Wing Side Up Enterprises was born of a passion for supermodified racing and got it’s start from Bob Gangwer’s desire to contribute a weekly column about supermodified racing to Dick Beebe’s Award Winning MARC Time Racing News.
Gangwer would find the name he needed for his new column by remembering a conversation he had as a child with a friend and longtime neighbor while getting this persons autograph during the intermission of a supermodified race at South Bend Motor Speedway.
“To my good friend and neighbor Bob,
Willie Stutzman #88″
Upon saying thank you and good luck to Willie, he replied to Gangwer-“Thanks, we’ll try to ‘Keep It Wing Side Up and Wheels to the Ground’
That simple encounter between a boy and his childhood hero would not only give rise to a successful weekly column about supermodified racing in the MARC Times Racing News, but also became a mindset for Gangwer who would use his passion for the SUPERMODIFIED DIVISION to “Accentuate the Positive” and push for “Probable Solutions to the Negative” for the supers.
From an early age, Bobby G. as he would come to be called, longed to be a flagman or an announcer for supermodified racing. Staging ‘big wheel’ races on the long driveway of his parents Goshen, IN home, he would take cues from his favorite flagman-Larry Hotram When the flagging chores became boring, Gangwer would then time the ‘drivers’ and announce the action doing his best to imitate the man that would become a mentor, advisor, and friend, Kalamazoo Speedway’s “Chubby Little Pronouncer”, Mick Schuler.
Even while devoting 10 years of his life to go BMX racing, Gangwer’s goal from those early years had always been to make it to the “Home of the Supermodifieds” Oswego Speedway. After seeing an article about Jimmy Shampine in Stock Car Racing Magazine, Gangwer knew that he had to make the trek to the Mecca of supermodified racing. Finally in 1985 after much pleading with his father, the two made their first trip ever to Upstate New York to witness the International Classic 200. Eventually, he would convince his ‘good friend and neighbor’ “Wild” Willie Stutzman to also make the drive to Upstate New York where Stutzman would become a fan favorite just like he was back in IN.
Along the way Bobby G. has helped promote a supermodified race at M40 Speedway in Michigan, turned a lot of wrenches as a ‘stooge’ on supermodifieds down through the years, written countless press releases, landed cut-lines and by-lines in Area Auto Racing News, Short Track Racing Magazine, National Sprint Car Annual, The Fresno Bee, as well as his local newspapers, secured sponsorship for racers, and has brought together racers, car owners, fans, and promoters for the betterment of the division.
He has become known as “The Voice of the Supermodifieds” not only because of announcing gigs with the Must See Racing, the International Supermodified Association, the Midwest Supermodified Association, the Supermodified Racing Associations, Oswego Speedway and Lee USA Speedway, but also because of his constant advocacy for the supermodified division as a whole.
He also is a former board member of the United Supermodified Association at Oswego Speedway as well as the Supermodified Racing Association and co-Founder of the Supermodified Ultimate Pavement Racing Series-aka SUPRS which is an online simulated supermodified racing league formed in 2004 in order to give back to the supermodified family in times of need through the Dion Parish Memorial Benevolent Fund for Supermodifieds.
Gangwer launched “Wing Side Up on the World Wide Web” in May of 2001 as a way to bring his column and photography to a wider audience while also providing “News, Views, and Reviews” for all supermodified sanctions coast to coast.
In 2008, after a year of struggling with an off again on again audio webcast, Gangwer, with the help of his marketing manager, Annamarie Malfitana-Strawhand, revamped Wing Side Up on the World Wide Web and rejuvenated the webcast show Wailing with Wing Side Up, eventually making it completely interactive and adding live video as well.
From those beginnings and with a lot of help from his friends, Gangwer has continued to develop his passion for all things supermodified and has become known for his unwavering dedication and advocacy for common sense scheduling, increased purses, strict rule enforcement, bold promotion and unification of the supermodified division.