The high in Loudon today is set for 16 degrees.  The track is coated in a shiny layer of ice-covered snow.  The engines couldn't be further away from firing up to race.

Nonetheless, the New Year is a good time for making changes and adjusting priorities.  The race season might still seem a long way away, but here are my resolutions to be a better race fan in 2015.  Please feel free to steal those that you like the most.

1. Attend the NHMS pre-race concert - For whatever reason, I always seem to miss this.  With recent acts like Frankie Ballard, Montgomery Gentry and Travis Tritt, it's too bad I haven't found the time to listen for 20-30 minutes.  I've missed some great performances.

2. Spend an evening in the NHMS camping lots - Note the keyword: "evening."  As a staff member, race weekends consist of 12-14 hour days, so late nights aren't happening, but it would still be fun to get out and see some of our loyal fans.

3. Become an NHMS historian - The celebration of the 25th Anniversary at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a great excuse to learn more about the 25 years of racing we've had at the Magic Mile.

4. Test drive a legends car - I've driven a legends car before, but haven't gotten comfortable.  It's pretty easy and straightforward, and I would encourage anyone that has an interest in this affordable form of racing to contact the Granite State Legends Cars dealership on the NHMS property.

5. Run the D.A.R.E 5K on the NHMS road course - I ran this race in 2011.  In 2012, I had a broken arm.  In 2013, I was on vacation.  In 2014, I don't think I even had an excuse.  I run at least 5K on my own three times a week after work, I should get back in this unique race.

6. Participate in a NASCAR driving experience - There are three different stock car driving experiences that are scheduled to visit NHMS in 2015.  Isn't it about time I sat inside a car and learned what it feels like to go that fast around the Magic Mile?

7. Watch a short track modified race - Racing enthusiasts agree that the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at NHMS are among the best in the industry, but what about elsewhere in New England?  The tour also runs at Thompson (Conn.), Stafford (Conn.), and Monadnock (N.H.).

8. Attend the Milk Bowl - Each year, I entertain thoughts of heading to Thunder Road in Barre, Vt. for the Milk Bowl; and each autumn, I don't make it to the event.

9. Visit a new NASCAR track - This one is somewhat of a layup for me, as I generally make a trip to another SMI track to help with their media relations for the weekend.  Regardless, it's fun to visit a new track and get a new experience.

10. Watch more Truck Series races - With so many young talents in the sport today, the lower National Series are a great way to preview the talent. I won't consider bailing on a hot date for these Friday night events, but if it's a low-key night at the apartment, why not watch?

11. Learn more about the Cup car - I have a general working knowledge of the car, but that often gets tested when I'm watching a race with someone that doesn't know much about auto racing.  They'll ask a question about the car and I'll have to sugarcoat my answer because I don't know enough to give a technical explanation.

12. Memorize the names of more crew chiefs - How many crew chiefs in NASCAR can you name?  Five? A dozen? Twenty-five?  Until I can answer "forty-three," I have room for improvement.

13. Turn a friend into a NASCAR fan - Auto racing isn't for everyone, but there are a majority sports enthusiasts out there just waiting to be converted.  I know this because I was one of them several years ago.

14. Read a NASCAR-related book - A few years ago my personal New Year's Resolution required me to do more reading, so this is part two.  Personally, I'd like to take a look back at the history of the sport and am considering "A History of Auto Racing in New England."

15. Maintain a better Granite Stripe blog schedule - This is blatantly just a self-promotional cop-out, but oh well.  After shaving my participation in the Granite Stripe down to just fantasy NASCAR previews in 2014, I need to get back to sharing more insight on racing and NHMS.  I hope you'll follow along.

Happy New Year!
Jonathan