Bobby G. On the Soapbox

On the Soapbox: Lost Letters, Languishing Opportunities Part 3

This post is the last part of three  based on a letter that was sent via email on December 18, 2001 to a second generation ISMA competitor. This competitor has deep ties to the division and is intimately knowledgeable with the inner workings of ISMA. This driver, though no longer racing, is still involved today.

The names have been changed to protect identity, and you will notice that some of it was written in haste as the thoughts poured out, but I don’t think it will detract from the overall idea that the same things we are talking about today were being discussed over a decade ago.

If you missed part one or two you can read them HERE.

Part three expresses concern for possible ways of using small gestures to nurture teams so that they will feel welcome and then continue to support the sanction. I still believe that a high-hearty-ho and a pat on the back can go a long way when trying to make someone feel welcome, but cash tends to be the most attractive thing in creating loyalty. Some of these things have been implemented since this letter was written, but many times these implementations just seem to die off, are carried out half-heartedly, or become normal and stagnant.

Of particular note is my ‘radical’ idea that ISMA could join forces with AVSS founder Jack Calabrase to co-promote a supermodified/sprint car showdown. While I no longer can sanction the idea of the supers running a race WITH the sprinters, ( I feel that the cars are simply too far apart and it would be very dangerous to combine them in an all-out race), I do still think that an exhibition and double dips with pavement sprinters is a good idea.

The letter takes a somewhat more personal tone when I offer my help to find the money to make these thoughts happen, express my interest in helping full-time, (with compensation), and ends with a note to the driver.

Does ISMA have a fast time trial award? I don’t remember. but if not why not? I would gladly talk to my editor, Dick Beebe at MARC Times. Think about it. His motto is “thanx fer pickin us up to keep up with the times.” There is the tie in. “Keep Up with the Times with the ISMA/MARC Times Fast Time Trial Award.”

How about a hard luck award? Again i can’t remember and I didn’t research this. You, as well as anyone, knows how tough it is to lose an engine or crash out of a show. At each race a driver that crashes and is unable to make the show has his name registered. At the banquet a blind draw is held of all the eligible drivers and they win some parts or cash.

It doesn’t have to be much. I would gladly donate to this Scott. In fact i would do it for $500. I can’t afford much more unless I can get some donations. We could call it the Wing Side Up award…maybe I could get Dick involved with this seeing how I write for his paper. That way we could maybe get the money up there and give some to the owner also. or this could be reserved for anyone that flips during the season. Again a blind draw. If no one flips, (which we all hope), then the money would be put in the benevolent fund, or injured driver’s fund, or a scholarship like the Rich Vogler Memorial Scholarship could be started.

How about at the SuperNationals at Oswego you have a state challenge? A different flag from each state is put on the roll cage or wing. the state or team with the highest finishing percentage is awarded a bonus that is split among the drivers of that team. I know that NY would probably have an advantage so maybe this isn’t fair, but i wonder if it could be handicapped somehow.

When you guys come to Berlin. how can we make it a very special show for the locals? Can we work with the track to get Dion or Willie there for a test session to build interest? How about Toledo? Same deal. I know that a lot of the fans from Flat Rock in Michigan go to Toledo also. Could we get a car there, (by the way super have run there in the past), to build interest in the Toledo and Berlin shows? There will be potential first time fans there that might not other wise go.

How about a challenge race at Toledo and Cayuga between AVSS and ISMA? Take the fast time trialer out of each division and put him in a car at the back of the other division’s feature or dash. Why not run a dash of mixed cars. Come on it’s not ludicrous. The drivers could just put on a show. No serious money, just braggin’ rights and hype. Set it up so that the points leader of each division has a ride in the other division. There is so much publicity potential here for these shows that it is crazy not to exploit it. I am sure Calabrase would be up on it, but you must not let him get the upper hand and show up ISMA in the pr department. Make the fans come to see the supers. Again, both sanctioning bodies and the tracks should be involved in this. and the ISMA owners and drivers need to be as supportive as they can within their time and dollar constraints.

Maybe I have raised more questions than answers here Xxxxx. I am only trying to help.

I hope that maybe I can do more of this in the future but on a paid and full-time basis.

You know how I feel about the whole deal as I am basically preaching to the choir whenever you and I talk about it because we both see things a little different from a lot of the board.

As always I am here to help if I can.
Racingly Yours,

End Part 3 of 3

What was the best part of this On the Soapbox post?  Do you have ideas that you think should be used for the supermodifieds? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please join in the conversation below.



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