Jason is the founder of AutoInterests. Jason’s passion for cars and driving started with a Ford Taurus car club that put together a road course driving event as part of a national meet. Jason immediately fell in love with performance driving and volunteered to organize all the club’s track events starting in 2004.
As it turns out, a Taurus club is not the most marketable name to use for putting on events. Being an entrepreneur at heart, Jason saw an opportunity. Keep in mind, he is a nerd-turned-car-guy; the first of his entrepreneurial pursuits was a web hosting company when he was in 8th grade.
The name AutoInterests was already on his mind for building a website for another purpose, so the company name was not originally meant to run HPDE events, but the website was already started so Jason ran with it. Of course this meant AutoInterests would be a pioneer in offering online registration for events (which is now ubiquitous)! This was step 1 of leveraging technology to get a competitive edge.
Jason has had a long career in IT and has been in IT management since 2007 building local and global teams to tackle large projects and initiatives. Building technology solutions to gain efficiencies and manage business processes is always at the forefront of Jason’s mind. This leadership, team-building and technology experience is reflected in what AutoInterests has become. The decision to ramp up and take AutoInterests to the next level as a serious business started in 2013, thus growing from just a couple events per year to over 20 per year today, and we’re not done yet!
The amazing team that has been built along with investments in technology will enable AutoInterests to continue Driving Perfection in HPDE. Our drivers notice that we are the most efficient, best organized and provide the best service in the industry, which keeps them coming back and enabling us to grow!
Under Jason’s leadership, we will continue to reinvest in our people and technology to provide our drivers with a fantastic, ever-improving experience. Many exciting new features are being actively developed and will be brought to the track soon!
Current cars (in some cases, projects): 2014 Ford Focus ST, 2015 Ford F-150, 1994 Mustang GT, 1998 Jeep Wrangler, 1994 Ford Crown Victoria
Sarah is (and Jason admits it) the "better" half of AutoInterests. Jason might know how to build a team, run a business and plan a strategy, but when it comes to keeping things organized and handling operational details, Sarah pulls things together. She has been working for AutoInterests since 2011.
By education, Sarah is a mechanical engineer and very in-tune to details. She began her career in engineering but has transitioned full-time to AutoInterests. She puts her detail-oriented mind to work in many ways, from pre-event planning and organizing materials on the website to working with web developers as a business analyst to design workflows to support business processes. She is also our resident photographer! Sarah also dreamed up the concept and name for CARFEST, which has proven to be a great success with tremendous growth each year!
With her father retiring from Chrysler and always tinkering in the garage, Sarah has always had an interest in cars. She got Jason's attention by bringing her S2000 out to a Nelson Ledges event, and the rest of that is history... She currently owns a 2016 Ford Fiesta ST, 2003 Honda S2000, and 1990 Mazda Miata. When she's not at the track or other events, Sarah's favorite activities are boating, camping, or traveling. She is very passionate about animals and loves spending time with her dog, Shelby.
At an early age, Jon's first motorsport experience was with 3 wheelers (somehow, he survived). He quickly realized 4 wheels were better than 3, and moved on to go-karts, where he gained skills quicker than he went through sets of tires (which was very often). As he
matured got older, he progressed into drag racing. From age 12 to 18, he competed in Jr. Drag racing with measured success - winning at multiple tracks over the years and qualifying for the NHRA Division 3 Championships on several occasions. Once legally licensed at 16, he was permitted to drive his father's 1971 GTO which was run in the "Pro" category and typically ran 11.90's at 115mph in the 1/4 mile.
From 2001 to 2007 Jon served on Active Duty in the United States Air Force. Following Active Duty, he enlisted in the USAF Reserves where he continues to serve today. He has deployed 6 times, 5 of which were on Active Duty; and over the course of his 16 year military career has become highly decorated and achieved the rank of Master Sergeant.
Jon discovered HPDEs while he was stationed in California for the USAF. As a young Airman with a disposable income, he chose to dispose of it at the track (and any extra money went to tires, oil and gas). Since 2004 he averaged 2 HPDE days per month when he wasn't deployed. After becoming addicted to driving, he qualified for and completed instructor training. He taught at various HPDEs in California before moving home to the great state of Ohio in 2007 and joining the AutoInterests team.
Jon's energy level has been compared to that of a
high-spirited adolescent 5-year-old on Redbull, and once you sit through one of his classroom sessions you'll understand why (don't worry, you'll have fun)! Jon's one-of-a-kind personality keeps drivers engaged throughout the learning process and students enjoy the structure, excitement and enthusiasm he brings to the program.
Racing has always been a passion of Rick's, and he's become a very accomplished driver, instructor, and builder. In 2011, he started a 1999 Corvette build with the goal of exceeding 200mph. With the concept of "more for less", he successfully built a $20,000 race car with a full interior, stereo, AC, stock drivetrain, stock LS1 engine and the addition of a rear mounted twin-turbo system. In 2014 at the Hot Rod Magazine Top Speed Challenge he reached his goal and went 202.1563 mph, setting 6 new world records in the process. In addition to land speed racing, Rick also uses this car for road course and autocross events. This season, he plans to defend his Land Speed racing records with the goal of exceeding 230 mph this year, and 250 mph in 2019. Rick has been invited to compete at SEMA in the Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car 5 years in a row, and plans on returning for a 6th in 2018. He is also working on a radical new build called the Exo5, based off a Corvette chassis.
Rick races across many different disciplines including road course, autocross, drifting, rallycross, circle track, drag racing, land speed, open road, time attack, and most recently adding off road racing into the mix. He has secured a seat in the 2018 Best in the Desert Series driving a trophy truck, and has also been approached about competing in East Coast UTV side by side short course and wood trail races.
Rick leverages his talent and race experience to educate students in HPDE, teaching them to be safe on track, have fun, and steadily gain confidence and speed. Rick is also a key component of our instructor program who reviews applications and works to continually educate current instructors, as well as training advanced drivers to become qualified driving coaches.
Ed has been with AutoInterests since 2014, becoming co-chief instructor in 2018. He has been going to the track in some capacity for the past 14 years, whether it be helping with vintage race cars, driving, or just hanging out. His vehicles include a Ducati 848, 2002 Audi TT 225 street car and a 1998 BMW M3 track car. The Audi and BMW have been extensively modified, with all work (except roll cage) done by Auto Assets where he has worked for 12 years and is currently a sales and service manager. Ed is originally from Puerto Rico, a graduate of The Ohio State University, and in his spare time loves to travel, spend time with friends & family, and go to live music events.
"I love the atmosphere and great people that I meet at race tracks - they're like a second family. One of my greatest joys is sharing this hobby with others that are passionate about cars and transferring knowledge to people that are so excited to learn."
Safety Steward & Grid Manager
Chrissy has been active in motorsports for 18 years, filling crucial safety-related roles at facilities such as GingerMan & PittRace and also working within various HPDE and racing organizations. She began as a corner worker in 2001 at GingerMan, and worked her way up to race control. It was there she met the AutoInterests team, and she has been traveling with us to all venues since 2014.
Chrissy has experience with both car and motorcycle events, from HPDEs to pro racing. She's worked for a wide variety of organizations including IndyCar, World Challenge, TransAm, VSCDA, MotoGP, MotoAmerica, STT, WERA and AHRMA.
As motorsport activities inherantly involve some risk, Chrissy plays a vital role in mitigating them. You will see Chrissy in the driver meetings talking about flags, hear her on the PA with important announcements, and see her on grid checking driver credentials while giving you high fives and telling you to have fun! Behind the scenes, she briefs the tracks' corner worker crew with how our program operates so that our drivers receive a consistent experience at each of our events.
When it comes to motorsport safety and fun, Chrissy is one of the most passionate people you will meet. She strives to make drivers feel comfortable and safe, all while having an enjoyable experience. If you happen to meet Chrissy under a black flag, just know it's how she's met many great friends! When she's not with AutoInterests, you can usually find her at PittRace helping out with other events, but don't be surprised to catch her trackside anywhere!
Tech Inspection Manager
Marius has been running tech inspection for AutoInterests since 2006 - before we were even known as AutoInterests! He has been in the automotive industry for 10+ years, selling retail and commercial auto parts as well as holding an assistant store manager role. He enjoys working on his car projects which include rebuilding both a Ford Taurus SHO and fully modifying his Ford Focus ZX3.
Tyler has been active in the automotive service industry since 2015, working in service departments for both Carmax and BMW. Currently, he is an IT developer for vendor parts at Summit Racing Equipment. Tyler has been with AutoInterests since 2016, and before he heads to grid he's bringing a positive energy to each morning during his additional role of Tech Inspector. He has a huge love for cars, dogs, technology, and driving; currently drives a 2015 VW Golf Sportwagen TDI DSG.
If you have a question, Andrea has an answer! With her attention to detail and organization, Andrea takes pride in making sure each customer has a great experience with AutoInterests. Since first joining the company in 2010, she has been involved in many aspects of the behind the scenes work, from Tech Administration to Hospitality. In her free time Andrea enjoys crafting, a good cup of tea, and spending time with her husband and their kitty, Mugsy Malone.
Since 2016, Barb has become well known to the drivers, instructors, and staff - and she feels like they are one very big family! Affectionately know as "Mom" to many - you'll find her at Hospitality where she is busy providing breakfast and lunch to staff & instructors, selling coffee, water and apparel, handling helmet rentals, and answering any questions that drivers or spectators may have. When she isn't busy, Barb enjoys the simplicity of relaxing at home or spending time with friends and family.