When we first started plotting the May/June 2020 issue of RACER, we were just beginning to wrap our heads around what COVID-19 and its aftermath would mean for motorsports – still are in many ways. We figured the magazine you’re holding in your hand, or reading online, would be a small sign that we’re still alive and kicking, despite the sport that defines us being in a state of suspended animation.
But, of course, motorsports did what motorsports always does, and with the tenacity, courage and bold thinking that defines every racer, it confronted this new challenge, saw a way forward, and mashed the throttle, not the brake. That’s why this issue of RACER isn’t about a world stopping, but a world restarting. “Drivers, restart your engines…”
As I write this, NASCAR is already leading from the front on how to bring the sporting world back to live physical events, and other race series will soon follow. Safety, of course, must be a defining factor as we move forward, but sport is about risk and reward, too – and nobody understands that better than the auto racing community.
Motorsports is a culture adept in dealing with environments and circumstances that represent mortal risk to competitors, event workers and fans. It constantly manages that risk by relying on science and data with an objective and proactive mindset. Beyond being a defining force in just the return of sports, those are unique attributes that can help lead society forward by demonstrating how to confront and overcome the challenges present in the era of COVID-19.
Whatever challenges still lie ahead for us all, the outcome starts with the mindset we choose. And while some believe racing is in the entertainment business, at RACER we believe it’s always been in the inspiration business, too.
As we built this issue, we were inspired by the teams, sanctioning bodies and tracks we spoke with, not just in the traits we’d expect from racers, but in their selflessness and their desire to be part of the bigger fight against the challenges that confront us all. Auto racing is an industry built for speed and adaptability, and as you’ll read in this issue, so many teams, manufacturers and individuals stepped up and focused those attributes for the greater good.
And speaking of being inspired, preparing the Heroes section for this 28th anniversary issue of RACER has been a true privilege. In its pages we pay tribute to the great Stirling Moss, who passed away April 12, by recalling just some of his incredible exploits. Plus, we go back 40 years to 1980 and the enthralling story of the first of Dale Earnhardt’s seven NASCAR Cup Series championships. Switching to two wheels, we talk with Eddie Lawson about his decade of 500cc Motorcycle World Championship success.
Enjoy the issue, stay safe, and we’ll see you at a race track soon.
Click here to purchase the new issue of RACER.
Check out the gallery below to take a closer look at the issue.