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TPS Suspends 2017 Season

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TEXAS PRO SEDANS SUSPENDS 2017 SEASON

The Texas Pro Sedans announced on March 4 in a private e-mail to all 2017 Texas Pro Sedans Drivers, TPS Officials, TPS Sponsors, former TPS Officials and selected members and friends that TPS was suspending the 2017 Season.

The TPS Founder and Administrative Director Neil Upchurch wrote in the e-mail that he sincerely wished to have not written and distributed the e-mail. He said David Mackey and him have been in close communication since they both first learned on December 13th (and after the December 11th TPS Awards Dinner) that the CTS lease was vacated.

As the Texas Pro Sedans Founder & Administrative Director he reluctantly wrote the following:

I want you to know that I did all I could for more than 41 years to maintain TPS as a responsible, respected, functioning, effective and vital Texas racing organization. Although I assumed this day might eventually come, I hate the day has arrived. TPS has outlived and succeeded every other Texas area asphalt race track and Texas asphalt racing organization we know of. It was good and reliable racing for all TPS drivers and their cars for over four decades. All loyal members should be proud of Texas Pro Sedans accomplishments.

The primary reasons for suspension of the 2017 racing season is directly due to the following reasons:

1. The apparent continuing lack of a new lease holder to reopen and resume racing operations at the track located in Kyle, Texas and formerly known as Central Texas Speedway.

2. CC Speedway owner posted January 5th on LSSZ his desire to reopen the track in 2017. However, he has not responded to our post and e-mail pledging TPS’s support in which his CCS 2017 scheduling plan as requested. We received no reply and know of no other communications or posts by CCS regarding 2017 racing at the Corpus Christi oval.

3. The practice and future racing arrangement I was working on at Houston Motorsports Park hit a stop sign when we read many TPS driver posts on Face Book. It was clear TPS had several drivers who were apparently unwilling to wait on our TPS strategy to develop and work after publication of the February 15th “We are NOT giving up” e-mail to all members. Instead they signaled their disagreement with the patiently wait concept and announced their departure from a fragmented TPS in favor of dirt track racing. Their premature departure doomed our shrinking membership numbers and seriously damaged TPS’s future asphalt car count.
(Our reaction was - “If TPS drivers won’t follow … TPS officials won’t lead”).

4. The withdrawing of its 2017 TPS sponsorship by Sanford Electrical Services in Austin and the owner submitting a refund request.

With suspension of the 2017 TPS racing season and in an appropriate and fair manner to all current members, all deposited 2017 TPS dues have been refunded and were sent by U.S. Mail on March 3 to all drivers and a sponsor on TPS roles for the presumed 2017 season. The listed sum-total of refunds is $2,780 was itemized for member reference.

All concerned were urged to keep their cars in a race ready condition. If a Texas asphalt track reopens, the Texas Pro Sedans need to be ready to reorganize and support that track.

Upchurch thanked the various TPS Race Officials who helped him thru the years to work the nearly 600 TPS races which were produced. He suggested that if any member has time they all deserve should send a “large thank you”.

He also thanked all for their membership in the Texas Pro Sedans organization over the many of the 41 consecutive racing years. The steady and loyal members are particularly appreciated.


Neil Upchurch - Texas Pro Sedans Founder & Administrative Director

For further information, the TPS website will remain open and marginally active at - www.texasprosedans.com

Edited by NeilTPS

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As a driver lucky enough to have competed in races for the entire 41 years of the Pro Sedans, I am able to say that the tireless dedication and hard work of Neil Upchurch is the main reason this series has lasted so long. Whatever the future holds for the racers of the Pro Sedans, it will be hard to match the success of the last four decades.

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It is my pleasure to receive such laudatory and kind remarks from Texas Pro Sedans, driver, member and car owner Mike Knotts.

I am also pleased to recognize the participation of the only remaining Texas Pro Sedans, charter driver member Mike Knotts. Of the nearly 600 TPS races which were contested, Mike was a driver in all but 4 or 5 events. I might add that his absences were always very much justified such as the weekend that Mike and Charysse were married. During the past several seasons, Mike comutted from Charysse’s place of work, Frankfurt, Germany from where he mised no TPS races in Texas.

Mike has also supplied TPS cars so many drivers over the years and allowed the use his 1518 Car Parts garage to other TPS cars, to many than I can count.


Thank you Mike Knotts - Neil Upchurch

Texas Pro Sedans Founder & Administrative Director

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Neil,

 

It’s so sad to see the end of asphalt short track racing in Texas and the effects on your series, drivers, officials, etc. I know it must have broken your heart to write this release. Thanks for all of the hard work you did with TPS all of these years. I know that life does go on after racing, but it will always own a piece of your heart.

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Without all of your hard work and perseverance there would have been no Pro Sedans, TPS sedans & Late Models, TWS races, no Texas Race of Champions. Thinking about all the great racers that were brought together by these races is very cool. Priceless Memories.

 

I know it hasn't always been easy. Thank you for all you have done for the Texas racers & their families. Your efforts are appreciated.

 

Hopefully asphalt racing in Texas is just taking a short break.

 

Mel Krauss

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For anyone to head anything for 41 years is admirable. For someone to head up a racing series, with all its twists and turns and personalities involved is beyond impressive. The Texas Pro Sedan series rates at the top in Texas racing history and that is due to its race teams and its leadership. Hopefully this is only a blip and year 42 can start soon. Job very well done up to this point to all involved.

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I want to thank Debbie Williams and Mel Krauss for their much appreciated nicely worded and sincere posts.

Debbie Williams has long served a number of auto racing officiating positions at tracks such as San Antonio Speedway under several owners and at Thunder Hill Raceway for more years than I can count. She was very qualified in the racing work she did. It could be that auto racing is in her DNA since she comes from a family of racers we all know well, the Bendele family of drivers.

She has what is known as “True Grit”. She is a recovering cancer patient and that says it all.

Thank you a lot Debbie.


Mel Krauss also comes from a family of racers. His late Dad Larry was a TPS driver and is listed in the Memorial Section of www.texasprosedans.com

Mel has driven in a large number racing classes and competed in many Texas Pro Sedans events. Mel Krauss was as clean a race driver as they come. Mel’s son Levi is a third generation race car driver and has also performed quite well in several racing classs as well.

Mel’s posted comments bring back many of my auto racing memories with most of them being fond memories.

Mel … I thank you.


Both of you of you are at the top of my racing favorites list - Neil Upchurch

Texas Pro Sedans Founder & Administrative Director

Edited by NeilTPS

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I appreciate AROB’s on target posted comments. I don’t know your name, but I have read many of your quality screen name posts.

It is also good to hear from a former TPS driver and occasional race official - 97 Car (aka Kevin Hallman). Thanks buddy.


miniholmes1117: You wrote and posted on here, “Awesome series with great leadership. I hope this will only be a short break”.

I don’t know your name beyond screen name either but I thank you - Neil Upchurch, Texas Pro Sedans Founder & Administrative Director

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