For years and years, I’ve wondered under what circumstances I’d be writing my first column in Grassroots Motorsports. Starting out, of course, I wasn’t too worried about it–as an 8-year-old kid autocrossing go-karts, I figured my father, Tim, would keep writing these columns for the magazine while I climbed the pro racing ladder into an eventual Formula 1 seat.
The more I grew up in the business, though, the more I realized that not only was I never going to be a pro driver, but I didn’t want to be. Instead, I realized that maybe my parents were right about one thing: that the world’s greatest job is running a small family publishing company and playing with cars all day.
I fell in love with our hobby, with our staff, and with our community. And I made it my mission to, one day, be the person in the front of the magazine welcoming you to this latest issue–even if my parents told me I’d be missing my chance to get a real job and just play with cars as a hobby.
So how does one become the second generation of Grassroots Motorsports? Well, it starts with a huge head start: I’m extremely fortunate that I was born to parents with a rotary engine instead of parents in the Rotary Club.
But I’m also extremely fortunate to have had the mentorship of so many of the magazine’s friends and partners along the way. I won’t name names, as this column’s limited to 750 words and it would be wrong to list only a tenth of them, but these people are the only reason I’m even half-qualified to fill these shoes. If you’ve ever learned something from one of my stories, odds are good I learned it first from a friend of the magazine. To everybody who’s ever taught me anything: Thank you.
Becoming the second generation also requires a fantastic staff. David and J.G., our two longest-serving employees, both started when they were younger than I am, helping my parents transform this from a resumé-building side hustle into a real company.
All along the way, they and others spent an inordinate amount of time teaching me the parts of the business my parents couldn’t, from David marking up my grammar with a red pen at age 12 to J.G. marking up my stories on suspension theory at age 30. Today we work as equals, sharing our love, passion and expertise for cars and the stories around them. Thanks to Kevin, too, for joining our effort and helping to mentor the next generation. And my gratitude extends to our GRM alumni,…