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I reached out to NASA about our Lap Times system, and got this head scratching reply

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PaddyPrix

If breakin' parts is cool, consider me Miles Davis
725
1,080
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
San Diego
Ooh, I get to use one of my degrees today. I don't think they meant it with malice, but if I were in some role there, I'd somewhat see it the same, as my goal would be to raise its presence and prestige, growing the organization through various strategic partnerships, and in that mindset, I'd have a hard time seeing how a specific build/make-focused... well anything, would build towards that. I say that, because that seems to fit their pattern, if you look over the least year's worth of messaging, they are focused on bringing in partners like Toyota and the GR Track Experience (free day of instruction/tracking), or Yokohama with tire contingencies and sponsoring the Move of the Month. The rest of that would be a driver spotlight/story, and some paid/partner product/technology showcase like a new fire system.

Kindness doesn't cost anything, and I'm sure they know that a majority of their Ford/Mustang drivers are active here (anyone know of a regional/national champ not here?) and yeah, it would have been nice for a shout out or something, but if it were me, I'd fear it opening a Pandora's box where say, BimmerForums, VWVortex, Viper Club of America, etc, etc, and others do the same, and I'm maybe having to tell the people who are paying for advertising why I'm letting people in the club for free. I dunno, perhaps that opens up for situations where now these people are finding and joining new forums (which is awesome for the forums, not so much NASA) and they read that some redheaded dude in NASA SoCal is a dick (he is), and that's why they switched to SCCA, GridLyfe, ... I dunno.

We still love you though.
 
296
362
CA
I'm reaching out to various groups to see if we can get some support for the new Lap Times system, as I think it's pretty damned cool, and everyone seems to really like it so far. SCCA has been receptive and so have others. But when I reached out to NASA, this is the response I got from them:

:wtf:

I don't understand why a group like NASA would be against the idea of showing support for an online community like ours, mentioning us in a news article, etc, when our site is full of people who participate at their events. It stands to reason we would all benefit from helping each other out. I would happily do more to help bring some more exposure to their events on our site, like take the time to add them all to our Events calendar - I've even offered to do just that. I've actually reached out to them to see if there's a spreadsheet for the events, and other ideas on how we could help each other out. They have shown no interest.

Here we are with a cool new Lap Times system that is pretty unique, fun, and could end up being pretty useful for Mustang track rats. And they don't see any value in helping us bring more exposure to it. Helping us doesn't align with their mission and their membership - or maybe the idea of recognizing a system that allows Mustang owners to submit and store lap times is problematic? I don't know. It doesn't make sense to me.

Someone should suggest to their leadership that they be a little less rigid with their unwillingness to show support for other groups who are more than happy to show support for them. For as welcoming and helpful as the racing community is for participants, you'd think it would be easy to get that same type of support for TMO from the organizations that put on the events.
Funny, I had a similarly negative experience with NASA officials in regards to classing my car. The way they handled it put a very sour taste in my mouth.
 

Ludachris

Chris
Staff member
Moderator
1,655
1,954
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Newcastle, CA
Ooh, I get to use one of my degrees today. I don't think they meant it with malice, but if I were in some role there, I'd somewhat see it the same, as my goal would be to raise its presence and prestige, growing the organization through various strategic partnerships, and in that mindset, I'd have a hard time seeing how a specific build/make-focused... well anything, would build towards that. I say that, because that seems to fit their pattern, if you look over the least year's worth of messaging, they are focused on bringing in partners like Toyota and the GR Track Experience (free day of instruction/tracking), or Yokohama with tire contingencies and sponsoring the Move of the Month. The rest of that would be a driver spotlight/story, and some paid/partner product/technology showcase like a new fire system.

Kindness doesn't cost anything, and I'm sure they know that a majority of their Ford/Mustang drivers are active here (anyone know of a regional/national champ not here?) and yeah, it would have been nice for a shout out or something, but if it were me, I'd fear it opening a Pandora's box where say, BimmerForums, VWVortex, Viper Club of America, etc, etc, and others do the same, and I'm maybe having to tell the people who are paying for advertising why I'm letting people in the club for free. I dunno, perhaps that opens up for situations where now these people are finding and joining new forums (which is awesome for the forums, not so much NASA) and they read that some redheaded dude in NASA SoCal is a dick (he is), and that's why they switched to SCCA, GridLyfe, ... I dunno.

We still love you though.
Oh hell, here comes the ginger perspective... 😁 I kid, I kid!

Most forums these days are owned by a large corporate network (like VWvortex ,CorvetteForum, and most others out there). It's changed the forum landscape significantly over the past 15-20 years, most would say in a negative way. Very few, if any of the forums out there are building new systems/features like our Lap Times database, or any sort of new modern feature or technology that anyone would consider shout out-worthy or innovative. Hell, many of the forums out there are still running obsolete software versions that are over a decade or two old. I don't know that NASA would get many other requests for shout outs like this, but I suppose it's possible, and one reason why they might not want to show us any recognition in a news article. That's plausible.

I get that it's a tricky balance for them, with their paying sponsors. We have a similar situation here on TMO in some ways. But sometimes strategic partnerships aren't always about formal alliances, monumental agreements, organizational growth, and ad dollars. Scratching the back of others in the community here and there can still pay off in small ways that make good business sense, even if it doesn't directly contribute to growth or revenue. Sometimes the tunnel vision on the bigger goals makes it difficult to see that.

Not a huge deal. Again, I just thought it was an odd response and was a little put off by it. Especially having been a volunteer for them in the past.
 
296
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CA
What was the issue?
They wouldn’t let me run in TT4 because I have an aftermarket K member which (can, doesn’t necessarily have to) alters front control arm pickup points. Many emails later, they were going to approve me to run in TT4 with a handicap and then did a total 180° after 20+ emails and said no, TT3 only. Even though my car is nowhere near TT3 power to weight ratio. Not really interested in fully gutting and spending $5k to build up the engine to be competitive in TT3 for the time being.
 
81
90
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Stockton, CA
If they were ONLY an HPDE organization, I could see that. Granted, I know a big portion of their business revolves around HPDE, but they do have a lot of Mustangs participating in TT and W2W competition too. But good point about legal and insurance. I wouldn't be too surprised if that was behind the response. Whatever it is, it's just too bad.
NASA's response definitely could have been written a lot better but I would agree with others who mentioned the insurance and liability issues for anyone using it in hpde. I was just at a HOD event last week and when someone in the driver meeting asked if transponders were available, the coaches were quick to give a disclaimer that they don't promote competition. I'm sure there are plenty of lawyers and activists, especially here in CA, that would love to financially benefit from and/or shut down our sport.
 
I could be something as simple as not wanting to create conflict and potentially loosing business by showcasing a specific vehicle. Maybe they will come around and realize the whole world already knows Mustangs are the best. ;)
 

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