CMC State of the Union

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Al Fernandez
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Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 10:03 pm
Location: Magnolia, Tx

CMC State of the Union

Postby Al Fernandez » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:27 am

As we head into the Holidays I wanted to reflect a little on 2009 and give you some food for thought for 2010 and beyond. Our forum makes it possible to stay in touch with fellow CMC racers from all over the country, but sometimes we still only see things from our own perspective. So this is a little view of things from my perspective.

There is no doubt that 2009 has been a roller coaster year, with some stellar results and some very disappointing setbacks.The economy has certainly hit all of us in one way or another, and a few of us have been hit very hard, particularly the folks on either coast. On top of that the switch to and then away from the 888 certainly had an impact on people’s ability and even desire to get to the track. In spite of that, almost all of our regions saw dramatic growth in 2009. The MidWest/Great Lakes and Rocky Mountain regions are both twice as big as they were, and they both have more cars in the making. Both have hit that critical mass point where its much easier to attract cars. The South East and Mid Atlantic regions are both almost up to full strength after a regional split that’s gone essentially unnoticed. Here in Texas we set and beat our own attendance records. Certainly, for most of the country, CMC was a stellar year in spite of external influences. As the economy recovers and the tire deal settles down it is reasonable to expect another stellar year in 2010 in these regions as well as beginning to see cars in other regions where CMC had no formal presence.

I didn’t mention California yet since that is the exception to the norm. In California we’ve gone from fields in the mid 20s to single digits. Of course the single biggest change in California this year was the split to a North and South region, to match that of NASA itself, an unfortunate schedule with overlapping events, and the resulting rift between NASA and some of our long term colleagues. For 2010 we have a much better schedule between Norcal and Socal, made possible thanks to the Ca CMC directors and NASA working together, and we will continue to manage this transition to a north and south. California certainly has the car count to support a full North and South, and over the years drivers throughout all of NASA have proven that towing 9hrs three or four times a year is not their preference so, long term, the split makes sense.

On the rules side we’ve made some significant changes and yet maintained a stable rules set where it counts. We’ve eliminated the regional coordinator concept and named at least one director in each region. This will allow each region to be properly represented and ensure someone is on the ground to wave the CMC flag. We’ve also essentially finished the CMC2 rules set with the adoption of several viable fuel injected packages for the 3rd gen platforms. Going forward I would expect the CMC2 rules to be as stable as the CMC1 rules have been.

Looking longer term, it is our intent to prepare and publish a long term plan that brings AI and CMC together to provide a complete package for racing American pony cars. What I mean is a description of major rules changes we expect over a 3-5 year term. Now, before you jump to conclusions let me be clear: we are not going to change from the CMC mentality into the AI style. Similarly we are not going to turn AI into CMC. What we are going to do is ensure the rules packages provide a logical stair step of increasing vehicle complexity/performance/cost and that they don’t conflict with each other. CMC works in a very different space than most NASA classes. We are not a spec class where every decision is made for you. We are also not an essentially open class where the sky is the limit. Yes this means our rules discussions sometimes get quite heated and our rulebook is very complex, but our goals, purpose, and style works and that is not going to change. Most of the content in this long term plan therefore will be about AI, though I do expect a few minor adjustments on the CMC side as well.

Personally I am very excited about the 2010 season and beyond. As always, do not hesitate to talk to your local director or myself when you have concerns or suggestions. Meanwhile, take the time to enjoy the Holidays with your loved ones because the new race season is right around the corner and once its here you’ll want to be where the action is: at the track with CMC!!
Al Fernandez
CMC Chief National Director

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