount one you need to make it up somewhere.
Finally, SCCA is a member driven club, get involved, you can make a difference.

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Jerry

d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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(With all due respect) Pulleeeeeeez, I not asking for a discount, I'm asking that two national licensed drivers who both have 9 years experience in the same car be allowed to share a double regional, each racing one day, without paying sometimes almost double what 1 car, 1 driver, both days pays. Same amount of track time for the car - just a different butt in the seat. Go ahead - keep charging me double to enter me and my wife - and I'll keep avoiding those events like the plague. If you care to check you'll see I haven't run a NE Div-SCCA event in years.

And it been years since the SCCA has made ANY notations in log books in my region. They will only investigate contact if the driver protests. NASA mandates incident reports.

tony senese Verified Driver
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I started with NASA and have done lots more races there so I am biased. In general in the Northeast, SCCA has bigger SM/SSM car counts and more competition. That's why I started racing with SCCA as well like many have said.

My biggest issue with SCCA is the whole licensing/national/regional separation. I guess guys in the "national" races are supposed to have more experience and the races are supposed to qualify you for the runoffs..... not so much.

You get more racing and track time at most of the NASA weekends. They are almost all doubles for one entry fee.... I'm just sayin...

I do like the fact that I am one of the "young guys" in SCCA...... (I'm 50....)

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Tony Senese
SM#99
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First of all you can't make generalizations about either organization as they both differ by region or in the case of NASA...by franchise owner. For example Denny only pays $35 extra for his wife to race the second day when he races here in Central Florida. In SCCA SM there are plenty of young drivers here in CFR. You should try each organization at least once and also try different regions to see what you like. I feel lucky to live in a region with great racing, good people, cheap entry fees, and great tracks. I race SCCA and NASA and will try PBOC eventually.

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Paul McLester

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Paul, I really like how the SE Div-SCCA does it - kind of an ala carte system - pay for the races you enter. That's why I try to race down there as much as I can.

-Denny

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They learned a long time ago that the racer is the customer!

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Paul McLester

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quote:
Originally posted by Z-ville Racing Club:
What does someone in NASA need to do to try an SCCA race weekend?

With your Nasa comp license, all you need to do to run an SCCA Regional race is enter, pay for a $15 weekend membership, and get your car an SCCA logbook, and inspection. Be aware that some of the safety requirements are a little different between the two, and it might be a good idea to get your logbook in advance of your event.

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Gatoratty Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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If the race is a restricted regional you need to check the supps to see if NASA (or other) licenses are permitted. Here in the CFR only NASA Honda Challenge drivers are allowed with a NASA license. SM Nasa drivers have to hold an SCCA license. You should always read the organizations rules (GCR, CCR, etc) and the supplemental regulations.

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Paul McLester

Butch Kummer
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While some/many SCCA regions (including Atlanta) recognize NASA licenses for regional races, there is no reciprocal agreement. My SCCA National license "qualified me" for a NASA Competition license, but I still would have had to pay the $70 for the license. It also expires on Dec. 31 each year (not at your membership expiration date), so to race at their Dec 4, 2009, event at Road Atlanta I was effectively paying $70 for a one-event license. All I wanted was some track time to sort the car out, so I ran a couple of their Time Trials sessions instead.

Perhaps that policy has changed in 2010, but I found it less than customer-centric.

As others have said, you should always read the rules and supplementary regulations...

BK

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Atlanta Region Asst. RE, Competition Director

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NASA usually equals more track time, but SCCA seems to be better organized. SCCA still seems to have more of the top SM drivers than you would find at a NASA race, atleast where we raced.

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NASA Great Lakes use to honor SCCA licenses but stop doing that several years ago. My guess is that they're getting enough entries now that they don't have to.

Pat, You and Shawn should come to a Mid-Ohio NASA race next year. I was surprized how competitive SM was there this year - a lot of talent - very close times in the top ten. Parity doesn't seem to be a big issue at Mid-O, which by the way, will be hosting the NASA Champs next year.

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Denny, the only reason we stopped racing NASA was there decision to move the Championship race to Miller and the fact that SCCA was having there race now at Road America instead of Topeka.

We always enjoyed racing, and miss the good people that race NASA. Hopefully next year you will be seeing us alot. [Smile]

pat

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Arrow Karts

   

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