After a momentous year that was 2019, control was never an option going into the Double 20s. From 8 of 14 in 2018 to 11 of 14 in 2019, I’m confident that my promises for 2020 will be the year I can hit all 14.

I’ve decided to base my goals on strengthening my craft and being myself in order to fully understand what my personal freedom is. That’s why 2020 will be the year of establishment.

Those who’ve followed my journey the past few years know the drill, I’ll share my new batch of promises and every other month, I’ll provide updates on my site.

Promise No. 1: 500 Double

When you do something the first time and got hook, there’s no reason trying it multiple times

Last year, “500 Miles” was one of my promises with either Daytona or Indianapolis warranting a checkmark.

This time around, I’m thinking why not do both 500 mile races that in 2020 will be referred as “The Davison Double.”

For context, Australian driver James Davison is going to be a massive wheel man, driving different motorsports disciplines. Among the races Davison will attempt is both Daytona and Indianapolis.

He’ll have to make both races to successfully pull the 500-mile double.

That out of the way, I want to give Daytona another go and see if what I’ve learned since last February will result into a much better experience as both a writer and photographer.

More importantly, accomplish the biggest goal I set to myself when I graduated from the University of Idaho in December 2016.

In some capacity, be at Indianapolis or Charlotte on Memorial Day weekend by 2020.

Well, we’re now in 2020 and it’s time to make one or the other a reality. Indianapolis is the more realistic approach.

To get this goal done, I’ll need to do both 500-mile races.

Promise No. 2: Podcast Legitimacy

I’ve had this vision for a long time after my KUOI days had ended, but no success as to what I want my “podcast format” should be about.

It’s no secret that I miss doing radio and talking about what’s on my mind on a major platform.

I’ve tried doing some sort of podcast style show on YouTube after 2016, but have failed horrendously. Nobody cared.

Correction, if it’s not about red flags, nobody cared about my other content on my YouTube channel. That’s why in 2020 and beyond, I’m not going to be doing many videos on the platform.

If they want to support other people’s relatively subpar content, that’s their prerogative.

Instead, what I would really love to do is take time to discuss my journey, show my interviews from the world of racing and invite guests to tell their own journey.

With this site, I want to expand on the tools I have and make the absolute most of it.

The plan is to do bi-weekly episodes and gladly share it on this site. If there’s tremendous interest over time, I might do it weekly.

My big goal is to make my show a platform for others to share their stories and why they matter.

It’s not going to be exclusively racing, but subjects can be about music, lifestyle, education, etc.

It’ll be a hard task, but once the ball gets rolling, there’s no stopping this vision. I’m going to this show right without cheap gimmicks like my radio show constantly had.

Promise No. 3: Surviving May

There’s something about open wheel racing that has an extraordinary appeal that other disciplines can’t replicate. Hopefully, by having an experience of covering “The Month of May” will further strengthen my love for this style of racing.

Back in 2016, I woke up at a friend’s couch. I knew I was going to miss the first half of the 100th Indianapolis 500, so I listened to the radio broadcast for the time being.

Still tired, yet odd fate – “Back Home Again” was playing and for a few minutes, I felt a whole new vibe. As if I was in an Indy car, with my eyes closed, preparing for the 200-lap battle that lies ahead.

I can’t confirm in that dream there was a tear shed, but I knew that someday I must go to Indianapolis.

However, there’s more than just the 500-mile race because it’s the events that transpire before race day that makes Indy unique.

It’s simply called “The Month of May.”

You have the GMR Grand Prix on the road course, multiple sessions for the race, but also the mecca of pressure known as qualifying.

Qualifying is split into two days – Saturday is to get yourself into the Firestone Fast Nine and/or be inside the top-30. Sunday is “The Last Row” (spots 31-33) and “Fast Nine” Shootout where a basket case of emotions will transpire.

Those in the “Last Row Shootout,” you’re either racing the Indy 500 or going home heartbroken. For the fastest nine drivers, it’s all about qualifying for the pole position.

Refer to last year’s second day qualifying as to what Indy means to the drivers and teams.

After qualifying is over, there’s more events at the track (ex. Freedom 100) or other racing venues in Indiana (ex. Little 500) in the coming days before the 200-lap main event.

What I’m getting at is “The Month of May” is more than an event. It’s simply madness and hopefully by covering those events, I’ll further appreciate the prestigious event more than ever.

Nothing will be sweeter is experiencing that month and have done both 500-mile races in a calendar year.

Promise No. 4: License Bound

It’s the only photo I have to show some sort of driving that isn’t motorsports. So here’s a shot I took at La Jolla with a nice Porsche driving by.

The earlier I can accomplish this, the better. Hopefully, pending on what I hope timing favors me, I can take those exams and get myself on the road.

There’s a promise I want to fulfill that’ll require this promise being accomplished first and also, I seriously need to explore the road as a driver instead of a passenger.

I’m almost getting there, yet it feels so far. That’ll change!

Promise No. 5: Back to My Roots

Anywhere I go, it has its mystique. This promise is more than a mystique.

Some may be thinking, what are my roots?

Is it getting back into doing media stuff for basketball?

Is it giving football photography another go?

Doing a legit video about a majestic place that shaped my teenage and young adulthood?

All three of those could be considered my roots to some extent, but it’s an open book.

My main goal is to do something related of my past and how it’s shaped me to the person I’ve become and/or why I love doing media content.

Once it’s accomplished, I’ll explain further why I wanted to pursue this goal.

Promise No. 6: International Views

It’s been forever that I’ve been in another country, perhaps now it’s the time to explore a different side of the world.

Sometimes, being in the United States can be a drag. Must be because of a simple conversation and dozens of people I know (some close friends than others) that are away in Europe.

Like getting away from Washington for two weeks last April, I could use a few days or a week away from the states and explore a different world.

Now in my mid-20s, I’d love to make the most of my last bit of being “young” before other aspects of reality called life really kicks into high gear.

Thing is, when’s the right time?

With my non-media job, the arena job and of course, covering motorsports, it’s a matter of finding the ideal time of the year to assure to travel at a foreign country.

When it happens, I’ll be looking forward to it and capture those amazing views through the lenses.

Promise No. 7: Five Cheers for Collabs

I’ve come quite a ways since the first attempt of doing a photoshoot back in September 2018

When I was coming up with my new “List of Promises,” I wanted to do a goal that’s super specific regarding projects.

I thought, three would be reasonable but “three ain’t enough, I need five.”

Ended up only doing two collaboration projects in 2019. This year, at least five should be doable.

It isn’t just exclusively photography, it can also be video profiles, podcasts, doing stories about those people or even help their business out.

While I want to grow my brand on this site, I’ll gladly help others out build theirs. Even give them my platform to share their stories and vice versa.

Sometimes, teamwork is a blessing that goes underappreciated during the most selfish time period we live in.

Promise No. 8: Kiss the Dirt

As usual, the title of a promise is based from a record. This time, the context of the song isn’t what my vision is about.

I’ve expanded my photography since my interest reignited back in 2017. Now, I want to try something different in the world of racing.

Is it Formula One? More love for the world of sports cars?

Those are definite goals I want to pursue (F1 is a mega stretch right now), but I really want to give dirt racing its total support.

Whether its two or four wheelers, there’s something about doing dirt photography that’s quite fascinating.

I want to expand my diverse background in photography, especially in racing because each discipline has its pros and cons when shooting photos at the track.

Here’s the thing, I do have a home dirt circuit and it’s Skagit Speedway. Problem is, when the World of Outlaws comes to Washington, it clashes with the INDYCAR’s Grand Prix of Portland.

Still is a conflict despite Portland being moved a week after Labor Day. Skagit followed suit, but it is what it is.

One outlandish goal is to travel and cover the Eldora truck race. Maybe if I do intend to go to Indianapolis, I can find some sort of time to do something about dirt racing, but I’m not going to count on it just yet.

There’s always AMA Supercross when they come to Seattle in March. It has its glamour and action unlike any discipline, but will see if that’s a possibility.

Big picture is that whatever style of dirt racing it is, I’d love to give it a go.

My limited time and conflicts isn’t going to stop me from this goal.

Promise No. 9: Telling Stories

Whether it’s writing an article for Motorsports Tribune, taking photos every opportunity I get, and doing video projects (when a snowball’s chance happens), there’s always a story.

I know what you’re thinking, don’t you already tell stories?

That is true but here’s my main motive with this promise: It’s either me telling a story in someone’s multimedia platform OR having others tell their stories and more than willing to have it told on this website.

It’s that simple. I’m more than welcome to tell my story and also allow them to tell theirs. It can go either way.

If anyone’s interested, feel free to ask and we’ll discuss.

Promise No. 10: Middle School Dream Comes True

Anything involving music has always intrigued me and seeing shows adds a whole new element.

Sometimes, attending an event that has a backstory, warrants a goal to pursue.

Most goals are serious and ambitious goals, but this one is a complete contrast.

This September, there’s a major metal show at T-Mobile Park, home of the only MLB team that’s never made it to the World Series. It’ll feature Poison, Motley Crue, Joan Jett and Def Leppard.

I don’t expect it to be phenomenal like The xx, Metallica and Coldplay. It’s not going to happen, but this is what middle school Luis would totally mark out for.

The first two acts I’ve mentioned (Poison and Motley Crue), were my favorite groups in middle school. Yes, those days when Rock of Love (the ultimate guilt trip I watched) and exploring more 80s tunes were the absolute norm.

That was before artists such as Eminem and The Doors changed all of that, but I’ll tell you what, that lineup looks great on paper.

What would be cool if I go to that September show, the very next day I’ll be heading to Portland for the INDYCAR weekend. Talk about a jam packed couple of days.

I missed my shot at seeing Iron Maiden last September, I’m not missing this one. It’s a way to make my nostalgic heart feel complete. Something that 13-year-old me would’ve loved.

Promise No. 11: New Photo Adventures

I’m far from doing it all in this medium, there’s far more opportunities to explore.

I’ve done motorsports, did some portraits and while I’ll continue to do so, I’m far from done exploring different avenues.

This promise does correlate with other promises (Kiss the Dirt, Telling Stories, International Views and Back to My Roots). However, it doesn’t have to be just those subjects.

It could be an expansion of doing modeling photos or an event highlighting an individual’s passion. The options are endless.

The biggest takeaway is to do a wide variety of events, genres and disciplines to expand my craft in photography.

What I do know at the moment is that I’ll allow my works guide me to my next adventure and see how it goes.

Promise No. 12: Explore Media Creativity

I hardly put anyone over (promote) NASCAR YouTubers, but this is a great example (specifically the opening minute of this video) of what I’d love to try out this year. BE SUPER CREATIVE!

What I’ve been sorely lacking is that creative edge. I’m awful at drawing, coming up with artistic designs is non-existent and making killer visual effects requires money.

It’s both extremely time consuming and requiring a budget. Both fates are unacceptable, so it must change.

The latter is key because I must know that I’ll be taking this new challenge seriously.

Being labeled as an uptight guy ages ago, patience is mandatory. Now, the time has come to master a new craft that I feel will do me many wonders and become an all-around diverse media personnel.

Promise No. 13: Strengthening the Audience

It’s time to continue building my brand and get myself out there so people see that I’m serious with my intentions of making a career in the world of media.

Now that I sort of have a fair following on social media, it’s time to take to the next level. That is keeping my audience intrigued of my content here and Motorsports Tribune.

Although it’ll be super difficult to follow up what I discovered last October with Todd Gilliland and bringing up Brendan Gaughan retiring, who’s to say something bigger will happen and be the person providing the details.

Rather than dwell about YouTube, I’m pouring my efforts on helping my brand but more importantly, get Motorsports Tribune out there to a new audience.

If I can do both before 2021 rolls along, that will be the greatest accomplishment I’ve ever done. That’s how deeply invested I am in making both sides work.

Promise No. 14: Establishing a Theme for Memoir

This idea of writing a memoir is still going, but what’s the endgame? What is the theme? When am I going to say, ‘Let’s get my story out there and see if people are inspired on what to do and not to do?’ Hopefully, 2020 is the year I have a concrete answer.

From the very beginning, a memoir is the biggest long-term goal I want to do in my life. Last year, I wanted to pitch the idea, but I realized it’s going to require a lot of work.

Before going out there and understand how pitching a memoir works, I must have a theme.

What kind of message I want to tell people that would bother to know about some 25-year-old journeyman with Asperger’s from Washington?

I’m going into my third year writing daily journal entries, but do I really just want it to be those years?

It will be play a big role, but I also want to discuss the ups and downs during my academic days and the horrid that was 2017.

Not only that, discuss my years at Cispus and what it has taught me that I’ve either adapted and/or struggled to this very day.

I’ve yet to wave the checkered flag on this ongoing project, but if I can come with a conclusion as to what stories will be told and the time period it’ll be about, that’ll be wonderful.

Conclusion

In a year that I’ll be focusing on strengthening my craft, it should make for an even phenomenal one for the ages.

Those are my 14 promises that I believe can accomplish each of those. Most are media specific, but there are some fun ones that’ll make life in the Double 20s unforgettable.

Hope you guys will follow along and keep track of my progress here, Motorsports Tribune, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Until we meet again, doubt me if you insist, prove me wrong if I give consent.

Published by Luis Torres

I'm a graduate from the University of Idaho, currently pursuing the dream of becoming a motorsports media personnel.

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