Learning never ends for a driver

Area driver making his mark in open-wheel racing.

Marietta resident and Parkersburg native Kevin Brumbaugh placed third in the Club Formula F class at the Sports Car Club of America’s 20th annual America Road Race of Champions on Nov. 1-3 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga.

Brumbaugh was part of a three-way battle for the lead during the 20 laps of racing. The top three drivers qualified within 0.1 seconds of each other. Brumbaugh finished third, but the margin for winning the event was less than 2 seconds.

“This was perhaps was the hardest and closest race I have ever driven. The draft as well as lapped traffic were factors throughout the race. One lap more or one lap less and the outcome would probably have been completely different,” said Brumbaugh. “I am constantly engineering the car as well as studying data and video to improve as a driver in the search for more speed. We came so close this year and hope to make another run toward the National Championship in 2014.”

Brumbaugh’s son, Andy, won the Club Formula F class at ARRC in 2000. This was the first full season of racing for Brumbaugh in the Club Formula F class series in partnership with Honda.

Formula F is an open-wheel road racing car and has served as a stepping stone for drivers advancing to IndyCar and Formula 1 competition.

  • One of the most uncertain issues in driving is finding revenue to support race teams. Mike Calinoff, a spotter for Sprint Cup driver Matt Kenseth, has spent a good part of his career creating business relationship models in the motorsports arena. Now, he has created an entity to serve drivers and teams in their quest for sponsorships.

GENER8PARTNERS, LLC will specialize in experiential marketing, leveraging consumer products and business-to-business relationships to develop sponsorship programs in motorsports .

“We’re not ‘sponsorship hunters,’ we’re like matchmakers,” said Calinoff. “We’re about creating opportunities for companies to not only gain exposure, but increase their businesses as a result of product leverage and creative relationships. The days of just vinyl on sheet metal are long gone from the sport of auto racing.”

  • NASCAR has achieved greatness by adding to the core group of voters to select the Hall of Fame inductees. Starting with the 2013 Sprint Cup champion, he will have a seat in the closed-door meeting to cast one vote for the 2015 class. NASCAR is the first major sport to include a current competitor on the voting panel.
  • Mark Martin’s racing career will be over after this week’s Sprint Cup race at Homestead. Martin hinted he would not race in 2014 and beyond. “It’s time for me to open a new chapter,” Martin said. He will test Tony Stewart’s No. 14 car in January at Daytona, then attend most or all of Stewart Haas Racing’s tests in 2014 to provide feedback or a second opinion for the teams.

Contact Eddie Thomas at ethomas@newsandsentinel.com