From the President: Racing into the Future – A Nation of Speed

(This article, written by SCCA® President and CEO Mike Cobb, appears quarterly on

Recently, I had the privilege of visiting our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., to support important initiatives tied to maintaining and perpetuating our ability to have #funwithcars today and into the future. During this visit, I had the opportunity to connect with dozens of leaders from U.S. motorsports sanctioning bodies and supplier partners while meeting with Congressional leaders regarding key hurdles facing our sport.

I had a break one afternoon and took in a tour of the National Air and Space Museum, which includes many incredible exhibits, including one that I did not expect to see called “The Nation of Speed.”

The exhibit itself paints a portrait of human ingenuity – the technology developed to propel people faster and faster – and explores how the pursuit of speed has shaped American culture and our national identity. This exhibit is presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and includes references to select legends in motorsport history including, but not limited to, the Indianapolis 500 (open wheel), Don Garlits (drag racing), Richard Petty (NASCAR), “America’s Sports Car” (1959 Chevrolet Corvette), etc. And when it came to referencing Sports Car Racing in the United States – the exhibit did not reference IMSA, SVRA, GridLife, or NASA, it referenced the Sports Car Club of America. In fact, there were direct references to the SCCA in the exhibit with specific mentions of Group 44 led by Bob Tullius and Donna Mae Mims, the first woman to win a national auto racing championship.

I don’t mention this here to boast, but rather to share that in our first 80 years of existence, the SCCA and its members have done some pretty important things and made big marks in motorsports history. I share it here as well to say this: If we wish to maintain and grow our historic position in U.S. motorsports, we must be vigilant in five areas vital to continued success:

  • We must deliver the best experience possible across all SCCA programs
  • We must innovate and capitalize on current and emerging technologies and trends
  • We must lower barriers to entry and expand the universe of potential participants
  • We must provide an environment across all SCCA programs consistent with our mission
  • We must fight for the right to enjoy, participate, and grow amateur motorsports in the U.S.

There are, of course, additional areas to key on for continued growth and relevance as a Club, but I believe these to be of great importance if we desire to continue to be seen as the gateway for amateur motorsports in North America. In support of this, we will continue to push for innovation and improvement in all aspects of the SCCA experience, from program design and delivery, to cars and classing, to membership support and leadership development.

The rate of change in our current environment has never been more rapid. I hope you will continue to support the SCCA as we make changes and adjustments, to remain competitive while securing our position in this “Nation of Speed” for the future.

Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum