Race and series promoters are a misunderstood bunch sometimes. They are the most powerful and some of the most visible people in short track racing. Speed51.com enjoys featuring more in-depth coverage of the men and women behind the short track series that we feature.
So we've asked Ron Varney from the ASA Late Model Series to keep a journal of his experiences throughout the remainder of the 2009 season. Please note that any opinions contained in his journal are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Speed51.com.
Ron's Rants - The Milwaukee Mile
Every so often even I am surprised by something I see at a race track, and after spending most of my life at one track or another I seen pretty much everything. What happened at the Milwaukee Mile was impressive to me nonetheless.
After tearing up ASA Late Model South this year with three wins in four races, Drew Brannon headed to Milwaukee on a roll. How would the young man fare against the likes of Steve Carlson, Eddie Hoffman, Landon Cassill, Stephen Leicht, Peter Cozzolino, Trent Snyder, Brian Campbell, Willie Allen and Jack Smith?
I had originally given a lot of credit for Drew's success to crew chief and driver coach Butch Miller, but I believe it goes beyond just a good car and good crew chief, Drew can flat out wheel a race car. Right now Butch and Drew are on the same page and they truly are a threat to win anywhere.
I ran into a situation at Milwaukee that no promoter ever wants to face. While I choose to lease the track at Milwaukee, I found myself trying to promote an event that the track didn't want anyone to know about. It was only after we arrived at the track on Saturday, did we find out the reason,
“It's a conflict of interest to put your race on our website schedule page because it's not a Milwaukee Mile event” said Steve Jones Sr. from The Milwaukee Mile.
Hell, their staff didn't even know about the race until a week or before the event. Talk about being set up to fail. Then after the show to receive a bunch of backlash from fans and a wannabe journalist portraying us (ASA Late Model Series) as the bad guys in this was unjust and uncalled for. No one in this office works harder than my wife Sandy. Can we do a better job of promoting? Sure…given the right circumstances, but not when you're dealt a losing hand.
Lastly, I wanted to give a tip of the hat to two drivers who ran much better than their finish indicate - Willie Allen and AJ Frank. Willie was running in the top five when something mechanical broke forcing him to drop out and finish 24th. AJ Frank had a steep learning curve going from the big, heavy Pro Cup cars to the light and fast ASA Late Model Series cars. AJ missed qualifying for the race on time and had to run the GM Performance Parts Shootout. But proving he's a quick learner he won the race and transferred into the main event. AJ methodically worked his way into the top ten and was looking for more, but he to would experience mechanical problems forcing him into a 22nd place finish.