Tuesday, March 20, 2018

MPG March Meeting - How To Survive As A Freelance Automotive Journalist - Panel Discussion

Second luncheon meeting of 2018 and it brought forward an interesting group of panelists who primarily focused on Freelance Automotive journalism surrounding the driving and review of automobiles. Other subjects not covered were issues based upon deadline freelance coverage of  motorsporting events and specialized car shows. Also, the presentation would have allowed a greater impact if time were factored in for a Question & Answer session, post panel discussion. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2018) 

MPG March 2018 Meeting - How To Survive As A Freelance Automotive Journalist - Panel Discussion

Overall, it is always great to get together with like-minded, like-focused folks on a consistent and repetitive basis. Such is the best of experiences shared at the luncheons put on by the Motor Press Guild (MPG).

One of the elements that seemed to be missing from the order of things, that were tradition in previous year's meetings, was the logo'd tradeshow type pop-up. When placed properly, adds to everyone's photo album and let's most everyone know the meaning and context of the images taken by all who attended - great for instant Social Media postings.

After ample time for everyone to gather around and meet, lunch was served and the room was filled with its usual joyous and involved banter.

The Motor Press Guild began in 1984 as IMPA West, an affiliate of the New York-based International Motor Press Association. It is an association that has room, and meets monthly, by tradition, for all. To better serve “specialty” writers and photographers in the Motor Press Guild, The Motorsports and Car Culture Committee has been formed in 2018 ... chaired by Tom Stahler, pictured here third in from the right. Image Credit: Myles Regan (2018)

Then, promptly at 1:00pm, the panel discussion was enjoined. If there were new members, or folks who were invited guests, a time for this kind of Motor Press Guild tradition of introduction and announcements concerning MPG business wasn't placed into the calculation and management of the meeting.

That observed, the planned educational panel to discuss “How To Survive As A Freelance Automotive Journalist”, was a great success. Much was shared from issues that included transitioning from staff positions with publications, what an average work load/project base would look like, to the breadth of what editors look for in a successful Freelance relationship at high level publishing portals and print outlets.

The discussion was moderated by Manuel Carrillo III, Motor Press Guild Secretary for 2018.

Discussion included the following panelists (L to R):

•Elana Sherr - Freelancer, formerly Roadkill magazine (freelancing for Hagerty, Dodge, and Hot Rod)

•Bradley Iger - Freelancer (Hot Rod, Autoblog, Motor1, Autoweek, and Digital Trends)

•Christian Wardlaw - Freelancer, (Car Gurus, J.D. Power, and manages Freelance team at  New York Daily News)

•Basem Wasef - Freelancer (Autoblog, Men’s Journal, Robb Report, and Wired)

•Karl Brauer - Executive Publisher at Kelley Blue Book, has 10+ Freelancers on his team


Manuel Carrillo III: A Porsche 911 S brought Manuel Carrillo III home from the hospital after he was born, so it's no surprise his lifelong trajectory has centered on cars, leading him to a robust career creating rich automotive media for publications such as Robb Report, Luxury Life and DUB Magazine. Manuel got his start writing about cars for Autofiends.com, and that led him to four years as the Automotive Content Editor at Internet Brands where he helped manage a team of 31 freelancers contributing across 25 websites.

Elana Scherr: Over the past six years, Elana Scherr has been an editor for HOT ROD and during a good chunk of that time, Editor-in-Chief of Roadkill Magazine. Recently she’s become a freelancer. When MPG President Michael Harley asked her to be on this panel, she joked with him that she hardly felt she should speak as an expert freelancer when (at the time he reached out to her) she had been doing it for only two weeks. “Are you paying your bills?” he asked. She said yes. He said, “You’re qualified.” Elana currently works with Hagerty, HOT ROD, Sports Car Market, Dodge, Driving Line, and Fuel Curve.

Bradley Iger: From stealing his brother's Hot Wheels as a toddler to wrenching on his own vintage daily drivers as a teen, Bradley Iger has always had a passion for cars. Over the years he has contributed to publications like Hot Rod, Autoblog, Motor1, Autoweek, and Digital Trends, providing car reviews, technical features and event coverage with a specialized focus on high performance and motorsport. He currently resides in Eagle Rock, placing him just a few minutes away from the twisting tarmac of the Angeles National Forest.

Christian Wardlaw: Writing professionally about cars since 1994, Christian Wardlaw started at Edmunds before the company had a website, and ended at J.D. Power before launching Speedy Daddy Media and freelancing his writing, editing, photography, video, copywriting, and consulting services. Currently, he is the editor and business manager for New York Daily News Autos, and his company also provides content to J.D. Power and CarGurus. Family affair: Christian’s wife, Liz Kim, is also a freelance automotive journalist and automotive copywriter.

Basem Wasef: Basem Wasef been afflicted with the car and motorcycle bug since he was a tyke, but didn't fall into automotive journalism until long after he realized it could be a viable career. He got his start contributing to a now-defunct LA-based lifestyle magazine, and now counts Automobile, Autoblog, Men's Journal and Robb Report as clients. He's also currently finishing up his third book for Quarto Publishing.

Karl Brauer: Karl Brauer is the Executive Publisher at Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book and Dealer.com. He’s been in the industry since 1994, starting as the editorial assistant at Hot Rod Magazine, and he’s held multiple editorial and publishing roles at Petersen Publishing, Edmunds.com and Autotrader’s parent company, Cox Automotive. Between you and me, his secret pet title for himself is “Master of the Universe.”
(ht: Motor Press Guild)

At this moment, there is not a planned MPG Luncheon for April, but what is confirmed is the DROPTOPS & DIRT event - on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018.

Once again, the MPG will return to the rugged trails and twisty roads surrounding beautiful Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California.

Combining competitive comparisons on challenging roads and trails in off-road vehicles as well as drives through scenic, twisty canyon roads on the road in convertibles, the day will feature lots of driving with excellent photo locations and a tasty lunch.

This event is open to all current MPG members, however only Journalist and Analyst members may drive. All other active members, photographers and guests may ride along and join us for lunch.

Here's to a great start to the 2018 MPG Luncheon & Event Meeting season.

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Scott Martin, Fatt Al, Elana Scherr, John Grafman, Stephen Harvey, Dicken Wear, Manuel Carrillo III, Basem Wasef, Brandy A. Schaffels, Scott Martin, Dave Wolin, Bradley Iger, Dicken Wear, Christian Wardlaw, Karl Brauer, Stefan Pagnani, Tom Stahler, The EDJE

Friday, March 16, 2018

McLaren F1 Says "HALO" & G'Day To Gandys In Australia

A brilliant first move by a shoe manufacturer in an effort of cross-promotional branding. McLaren, as with all other F1 racing teams, have to field a car with the new cockpit protection superstructure known as a HALO. Image Credit: Gandys

McLaren F1 Says "HALO" & G'Day To Gandys In Australia

McLaren teams up with the adventurous British lifestyle brand for next week's Grand Prix in a brilliant sponsorship deal.

Today’s announcement marks the first brand, Gandys, to take advantage of the unique shape of the new-for-2018 Halo cockpit protection structure, which has frequently been compared to the distinctive upper of a flip-flop. For the Australian Grand Prix, Gandys branding will be a feature on the front part of the HALO on both McLaren cars.

Gandys logo clearly sported on the joining section of the protective HALO superstructure. Image Credit: McLaren

Additionally, Gandys and McLaren will collaborate to create a limited-run ‘Halo-edition’ flip-flop, with 100 per cent of all profits going directly to the Orphans For Orphans foundation. They will be available from gandyslondon.com and all Gandys' London stores, as well as through mclarenstore.com.

Gandys was founded by brothers Rob and Paul Forkan, who were inspired to start the brand after tragically losing both their parents in the Tsunami that affected much of southeast Asia in December 2004.

The Gandys brand began with a single flip-flop design, with its initial success enabling Rob and Paul to achieve their goal and open the first Orphans For Orphans foundation kid’s campus, in Sri Lanka in 2014.

F1 champion driver Felipe Massa had this reaction he posted on his Facebook page which was latter shared with the social media platform Reddit. Great minds think alike but it was McLaren and Gandys that made this promotiona dream come true. Image Credit Felipe Massa via Reddit

Alongside their charitable foundation, the Gandys brothers have continued to grow the brand since its inception in 2012. Gandys introduced full menswear and womenswear collections to the brand in 2016, and continue to support Orphans For Orphans by donating 10 per cent of their profits to the foundation. The second campus was opened last year in Malawi, with plans to open more across the world.

John Allert, McLaren Chief Marketing Officer, said:
“We’re delighted to have Rob, Paul and the team at Gandys join us for the Australian Grand Prix. The placement of the logo, on the MCL33’s Halo, was not only perfect from a branding perspective, but also a great opportunity to underline Gandys’ charitable commitment to providing a safer, more protective environment for those at risk.

“Collaborating with Gandys on a limited-edition co-branded product was also a meaningful step for us. By giving 100 per cent of all profits to the Orphans For Orphans charity, McLaren is also able to help a very deserving good cause.

“Showcasing this partnership in Australia, where we race just a stone’s throw from Melbourne’s beautiful St Kilda beach, just felt like the best possible opportunity for Gandys to showcase its brand and noble cause on the international stage.”

Gandys co-founder Rob Forkan said:
“We were absolutely thrilled when McLaren came to us with this idea. When the brand was created, Paul was living in Melbourne, and I went out to surprise him on his birthday to tell him about the idea for Gandys. After managing to persuade him to return to the UK and start the brand, it’s really exciting to be going back. In fact, it will be the first time we’ve returned to Melbourne, so it’s great to feel we have come full circle!

“By putting Gandys’ branding on the car’s Halo, we can help to strengthen the message behind our Orphans For Orphans initiative; creating a protective and inspiring environment for children at risk. It is a step in the right direction for the safety of the drivers and a great step for Gandys.

“When we started Gandys we started working on a small scale, helping a few children. Now we are helping more and more vulnerable children all around the world. We hope the halo will have a similar impact in Formula 1, as we know that even if it only saves one life to begin with, it will go on to have a wider impact.”

“On a personal note, as huge fans of Formula 1 and McLaren, this was an opportunity that was simply too good to pass up. We can’t wait to see Fernando, Stoffel and the whole team in action in Melbourne next weekend.”
(ht: McLaren)

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: McLaren, Gandys, HALO, Flip Flop, Felipe Massa, Formula 1, #F1, Facebook, Reddit, Melbourne, Australia, The EDJE

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Monster Energy NASCAR Series Auto Club 400 2018 Gets Kicked Off With Dave Allen

Chip Ganassi Racing's Kyle Larson wins the 20th Anniversary celebration checkered flag of the Auto Club 400. Image Credit: Getty Images via ACS (2017)

The Monster Energy NASCAR Series Auto Club 400 2018 Gets Kicked Off With Dave Allen

Dave Allen serves as President of Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. In this role, Mr. Allen is responsible for the management and operations of the ISC facility including Auto Club Dragway.

Mr. Allen has been with the Speedway since 1999 after spending one year at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca.  From 2002-2006, Mr. Allen served as Senior Director of Sales and Marketing.  In 2006, Mr. Allen was named Vice President of Sales and Marketing with oversight of all sponsorship, hospitality, suite and consumer sales.

Mr. Allen’s leadership skills have enabled the track to grow with the addition of new events. Today, California’s premier motorsports facility, hosts over 320 days of track activity including a quarter-mile championship dragstrip at Auto Club Dragway, full-service karting facilities and various racing schools and experiences. The track is owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation (ISC).

Welcome, DAVE ALLEN, President Auto Club Speedway ...

After last year's Auto Club Speedway celebrating 20 years of racing with a ‘Track Reunion’ theme - NASCAR returns for it's only swing through the LA Basin marketplace in 2018. The Monster Energy NASCAR Series Auto Club 400 is scheduled for the weekend beginning with the Fan Fest Hauler Parade on Thursday, March 15 and concludes with the race being run with the Green Flag dropping at 12:30pm PT.

Auto Club Speedway is one of the fastest tracks on the NASCAR circuit and the oval has aged to perfection for incredible 4 to 5-wide racing, at times. Fans attending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 race weekend can park free of charge, making race weekend an incredible value full of fun and entertainment.

Auto Club Speedway, again, is one of the fastest tracks on the NASCAR circuit - over the most recent years, the racing has improved in a steady progression ... beginning with race stage points enhancements - How do you see the Monster Energy NASCAR Series Auto Club 400 play out over last year?

Tell us a little bit on how the 20th year reunion went and how is this going to go forward into this year?

Overall, given what you have seen last year, what has the viewership & attendance been like? Give us a feel what that has been like?

Event Weekend schedule - what do fans need to be looking for? I've noticed in a brief review of the schedule it really has some nice high-points, what do you see as some of the most important pieces that fans should be looking for?


The NASCAR Auto Club 400 is scheduled for Sunday, March 18, 2018 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

Schedule Overview: 

Thursday, March 15: FanFest and NASCAR Hauler Parade
Free Community Event
Gates open at 5:00 pm / Event ends at 8 p.m. 
Hauler Parade at 6:45 pm
NASCAR Driver Appearances – Q&A

Friday, March 16: NASCAR Qualifying Day and 5.11 Tactical Pole Day
General admission tickets are $20.00. Kids under 12 are free with a Lefty’s Kids Club membership with paid adult general admission ticket.
Gates open at 10:30 am
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying at 4:15 pm 
Walk of Fame Ceremony: 2017 Auto Club 400 Winner - Kyle Larson at 10 a.m. outside Gate B 

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series leader and Elk Grove, Calif. native Kyle Larson (No. 42, Target Chevrolet) made Auto Club Speedway home sweet home this weekend in 2017 and atoned for runner-up finishes in each of his previous three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts by pulling into victory lane at the 21st Annual Auto Club 400. Image Credit: Getty Images via ACS (2017)

Saturday, March 17: NASCAR Xfinity 300 race
General admission tickets start at $30.00. Kids under 12 are free with a Lefty’s Kids Club membership with paid adult general admission ticket.
Gates open at 9:00 am 
NXS 300 starts at 2:00 pm
National Anthem and Pre-Race Concert: Temecula Road

Sunday, March 18:  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 
Tickets start at $50.00
Gates open at 7:00 am
Auto Club 400 starts at 12:30 pm 
Grand Marshals: The Cast from Super Trooper 2
National Anthem: Grammy-nominated hitmaker Cassadee Pope 

Cassadee Blake Pope is an American singer, songwriter, and musician whio took part in the third season of The Voice and became the first female winner on December 18, 2012. Her debut solo country album, Frame by Frame, was released on October 8, 2013 to a top 10 Billboard 200 charting. It debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums, with 43,000 copies sold in its first week. Pope and her duet partner Chris Young were nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for their hit song "Think of You", making her first contestant from The Voice to receive a Grammy nomination. When it comes to Pope's influences - Natalie Imbruglia's Left of the Middle and old Shania Twain, Michelle Branch, Avril, Blink 182 … "I’m kind of all over the board." And then more recently I’m into the new Blake Shelton album, Not Gonna Lie, Hunter Hayes, and Taylor Swift. Pope also mentions Martina McBride as one of her influences. Image Credit: ACS (2018)

Preview YouTube Auto Club 400 >>>
Jimmy Johnson participates in a Q&A while standing next to the surfboard Richter's Trophy. Image Credit: ACS (2017)

Tickets for the Auto Club 400 start at $50
Extended special packages for fans through March 9
Q&A Session with Six-Time Auto Club 400 winner – Jimmie Johnson includes a ticket to the Auto Club 400, pre-race pit pass and more! Only  $118
Q&A Session with Chase Elliott – 2-day ticket package includes tix to Auto Club 400 and NXS 300 Only $69.00 
Drivers Meeting Red Carpet: Get an up-close view of your favorite NASCAR Drivers as they walk down the red carpet to the Drivers Meeting. Plus, Tix to the Auto Club 400 – only $99.50

To purchase tickets, call 800-944-RACE (7223) or visit ⦁ www.autoclubspeedway.com 

Chase Elliott is scheduled to participate in a fan Q&A session on race day. Image Credit: ACS (2017)

I am aware that winning drivers get to have their hand and footprints placed in cement - are you going to have this ceremony for Chip Ganassi Racing's Kyle Larson?

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Auto Club 400, Auto Club Speedway, NASCAR, Monster Energy, @JimmieJohnson,  @NASCAR, #NASCARThrowback, #ACSLove, @KyleLarsonRacin @ChaseElliott, #PitPass, #AutoClub400, @CassadeePope, The EDJE

Sunday, February 25, 2018

IndyCar Fan Honors Will Power With Championship Pinewood Derby Car

Officially Licensed BSA Product
Grand Prix

Revell Grand Prix Racer Pinewood Derby Kit

From the start of the first lap until the winner crosses the finish line, Grand Prix racing provides fans with a pure adrenaline rush that has no equal.

Now you can experience the rush for yourself with this Grand Prix Racer kit. It comes with virtually everything you need to win, including a preshaped body and race-legal wheels and axles. A tapered chassis weight allows additional fine-tuning, while the Raceday Log/Tips and Tricks Book is loaded with helpful hints on how to cross the finish line first.

Why our Pinewood Derby® racers stand out:
• Official BSA Pinewood Derby wheels and axles included! Unlike some other kits, Racer Kits include official BSA Pinewood Derby® wheels and axles. That makes them a convenience for you, instead of something extra to buy.


• A better body. Racer bodies give you a head start on good looks. They’re CAD-drawn and preshaped to eliminate unnecessary shaping work. Sand it smooth…and you’re ready to paint.

• Sandpaper and decals included. The sandpaper you need? It’s included, along with onepeel & stick decal sheet. Let the good looks roll!

• Weight for performance tuning. Make sure your car’s weight is race legal on race day. You can remove excess weight by breaking sections at the scores — and secure the weight to the chassis just by sticking it on.

• Pinewood Derby® Raceday Log/Tips and Tricks Book. A must-have for the serious competitor. There are 16 pages of performance secrets and how-to’s for pre-race tuning, and space for recording setups, times, races and results!

• Injection-molded detail parts. Your Dragster racer can be made more realistic with the included engine, driver helmet and roll cage. All arrive painted and ready to install!

This Racer Car Kit Includes:

• Shaped wood block
• Four each of official BSA wheels and axles
• One sheet each of 120- and 220-grit sandpaper
• Molded & painted plastic wing and driver helmet
• One peel & stick decal sheet
• A 2.1-ounce, tapered chassis weight
• Official Pinewood Derby® Raceday Log/Tips & Tricks book
• Photo-illustrated instructions 

Racer Car Kit (includeds everything listed above) $10.99

Look for the Dragster, Grand Prix Racer, Funny Car, Luge, Military Vehicle and Skateboard Racer Kits at Derby Monkey Garage. If it doesn’t have the Revell® name and Boy Scouts of America seal, it’s not an officially licensed Pinewood Derby® Product! 

... notes from The EDJE

Friday, February 23, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Autonomous Vehicles Get Specific Attention In Paints & Coatings From PPG

Autonomous vehicle sensor coatings – PPG is pioneering the development of paints and related coatings that will improve vehicle and infrastructure visibility to radar and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensors used in autonomous driving systems. Autonomous system signals bounce off this under layer coatings and return to the sensor instead of getting absorbed. This coating leverages commercially proven technology from PPG’s aerospace business that functions in the same light and heat-reflective way. Image Credit: PPG

Autonomous Vehicles Get Specific Attention In Paints & Coatings From PPG

PPG (NYSE: PPG) today announced that Ranju Arya will become senior business director, mobility, effective immediately.

PPG has formed a new team to look exclusively at how innovations in paint and coatings can help autonomous and electric vehicles.

As cars change, so will the expectations and demands put on their coatings, said Ranju Arya, who will lead the new team as senior business director of mobility. Image Credit: PPG via BusinessWire

“The options and opportunities are limitless,” Arya told the Tribune-Review on Monday. “We just have to understand more about this space.”

Arya is based in Troy, Michigan, but his team will consist of employees from all over the world, including Pittsburgh. PPG announced the new team Monday.

PPG unveiled its work with self-driving and electric vehicles in January during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The company partnered with University of Michigan's Mcity, a proving ground for self-driving cars, and is testing paints that are more visible to LiDAR scanner and that are easy to clean to keep sensor and camera lenses free of debris. Arya said PPG is working on coatings that will help cars communicate and see one another and stay clean, both inside and out. For autonomous vehicles used in ride-sharing, that coatings could make sure screens and there interfaces inside the car stay smudge free from one user to the next.

“These are all things that coatings can play a part in,” Arya said.

LiDAR scanners, which reflect lasers off of surfaces to tell where objects are, have a hard time seeing some dark-painted objects, Arya said. PPG developed a dark paint that the LiDAR can see through so it reflects off of the coating below it. The easy-clean coatings change the way water and other substances stick and cling to surfaces.

For electric cars, PPG designed coatings that can store and transfer energy.

Arya said the new coatings are still being tested in-house and haven't made their ways onto public streets.
[ht: BusinessWire | Triblive-Aaron Aupperlee]

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: PPG, Ranju Arya, Mobility, Autonomous, Paints, Coatings, Store and Transfer, Energy, LiDAR, light detection and ranging, Mcity, University of Michigan, The EDJE

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Captain's House - ISM Raceway Prix View 2018 Offers Chance To Tour The Penske Racing Museum

The Penske Racing Museum reception area (top center-left) where one is greeted by a receptionist that most positively fits an assumed Penske organization mold - articulate, informed, bright and enjoyable. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2018)

The Captain's House - ISM Raceway Prix View 2018 Offers Chance To Tour The Penske Racing Museum

ISM Raceway's Prix View, Verizon IndyCar Series first full field teams oval track test in 2018 of the new Universal Aero Kit body work that covers the DW-12 Dallara racing chassis, offers up an opportunity to visit the "Captain's House Of Racing & Championship Performance" - the Penske Racing Museum in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The drive from Goodyear to Scottsdale is only about forty minutes and is well worth the "freeway close" commute to catch one of the most unique motor culture displays of racing success that exists almost anywhere one can look in these United States.

The Penske Racing Museum showcases an amazing collection of cars trophies and racing memorabilia chronicling the career of one of the most successful dynasties in all of sports.

The Penske Racing Museum has over 50 years of racing experience and over 400 major race wins highlighted by a record-setting number of Indianapolis 500 mile race victories.

In the two-story structure are cars that detail the diversity of Penske Racing, including the replica of the 1963 Pontiac Catalina which Roger Penske drove to victory in the 1963 Riverside 250. Additionally, a number of Indianapolis 500 race winners are on display including the 2009 Dallara which Helio Castroneves drove to win in 2009 Indy 500.

Upstairs at the Penske Racing Museum, the Turn 4 Cafe is located next to displays of all Team Penske trophies over the years and models covering some of the special cars and engines that won most of the major races. There is also a boutique where one can buy memorabilia from the Penske Racing Museum.
[ht: Penske Racing Museum]

After a morning of taking in the self-guided and immersive tour of The Captain's House, one can catch lunch at a local Scottsdale IN-N-OUT located just a few blocks South and one block East to complete an excellent Southwest motor culture experience.

Image, Video & Audio Credit: Edmund Jenks (2018)

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Penske Racing Museum, working order, Turn 4 Cafe, Team Penske Trophies, Memorabilia, Boutique, models, Indianapolis 500 mile race victories, collection cars, Captain's House, ISM Raceway, The EDJE