Meet Ryan Thoma, World of Speed Guest Blogger and Aspiring Race Car Driver!

Ryan Thoma at World of Speed Museum

Ryan Thoma at World of Speed Museum


First off, thanks for inviting me onto your web browsers. I'm happy to be here. I’ll be using this space a couple times a month to reflect on the racing world and World of Speed. I plan to write about a little bit of everything; from working to turn my passion into a career to what I think of drivers at the top who've already achieved success in motorsports. Expect to see plenty of Indycar, Formula 1, IMSA, and NASCAR commentary.

Maybe you’re thinking, who is this guy and what does he have to do with Wilsonville’s newest tourist attraction and the Northwest’s most prestigious motorsports museum?

Well, my name is Ryan and I work for Guest Services here at World of Speed. I’m currently a student at Oregon State University finishing up an economics degree online and have been a part of OSU’s formula race team for the last four years. On opening day at World of Speed last April, our team, Global Formula Racing, unveiled its new formula car for competition. Needless to say, I loved the museum. I got to know several of the staff here at the WOS and found a perfect opportunity to start as a camp leader for the inaugural Summer Camp Education Programs.

Speaking of which, registration for this upcoming Summer is open so sign-up nowbecause slots fill up fast! Personally, I’m most excited for “Go Speed Racer” and the Indy 500-themed programs. I know where I’d want to spend my summer as a third grader.

So, where were we? Oh right: I want to be a race car driver! The formula team at Oregon State has kept me hungry, led me to think I’m good at this sort of thing and I need to find out. I've had my eye on the next open-wheel series for quite some time and I'm working to make it a reality. I'm always willing to talk racing and make new connections to get closer to that goal. 

As anticipated, Daytona concluded the start of the 2016 racing season. The 24 hours of Daytona finished with a thrilling battle between the two Corvette teammates. If you haven’t seen the last 15 minutes, give YouTube a visit after this blog. The Daytona 500 last weekend also didn’t disappoint. Several big names took themselves out of the race coming out of turn four, which seemed to get those cars extremely loose in dirty air! The race came down to the final lap as it often does, and I have to say I was really impressed with the patience of Denny Hamlin. He’s typically the driver in a rush to the front, but his move on the last lap was perfectly timed to set up Matt Kenseth and ultimately out-draft Truex Jr. to the line, by inches!

For me, there is nothing quite like open-wheel racing in America, and I’m excited to share more thoughts on that in the coming month with the opening round of the Indycar Series in St. Petersburg, Florida this March.