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Volume 26 No. 104
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A Day In The Life With NHRA VP/Live Events Evan Jonat

NHRA VP/Live Events EVAN JONAT has a hand in everything that goes into planning and executing each of the drag racing governing body’s 24 NHRA Mello Yello Series Professional events. After almost 13 years working in California with NHRA, he knows all of the details, down to who is skydiving for the national anthem, which hot rods will be on display and how many jet cars will be making exhibition passes. Jonat recently caught up with THE DAILY to share what a typical Tuesday looks like.

5:30am: The alarm goes off. My wife, KIMBERLY, works out at 5:00am, so she’s up by 4:00am. Sometimes, it feels like I am the slacker of the house.

5:45am: I’m out the door to run my dog, GABE, every morning for about 45 minutes. It feels good to start the day getting the blood flowing and start thinking about things before the day gets started. I typically never run listening to music -- no music, zero-to-no distractions. That allows me to set the tone for the day.

6:45am: I get back to the house. I always start with an espresso before I head out the door. Accompanying my espresso is a classic one slice of bread peanut butter and jelly. I did a little travelling around Europe and fell in love with European espresso. They’re on to something!

7:00am: I’m out the door. I embark on my 40-mile commute, which can take somewhere between 40 minutes to an hour. Most of the time, I will commute alone and use that time to take my conference calls from the East Coast. Occasionally, I mix-in carpooling with some folks from the office that live in the general area of Orange County.

8:00-10:00am: I am in the office taking meetings back-to-back. I will try to keep my people on time and on task. That allows things to run more smoothly.

Jonat takes his dog, Gabe, for two runs a day, one before work and one after
Photo: EVAN JONAT
Jonat takes his dog, Gabe, for two runs a day, one before work and one after
Photo: EVAN JONAT
Jonat takes his dog, Gabe, for two runs a day, one before work and one after
Photo: EVAN JONAT

10:00am-12:00pm: I try to run around the office and touch base with all the internal teams that I oversee. I tell my guys and gals that my door is always open, literally and figuratively, in that I never close it. I am not a quiet person. They hear every conference call that I’m on. My goal is for us to be as collaborative as possible. The more that we can work together, the better.

12:00-1:00pm: Fifty percent of the time, I power through a meal that my amazing wife helped me put together before I ran out the door in the morning. My wife and I cook together. I would say I’ve been eating a lot cleaner and healthier because of her. For about 20-25 minutes, I jump out of the office and head to the gym for a quick workout. Something to kind of clear my head up and come back stronger.

1:00-3:00pm: I will have meetings back-to-back.

4:00-6:00pm: This time in the office is my catch-up time with emails that have piled up throughout the day. I look at my phone between meetings and see that number continue to grow. So, I take this time to go knock that number down.

6:00-6:30pm: I try to get out of the office around this time. On my ride home, I try to touch base with family from New York City. I moved to California from there for this position about 14 years ago.

7:30pm: I get home, have dinner and go for another run with my dog. If I don’t get his energy out that way, he will take his energy out on my house. Dinner with the wife, cell phone goes away. That one hour, I try to sit down, connect. I see how my wife’s day was. She is a 5th grade teacher, so let’s just say when I think my day has some pretty crazy twists and turns, she always has something interesting to tell me.

9:30-10:00pm: I head to bed. I find that if I get 6-8 hours of sleep, my ability to focus and my patience is much better. Sleep is good to me.

Know of someone who should be featured in "A Day in the Life"? Send a note to mchupita@sportsbusinessdaily.com.