Jason Posted April 20, 2005 Report Share Posted April 20, 2005 STATEMENT FROM TAVO (CT) HELLMUND REGARDING NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL AT THUNDER HILL RACEWAY Since I am not a regular on this site and have never posted before, it took me half a day to figure out how to do it. Just goes to show how computer illiterate I am, but I’ve received so many calls about the speculation regarding the NASCAR race at Thunder Hill, I had to finally figure it out. Thanks Jason for the help. T.Q. Jones, you damn scoop-dog. I don’t know whether to be mad at your nosey reporter instinct or thank you for giving me reason to clear the air. The promoters did not want the cat out of the bag yet, but will now have to release something soon and I’m sure they will. My responses to T.Q. Jones’ hunt for information are the following: My dinner the other night w/ GM Racing, “No comment.” The Hendrick and Nemechek deals, true and we’ll see what happens. As many of you know, it’s all about the money and politics and has little to do with ‘gettin up on the wheel’…unfortunately, most of us racers around here don’t have money. On the hometown comment, I might list Kingston, Jamaica next month. On the comment that we’ve been a factor at the Grand National races, hopefully that will continue. Now to the more relevant, the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series race in Kyle on October 1, 2005. This is what I can tell you: Brian and I had talked about a project similar to this as long as 2 years ago. The size and financial risk of this project was too great and continues to be. Brian trying to keep THR on the right track, and me sacrificing everything to get a break and move up the racing ladder. It became obvious that for the idea to become a reality, a different approach was needed. Thankfully, the respect we’ve been able to earn from NASCAR by running well in the various series (with no money), allowed us to put this deal together. Over the last 35 years, Central Texas has produced great drivers that never got the chance to move on, great engine builders, mechanics, series promoters and track operators. The Wallaces, Stewarts, Umscheids, Reithmeyers, Cantrells, Pallas’ (just to name a few, the list would be a mile long otherwise) have made the tradition in Central Texas long and rich but, unfairly, not noticed outside our Texas racing community. Other than some big shows years ago at Texas World, the Central Texas racing scene has not really been on the map. Many things have been done to improve that (like this web site, the folks at USRA, TSRS, and the Motorsports Zone radio show) and hopefully a Grand National race in Kyle will also help. We’re also fortunate, that the “smoke and mirror operations” were figured out by the local racing scene, before much damage could be done. Obviously, we need drivers to run well in the national touring series, track operators to have good shows, local racers to put on great races, media that cover the local scene and give coverage to local guys racing around the country, and finally, the occasional “big event” in Central Texas. I’m not pretending that having a NASCAR Grand National race is the answer to all those issues, but hopefully, it will be another baby step in the right direction. The key to being able to make a NASCAR event here successful is all about who will execute this production and why in Kyle and not S.A. or Houston. First, why Kyle? It’s pretty plain and simple. Brian and I have been friends for a long time and he has always tried to help me, and others. For all the criticism that track operators get from all us racers, it’s guys like Brian whose asses are on the line daily for the local racing scene. Every time I have needed to shake down a Late Model, Modified or West car for a race out of state, Brian helps out. Every time we have a good run, he calls and that’s not b/c I’m unique (b/c I’m not), that’s just the type of guy Brian is: a true supporter of the local scene. From my standpoint, it was a no-brainer. The fact that Houston and SA have pro sports franchises that those tracks have to compete against also helped support my reasoning with it needing to be in Austin/Kyle area. So who are the people responsible for doing this event? It’s a partnership called Full Throttle Productions, LP. I am a driver and don’t pretend to know how to run an event like that, nor do I have the time or money. So I guess you could say that I’ve been the glue up to this point, but I really won’t have too much involvement from here on out. Full Throttle Productions (FTP) are the right people for this because they are experts in events and marketing. This newly formed partnership for this event, is comprised of individuals who make their living with their own event companies in such productions. They have come together for this project and understand better than any of us racers, what is needed for it to be commercially and competitively successful. I’ll tell you this; they plan to make this an event not just a race. Some of the events that these folks have done are: Fiesta Broadway (Los Angeles), Austin Winter Nights (Austin), US/Mexico Soccer Tournament (Houston), the upcoming Pro Beach Volleyball Tour stop here in a couple weeks, to name a few. Are there going to be things done or not done that we racers complain about? Sure, but what don’t we in the racing community complain about? We will all benefit from a great event. So FTP in combination with Brian (and now Mary Ann, which is a plus), will be a great team and I hope we all support and help them make this another really positive step in the right direction. As a driver, I’m glad I won’t have to tow 1500 miles for this Grand National race. Hope this clears the air and I’m sure FTP will keep everyone posted as things fall into place. On a personal note, I want to thank those of you who continue to leave well wishes before and after each race. And no, I will not be running the GN Phoenix race this week…no money! Thanks, Tavo (a.k.a. CT) Answers to some of the posts: 1. Grand National runs mufflers where promoter asks, so most tracks except Phoenix & Fontana. 2. Will start 22, maybe 24 if an exemption can be found by NASCAR. 3. TV not decided yet, being analyized by FTP and NASCAR. 4. Cup or Busch car, 2000/2001 body is oldest allowed. 5. FTP will add seats but nothing crazy, probably double or triple what’s at Kyle now. 6. Should be more local racers other than myself trying to run, lots of local talent around. 7. Fast time probably around 14.90 – 15.10. Remember 3300 lbs. w/o driver, crappy tires and 1520 lbs. min. right side weight. 8. I have 3 legal front running cars for sale, if anyone is interested. The one I won in California with, the one that I finished 2nd in Utah last year with, and the one I finished third in Colorado last October with. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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