Grassroots Motorsports Podcast

Welcome to the podcast made for readers of Grassroots Motorsports and Classic Motorsports magazines! To subscribe, copy and paste this link into your feed aggregator: Grassroots Motorsports Podcast
You can also download the episodes individually. Click the links below. New episodes semi-biweekly (usually every two weeks—unless we take a week off, which has been known to happen).

Episode 54: SCCA's Hayward Wagner talks about Targa
The SCCA is joining the rolling roadshow game with targa: A three-day odyssey of sports careful and excitement that will visit tracks, autocross venues and public roads around the Southeast. We get the full scoop from hayward Wagner, SCA's director of experimental programs.

Episode 53: David Placek of Lexicon Branding
How did your favorite car get its name? We talk about the secrets of naming cars—and almost every other product in the world—with David Placek of Lexicon Branding. Lexicon is the agency behind such iconic names as the Subaru WRX and Outback, the Honda Ridgeline, the Scion brand and even items like the Swiffer and Febreeze. It's a fascinating look at how words and sounds affect our thoughts of products.

Episode 52: Al Unser Jr.
Al Unser Jr. has seen every side of fame in his storied motorsports career. Most recently he served as a guest judge at our $2015 Challenge. We ask him where that sits in his pantheon of achievements, and talk about what it's like to be part of one of the greatest motorsports families ever.

Episode 51: The guys from the Slipangle Podcast
On this episode, we talk to Adam and Austin from the Slipangle Podcast while they talk to us. It's very meta. Check them out on popular podcast outlets.

Episode 50: Randy Pobst
If you've followed road racing for any length of time, you probably know Randy Pobst. He's driven for several factory and independent teams in some of the most high-profile series in the world. Now he's turned his talents to the world of journalism, as a correspondent for Motor Trend magazine. We've known Randy for the better part of three decades, and we hopped in a car at a recent media event for a candid chat.

Episode 49: The new Mazda MX5
Ride along on a 1200-mile journey with editor David S. Wallens and Mazda's Dean Case as they explore the performance and usability of the all-new Mazda MX5.

Episode 48: Andy Weyenberg of Miller Electric
Andy Weyenberg may have a desk-job sounding job title, but his real mission at Miller Electric is to keep some of the biggest names in motorsports welding at the highest levels possible. He's a complete bead-nerd, and on this podcast he goes over a LOT of direct, hands-on tips for MIG, TIG and Stick welding.

NOTE: Due to remote recording, show lacks a bit of, um... flair. Yeah, flair.

Episode 47: 2015 GRM Tire Test
GRM's first tire test of the season is in the books, and ace tire testers David Whitener and Andy Hollis run us down on the inside scoop of this year's crop of hot rubber.

Episode 46: Kyle Kietzmann of Bell Helmets
Bell Racing is one of the world's most recognized names in head protection, and for good reason. Over the decades, they've built a reputation of quality, safety, and industry leadership. Kyle Kietzmann walks us through the helmet development process, and takes us behind the scenes at Bell, where they probably spend more time thinking about your head than you do.

Episode 45: Lisa Noble and Heyward Wagner of the SCCA
The Sports Car Club of America has a long and storied history among road racers, autocrossers, realists and car enthusiasts all over the world. President Lisa Noble and Director of Experiental Programs Hayward Wagner are leading the club into the future with lots of exciting plans and options for members to continue to enjoy the cars they love with the club that's evolving to meet the needs of modern enthusiasts.

Episode 44: Bob Woodman of Bob Woodman Tire
Ever thought of abandoning those street-based tires and going to a true racing slick? Well, turns out it's not so intimidating after all. We talk to Bob Woodman, of Bob Wodman Tire who brings with him decades of experience with race tires from vintage to autocross to cutting edge road racing, from DOT to slick as a baby's bottom. He lays down some knowledge on what you'll need to know to make the transition to a true race tire.

Episode 43: VW Golf R preview
On this episode, we take a look at the new 2015 Volkswagen Golf R. It's a 292hp hyper sedan with capabilities that go far beyond what we've come to associate with the VW Golf nameplate. We brought back some audio from the media intorduction, including a brief chat with none other than Mr. Hans Stuck.

Episode 42: Performance Coach Dr. Jacques Dallaire
Jacques Dallaire is the performance coach to the stars. His clients run the gamut from pro racers, to pro golfers, football players, as well as fighter pilots, surgeons, salespeople, and anyone that performs in a high-stress, zero-tolerance environment. On this episode, he shares some of his techniques and provides some insight into getting the most from your mental game.

Episode 41: JG and David talk about the SEMA trade show
The annual SEMA trade show in Las Vegas is basically the epicenter of automotive performance technology and trends each fall. Not everything sticks, but a whole lot is thrown up on the walls.
In this episode, JG and David talk about SEMA 2014, trade shows in general, and relate a few stories from shows past.

Episode 40: "The Martian" author Andy Weir
In the space of a few weeks, Andy Weir went from being and underground sensation for his self-published sci-fi survival story "The Martian" to a legitimate best-selling author with his book currently being made into an A-list motion picture. His tale of a stranded astronaut who must kludge, bodge and fabricate his way to survival immediately brought to mind our $20XX Challenge event, although with used spaceship parts instead of discarded Camaros. Weir's story will strike a chord with anyone who's ever had to improvise a mechanical solution when none seemed possible. He was good enough to sit down with us to discuss some of the "builds" in the book and their inspiration.

Episode 39: $2014 Challenge
Once again, our $20XX Challenge event brought together some of the most creative car builders you're ever likely to see in one place at one time. After the auto crossing, drag racing and car showing was done, Ed Malle and his insane Mustang took home the trophy for $2014, but everyone that enters has a story to tell. We captured a few via digital recorder, and here they are.

Episode 38: Warren Mosler of Consulier Cars
How many guys do you know that started their own car company? There's not many, but luckily Warren Mosler has been a good friend of our magazine since he first began Consulier Motors. Although the Consulier GTP and later Mosler MT900 are no longer in production, the legacy of what Warren and his associates created is still significant even three decades later.

Episode 37: JG and David talk about auctions and future collectibles
On this episode of the Grassroots Motorsport podcast, JG and David wrap up the recent Monterey auctions and discuss some of the monster sales—as well as some of the bargains. They also speculate a bit on what cars we may see fetching big money in the auctions of the future. Will yours be one of them?

Episode 36: SRT President and CEO Ralph Gilles
Calling Ralph Gilles an iconoclast may be a dangerous understatement. Rising out of the design studios to take the reins of Dodge's SRT halo brand, Gilles is a rare hardcore enthusiast in charge of a major chunk of a major American car company.

Episode 35: Heyward Wagner of the SCCA
Even though it's America's oldest and most storied Sports Car Club, the SCCA can't move into the future by just resting on its laurels. That's why guys like Heyward Wagner are around. Tasked with bringing the SCCA experience to a wider audience, and bringing a wider field of experience to existing members, Heyward has some exciting ideas about what the club should and will do to continue to succeed.

Episode 34: 2014 SCCA Solo Nationals
Back from the long road to Lincoln, Neb., we chat with a few folks who we met on the vast concrete expanse at the world's greatest motorsports party.

Episode 33: Getting ready for Solo Nats with Andy Hollis
As we approach the time of year when the best autocrossers in the country gather in Lincoln, Neb. for the Solo National Championships, we wanted to get some insight from someone who's mastered the art of performing on Solo's biggest stage. Multi-time national champ Andy Hollis shares some of his pre-Nationals prep tips for both car and mind.

Episode 32: JG and David talk about Car Movies
Some of our favorite movies have cars anthem. And some of our favorite cars are in movies and TV shows. This week, JG and David talk about some of their favorite hero cars, car-centric TV shows and movies, and share a little bit of trivia. It's like an editorial meeting, but fun!

Episode 31: SCCA Trans Am driver Amy Ruman
The SCCA's Trans Am series has seen some turmoil over the past few years, but 2014 is shaping up to be one of the most well-subscribed seasons in history, and the racing is as exciting as ever. Leading Trans Am into the future are drivers like Amy Ruman—herself a second-generation competitor in the series—who provide exciting and accessible personalities for the series. Amy talks about growing up in the series, her roots in racing, being the first female to win in the Trans Am series, and her quest for a championship.

Episode 30: Motorsport Marketing Event Director Rick Goolsby
Did you know we do a whole lot more than just publish magazines? That's right, we ale put on some of the most popular events in the sports car scene, including the Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge, the Classic Motorsports Mitty, our world Famous $2000 Challenge and more. The guy who makes that al happen is Rick Goolsby, and we chat with him on this episode. There's a complete recap of the action at the UTCC, a look at upcoming events, and some intriguing discussion of just why we put in the extra work to do events in the first place.

Episode 29: Pro Racer Robb Holland
Officially an international athlete, Robb Holland spends most of his time these days on the far side of the Atlantic, competing in the British Touring Car series and the VLN series at the legendary Nurburgring. Prior to that, Robb was active in all sorts of US series including the Pirelli World Challenge series and IMSA's Continental Tire series. We chat about his start in the sport, and what it takes to run competitively on an international level.

Episode 28: SCCA Street Touring Committee Chair David Whitener
You can't race without rules, and the men and women who make those rules have the occasionally thankless job of trying to balance the competitiveness of hundreds of cars across dozens of classes. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it. This week's someone is David Whitener: Chairman of the SCCA's Street Touring Advisory Board. We chat with David about the state of Street Touring—one of the SCCA's most popular autocross divisions—and his predictions for the future of the ruleset. We also discuss just what it takes to make a rule, and how the competitor affects the process at every step.

Episode 27: Aero Engineer Steve Stafford
The science of aerodynamics is understood by few, but has a huge impact on our competitive enjoyment of cars. We all know that air affects our cars somehow, but we're rarely aware of the magnitude or ultimate impact of those forces. Steve Stafford is, though. Steve is an Aero engineer and longtime friend of GRM who currently works in Toyota's NASCAR program. He's spent time in wind tunnels tuning everything from classic Alfas to F1 cars in his career, though, and our chat reveals a surprising level of aero tweaking that the average racer or enthusiast can take advantage of. We try to take some of the more esoteric corners of the black art of aerodynamics and make them relatable to everyone.

Episode 26: Pirelli World Challenge Racer Shea Holbrook
Shea Holbrook pays us a return visit, this time thick in the chase for the Pirelli World Challenge TC-A championship. Shea won the opening round of the series at Barber Motorsports Park, and currently sits second in the points standings. She talks about the pressures of running for a championship, and discusses her unique perspective on the predominantly male world of sports car racing.

Episode 25: Editorial Director David S. Wallens and Production Manager J.G. Pasterjak talk about stuff.
On this episode of the Grassroots Motorsports Podcast, David and J.G. sit around and talk about stuff. Mostly the subject matter involves great ways to get involved in the more participatory side of the sports car scene: auto crossing and track days. If you've been thinking about taking your sports car enjoyment to the next level, there's some great advice here and some great analysis of the current state of low-commitment sports car fun.

Episode 24: 24 Hours of LeMons' Judge Phil Greden
Phil Greden is an automotive journalist, writer, conceptual artist, avant-garde musician, and lunatic. All of which makes him a natural fit to be one of the driving forces behind one of the most enjoyable and kooky race series in America: The 24 Hours of LeMons. Phil brings a unique sensibility to the table, and his creative input has helped LeMons and other crapcan race series rise from the level of motorized curiosity to legitimate force in the US road racing scene.

Episode 23: The new Subaru Legacy, and a look behind the scenes of an automotive press preview
As automotive journalists, we occasionally get invited to press events put on by manufacturers so we can sample their new vehicles and products. Recently, Subaru invited us to take a drive in the new 2015 Legacy, but they also invited us to bring a guest. We thought that would be a great opportunity to provide an outsider's view of the world we experience every day. On this episode, we talk to Subaru's Dominic Infante about the new Legacy, as well as a few of the other exciting cars in their lineup like the WRX, STi and BRZ. We also talk to Dana Pasterjak, who also happens to be the wife of the host, and who got the rare chance to be a civilian at an automotive media event.

Episode 22: Lee Grimes of Koni Shocks
If you've ever seen the familiar Koni Shocks service trailer at a motorsports event, you've probably met Lee Grimes. Although his official title is something like "product specialist," his position is really to be the ambassador for Koni in our world of participant-based racing. Whether he's revolving a set of shocks or writing a press release, Lee Grimes is one of those guys that understands our world and how the performance companies and racers coexist. We chat with Lee about the Koni company, the shock biz, and gets lots of juicy tech info on dialing your car in with adjustable shocks.

Episode 21: New York International Auto Show Part 2
David Wallens takes a digital recorder and a press pass to the New York Auto Show and gets the lowdown on some of our favorite models. This edition features a chat with product specialists at Kia, Fiat, Mazda, BMW and Maserati.

Episode 20: New York International Auto Show
David Wallens takes a digital recorder and a press pass to the New York Auto Show and gets the lowdown on some of our favorite models. This edition features a chat with product specialists at Nissan, MINI and a long talk with one of the fathers of the Mazda Miata, Bob Hall.

Episode 19: Pro Racer Mike Skeen
Mike Skeen's origin story is a lot like those of us mortals. After all, when we first met Mike he was racing a Spec E30 in NASA. But through hard work, determination and talent he's risen through the ranks and is now a busy professional racer. His current gig has him driving the CRP Racing, Hawk Performance Audi R8 in Pirelli World Challenge, but he's also spent time in Trans-Am, IMSA, and even NASCAR. We chat with Mike about his beginnings, his approach to speed, and life as a pro racer.

Episode 18: Dumb GRM Stories: Volume 1
We'd love to put some sort of classy spin on this, but we can't. J.G. Pasterjak and David Wallens sit around a talk about stupid stuff that's happened over the years while we've been making car magazines. If you've ever wondered what the life of an automotive journalist is really like, prepare to be underwhelmed.

Episode 17: A novice goes autocrossing, and we get ready for The Classic Motorsports Mitty
Our own Circulation Manager, Nancy Gomes, has spent eight years here, but never turned a wheel in anger on the autocross course. We fix that by sending her to the SCCA's Starting Line school. We had a quick chat with her the Monday after the school, while her adrenaline was still raging. We also talk with Historic Sportscar Racing's David Hinton about vintage racing in general, and the Upcoming Classic Motorsports Mitty at Road Atlanta.

Episode 16: Pirelli World Challenge Racer/Team Owner Shea Holbrook
At the age of 23, Shea Holbrook is not only competing in the Pirelli World Challenge series, but she's turned her love of racing into the family business as a multi-car team owner as well. We talk to Shea about her start in the racing business—at a time when she was barely old enough to drive legally—and how she grew from a club racer into a pro team owner.

Episode 15: BMTA Chairman David S. Wallens
You probably know David Wallens as the editor of Grassroots Motorsports magazine and Classic Motorsports magazine, but you may not know he's also the Chairman of the British Motor Trade association.The BMTA is a trade gout for professionals in the field of repairing, restoring and preserving British cars, as well as parts manufacturers serving the scene. Ultimately, the enthusiast derives the most benefit from the organization, as it gives the professionals who keep those cars on the road a tool to better communicate, network, and keep the British sports car scene alive.

Episode 14: BMW Motorsports' Jens Marquardt and Matt Russell
BMW Motorsports has a rich and storied tradition, and Jens Marquardt is the latest to helm the division as they take on the rest of the sportscar racing world. We sat down with Jens, and BMW Motorsports PR ace Matt Russell, at a recent intro for the new M235i Racing. We examine BMW's place in racing's history, take an in-depth look at the M235i Racing, and chat with Matt about BMW's relationship to the enthusiasts who own and race the marque.

Episode 13: Riley Technologies' Bill Riley
As one of the namesakes of Riley Technologies, Bill Riley has had a hand in the development and construction of some of the most impressive racing sports cars of the past three decades. And while he loves to see his creations mix it up at Daytona, Sebring, LeMans, and other famous circuits, he also loves trading paint with other weekend warriors in the crapcan racing scene.

Episode 12: Motorsport Marketing co-owner Tim Suddard
Not many 24-year-olds decide to start their own car magazine. Of those that do, we'd say even fewer succeed. But our magazine simply wouldn't exist today if it weren't for a 24-year-old Tim Suddard, his dream, and his determination. On this episode we talk with Tim about some of the early days of the magazine, and what leads to a decision to start a car magazine and, ultimately, define a movement.

Episode 11: Amelia Island Concours Chairman Bill Warner
Bill Warner took a circuitous path to the Chairmanship of the Amelia Island Concours. A successful businessman, as well as respected photographer and automotive journalist, Bill has always had a love for beautiful machinery, though, and over the past two decades, he's built the Amelia Island show from plucky startup to one of the nation's greatest displays of historically significant automobiles.

Episode 10: GWAR Lead Singer Dave Brockie
It may not seem to make much sense that our humble little sports car podcast is chatting with one of America's foremost heavy metal icons this week. But, we are. After our chat with GWAR frontman Dave Brockie, though, we realized that what he does and what we do really aren't all that different. Sure we don't spray fake blood all over people at Road Atlanta, but the spirit of making the most of your resources and passionately pursuing your craft is one that resonates whether you're an underground metal sensation, or an independent sports car magazine. Even if you're not a GWAR fan, we think you'll see a kindred spirit. PS, this episode contains a few salty words. It's really not gratuitously offensive, though, but we left the conversation as-is because it all flows quite nicely.

Episode 9: Motorsport Marketing Editorial Director David S. Wallens
On this edition of the podcast, we give you a behind the scenes look at our day-to-day life in the magazine biz in a chat with Editorial Director David Wallens. David tells us a bit about his early days in college, getting the job with us back in 1993, and working his way into the driver's seat of a very exciting sports car magazine. We also chat about how his job has changed because of new technology, and a little about the actual process of building a magazine, from concept to execution. David also tells us about his latest press trip, where he got a chance to drive BMW's all New MINI.

Episode 8: Champion Autocrosser Andy Hollis
If you autocross, you know who Andy Hollis is. Even if you think you don't, you've doubtlessly been affected by his influence on the sport. In his three-plus decades of competing, he's always been at or near the pinnacle of the sport, constantly competing on a level that makes the rest of us look quite mortal. We chat with him about his approach to preparation, and how—even 30+ years later—he's still excited about putting rubber on asphalt.

Episode 7: eBay Motors' Jessika Lora
In the past decade, eBay has risen from an internet curiosity to a major powerhouse, reshaping the way we purchase and trade all types of items. eBay Motors is now one of the largest repositories of vehicles and parts for sale on the internet. Jessika Lora is one of the folks shaping eBay's future, and she sat down with us at our $2013 Challenge event to talk about what makes their company so unique, and even provided a few insider tips on buying and selling on eBay.

Episode 6: Mazda Motorsport PR guru Dean Case
PR guys sometimes get a bad rap, but Dean Case undoes all that ill will. In addition to being in charge of PR for Mazda Motorsports, Dean has the distinction of being a good friend and a cool guy. Maybe it's because he came to the PR game from the engineering side, or maybe it's just that he loves making great connections between people and companies with interesting stories to tell.

Episode 5: Hot Rod Magazine Brand Director David Freiburger
Hot Rod magazine is an iconic title in our industry, and the guy in charge of making sure Hot Rod stays awesome is David Freiburger. More than an editor, Freiburger oversees the entire Hot Rod brand, from print magazines, to web media, to video and anything else they can think of to get their message out. We love chats with other folks in the car magazine industry, and we think you'll enjoy riding shotgun as we talk shop with Mr. Freiburger.

Episode 4: Deltawing Racing Chief Engineer Simon Marshall
What if your only limitation is designing a race car was your imagination? That's a lot like what the designers of the radical Deltawing started with when they were honing their controversial, arrow-shaped design. We sit down with Deltawing's Chief Engineer Simon Marshall to talk about the design and development process of this revolutionary car, and what it's like being the kid on the block with the strange toy nobody understands.

Episode 3: Motorsport Marketing co-owner Marjorie Suddard
Margie Suddard was kind enough to play guinea pig in one of our first podcast technical tests. This was never intended to be a distributed podcast, but after we listened to it, we realized it was an extremely compelling look at what it takes to survive in the publishing and small business world these days. The audio is a little rough in spots, as we were still working through our recording methods, but we hope you excuse those and enjoy fascinating chat with our office mate.

Episode 2: SRT’s Eric Heuschele
Chrysler’s SRT division is more like an independent tuning shop than part of a huge corporation. The men and women building cars there are true enthusiasts, but they have the resources of one of the largest car builders in the world at their disposal. We talked with SRT’s head of vehicle dynamics, Eric Heuschele, about the cars they build and the people who build them. Eric has been a friend of GRM for a while, since his days mixing it up behind the wheel of an SSC Neon.

Episode 1: Pro Racer Charles Espenlaub
Although he's a low-key guy, Charles Espenlaub lives his life in one of the most exciting environments imaginable—behind the wheel of a race car. We talked to Charles during the first Daytona IMSA test session of the 2014 season, held in November 2013. We discuss his path to the pro ranks, the future of sports car racing in the U.S., and what it's like to be on fire.

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