I am from the road racing Mecca of America, potentially even the world... Paducah, Kentucky.
Okay, so that's a lie. One, I'm from a town a little south of Paducah, and, two, we're not near anything. The closest road courses are all over 2 hours away. The racing culture here is dirt ovals and drag racing.
As with many Jalops in my generation, my father grew up in a time when you couldn't buy a front wheel drive anything, and there was a checkbox on any nearly any car's option sheet for a V8. My dad got his license in 1963 and I'm still jealous of him to this day for that. He's got pictures of countless Chevy II's, Chevelles, Corvettes, Camaros, Impalas, and the like that he drag raced into the ground and scrapped or sold for next to nothing. He ran the 1970's equivalent of today's stadium trucks back when the aftermarket was so limited you could take a stock truck. He's got a little Jalop in him to say the least.
So, it was inevitable. I love cars, as we all do here. I grew up going to NASCAR races and local dirt tracks. Say what you want about NASCAR, but more racing goes on in one 400 mile race in NASCAR than in an entire season of F1 or any endurance racing series. The wheel to wheel competition aspect is unparalleled. From a very young age, I knew I wanted to race.
I grew up across the street from a go kart track, like you find in any remotely touristy place. The place went through many configurations over time, including at one time a higher speed banked tri-oval and a road course separately, and today they are joined together. My dad, owning the excavation business across the street, built the additions to the track, thus, I rode for free nearly anytime I wanted. The MSPaint gray sections are where the old tracks were laid out.
We debated getting into dirt track racing a lot. My dad looked at a lot of cars to gauge my interest. I had already set my mind to turning both directions, though. There just wasn't anywhere to compete in any form of asphalt racing near us. I gave up trying to be a child phenom race car driver.
I'm pretty good at math, and I'm mechanically inclined. This, is a recipe for a Mechanical Engineer. I worked and studied hard in school, worked full time to pay for it, and graduated in 4 years debt free. Somewhere in there I met the guys from the local SCCA chapter and heard about autocross. It sounded lame.
If you think autocross sounds lame and you don't like eating your words, then don't try it. If you have any inkling of a competitive bone in your body, it will consume you. I was driving an Infiniti G35 coupe at the time and edged out two mustangs in my class by a few tenths of a second. I was hooked.
I sold that car due to being laid off (thanks 2010 construction industry). I started working again in April, 2010 and started looking for another car. I was looking for a 2005-7 STI, but got a great deal on a 13 month old 2009 STI hatchback. Completely stock to where it sits now it has raced in Stock to Street Modified classes and been an exceptionally great autocross car, but it was time to take another step.
HPDE's are invaluable. I learned more about pushing the car and pushing myself to push the car in three track days than in all of my autocross experience. It's a different world. Sidenote: go drive Road Atlanta, it's incredible. That still wasn't doing it for me. I hated being faster than a car and not being able to just pass them. I needed it to mean something. I needed to race.
I'm working on it every afternoon I can. I'm spending every dime I can get my hands on. It takes a lot more than the car to go racing, and I'm finding that out every day.
Feel free to ask questions if you want to know what I'm doing to get started. There are multiple blogs like this on the internet, I just feel like contributing.