Strategic Alliances

Editor's Notebook, August 1997



Racing is relationships. When I first met my wife, we were having coffee and talking, introducing ourselves. She told me she was a Cubs fan. I told her my favorite sports were women’s basketball and auto racing. She laughed, thinking I must be joking.


How could I be interested in cars, with anonymous drivers hidden deep inside speeding cages, going around in circles?


Racing is relationships.

As she and I got to know one another, I told her stories of the drivers, especially CART and F1 drivers, Senna, Schumacher, Nigel, Mario and Michael, the Unsers, Emmo, Rahal, A.J., and others. They came to seem like family. Susan, passionate sports fan that she is, soon developed favorites among the drivers and teams (and favorite drivers to root against). Racing is relationships.


World Speed Racing is relationships. The team owner, the crew chief, the engineer, the mechanics, tire changers, trailer driver, and gophers, all work in concert with the driver and can make or break a race or a racing season.


We are very pleased to announce a relationship, a strategic alliance as the business catch-phrase of the week would have it, with Chuck West and World Speed Motorsports. (You can find details of this alliance in the section of our web site devoted to 1998 racing plans.) Chuck is an exciting race car driver, a gentleman, and an excellent businessman. World Speed is becoming a force to be reckoned with in Toyota Atlantic and STAR Mazda racing.


Ginni Swanton, Distant Thunder's Driver of the Month for August, is excelling in the STAR Mazda series with Chuck's coaching and the support of World Speed's team. Jennifer Tumminelli, PPG Pace Car Team driver and former head of PR for World Speed, first introduced me to Chuck. (Jennifer was introduced to the PPG team by Margie Smith-Haas, Thunder Valley featured driver, after I introduced them to each other.) Racing is relationships.


NASCAR Racing is relationships. Shari Minter, NASCAR and ARCA driver (and Thunder Valley Racing featured driver) introduced herself to Christina Martin, NASCAR Goody's Dash team owner (and Thunder Valley Racing featured team owner) at Charlotte. I had told Shari about Christina and suggested that she look her up. They've found a lot in common and we're working on ways to work together, possibly in 1998.


Trish Koger, Thunder Valley featured driver, had told me about Christina after meeting her at a Goody's Dash race. Trish was very excited about this young woman team owner who had turned the wheel chair which she depended upon into a sponsor of her racing team. Racing is relationships.


Snooop by Mail Racing is relationships. I'd been a fan of Lynne Huntting's race reports in RacingPR and put that publication on the e-mail list for Distant Thunder. Recently the editor of the site asked me if we'd like to offer a free trial subscription to Lynne's new e-mail-delivered daily racing reports. We, of course, jumped at the offer and you, the readers of Distant Thunder, are the beneficiaries. I hope you take advantage of this offer.


We're hoping, soon, to add a new dimension to the Thunder Valley Racing web site. We are in conversation with an automotive chat room that will lead to a racing chat room, to be accessed through Thunder Valley. You (if this thing works out) will be able to log on to Thunder Valley Racing and then click to an ongoing conversation about racing, with special emphasis from time to time, on women in racing. Racing is relationships.


So, here we are, working to get to know one another, to share our love of the sport, to build our relationships with one another and to support one another as we live our dreams.


Yours, 'til the green flag drops.




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