Welcome To The SCCA, John Baruth


“I like to play a game called ‘people ball’,” John told me. “It’s when you pick up people and throw them. And they make a noise like ‘waaaaaah! I’m telling!’ I don’t know why you would even need a regular ball when you can play people ball at recess.” When I heard this on the drive home from school yesterday evening, I was a little conflicted. On one hand, if John likes initiating aggressive contact for no reason I think he’ll make a great club racer. But on the other hand, the entire Spec Miata class, and much of the SCCA in general, is built on the idea of people snitching on each other, so if John finds that to be annoying, he’s gonna hate having his Viper torn down after each regional.

Regardless of the above, he’s now an SCCA member in good standing. But he’s remarkably annoyed about the membership card.


The SCCA kid’s program is called “SCCA Clubhouse”. I’m not sure what benefits it offers; the reason John has his card now is so he can autocross with Mrs. Baruth this summer in his TopKart. Maybe they have a program to let ten-year-olds work the corners at Laguna Seca. It would be an improvement over the people who neglected to throw the yellow on me last year after I got PITted and T-boned.

Anyway, the kids’ membership cards have SCCA Clubhouse logos all over them, along with crayon-drawing graphics. John saw this and he got extremely angry. “THIS IS STUPID! WHY DOESN’T IT LOOK LIKE YOURS?” Incidentally, Sam Smith said the same thing about his SCCA card last weekend, because his has a National race endorsement and mine doesn’t. What can I say. I was too busy racing Grand-Am on my own dime to get my SCCA race license.

Eventually, John accepted the idea that other, far stupider, kids probably like having the crayon logos. But it reminded me, yet again, that what children want is not necessarily what adults want for them. As a parent, it’s my constant desire to tie my apron strings to John, to keep him out of danger and trouble, to surround him with crayon drawings and stuffed animals. But he wants to do grownup, scary things. Children model themselves on adults. They don’t like being pandered to or treated differently.

For that reason, therefore, the SCCA license should look the same for everybody who has one. Except for mine. You can put the Clubhouse logo on mine. Because as an autocrosser, I’m basically a complete joke.

12 Replies to “Welcome To The SCCA, John Baruth”

  1. AvatarDerek Kreindler

    Very proud to see that John has achieved what many journos have never been able to do: get an SCCA license.

  2. AvatarDon Curton

    My boys are 5 years apart. The youngest constantly looked up to his older brother. When the older one gave up all the kiddy cartoon stuff, calling it “little kid crap”, the youngest immediately did likewise. It’s like he threw away 5 years of childhood instantly. So yeah, what adults want for kids and what kids want for themselves are very different.

    On a different note – so basically someone calls foul after losing and the officials can tear down your engine after the race? And what? Hand you the pieces when they’re done and allow you to put it back together? I guess with a dedicated race car it might be different, but still – what a PITA.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Yes to all of that last paragraph.

      Anybody can protest and pay a protest fee. SCCA officials will tear down and examine the system in question then leave the owner with a taken-apart car, yes. If the protest is upheld, the fee is refunded. If it isn’t, the fee is confiscated by the SCCA.

      • AvatarJDN

        The best part is this can happen for *autocross* too. Not quite sure where that fits into the “Make it easy, Make it fun” motto.

        Related – Over this past weekend I probably got the most usage out of my SCCA license yet by using it as a second photo ID with my address on it. Go team.

  3. Avatarerikotis

    Congrats to you and your son! Sharing something you love with your kids is simply the best feeling in the world.

    I have no idea why I waited so long but I finally took both my daughters (ages 8 and 5) ice skating over this past Christmas break. They fell in love and have been doing a weekly after school skate for the past four months. This also happens to be their first activity with limited supervision so for two hours a week they get to decide how to spend their time. A good portion of that time is spent not on the ice but pooling money with their friends to have in their words “a feast” at the snack bar. Kids really do want to have a certain amount of autonomy despite, like you, my wish to keep them protected.

    Not sure whether or not either will ever play hockey with me but we’ve been able to take in some more open skates together and I’ll continue to take them as long as they’ll let me. I know the day is coming when they won’t want me to join them. They will be teenage girls after all…

      • Avatarerikotis

        OK, LOL is thrown around way too often but that legitimately made me laugh out loud! I won’t ever put them through that misery. In my experience, adults wearing jerseys at an open skate are the ones to avoid on the ice since they usually can’t skate worth a shit.

  4. AvatarWidgetsltd

    Hell, anybody who is not grossly incompetent can get an SCCA National Club Racing license. I had one for 4 years, and you’ve seen how I drive. The mechanical protest process isn’t as draconian as you make it sound, though. If the protested item on the car is found to be compliant (not cheaty) then the protested party gets the protest bond less an administrative fee kept by the SCCA. Mechanical protests can be very expensive if the teardown is being performed by a shop!


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