Tuesday, October 14, 2014
A Dream Realized
This weekend kicks off the 1st annual All Star Stock Car Series $10,000 to win Showdown on the Coast at Golden Isles Speedway. Thursday night begins with an open practice from 6-10 pm and kicks off the weekend. Fans and drivers are coming from all over different parts of the country to participate in this event and a race in this division, the hobby stock division, hasn't been seen in this area ever. It will bring out the absolute best of the best and will go to show you don't have to drive a late model to be talented in a race car. Some of these drivers can get in anything you give them and wheel it to the front but due to the expenses some of the higher classes can bring, they choose to stay in a more economical type class. It has nothing to do with lack of talent and everything to do with money. This race is the biggest purse a lot of these guys have ever seen and the anticipation and stress has been building because every one of these guys wants to take home that $10000 check.
Do you know where it all started? It has been a dream come true for the owners of the All Star Stock Car Series to have a race of this magnitude. How do I know how the owners feel? Well, because I'm one half of the owners and the other half being Leo Johnson. One of my partners in Deep Dixie Racing and also my husband. The idea for the series was something he had tossed about and discussed for a while. Leo is the type of person who always weighs his pros and cons seriously before he even considers an idea in a real context. He spoke with drivers, engine builders and track owners and promoters in depth before attempting the idea of a series. I fully supported him following his dreams and when he asked my thoughts, I said "go for it". Being a former race car driver himself, he knew what it would take on the racer's side to be in a series and being on the promotional side of racing watching track owners, he knew what it would take on their part and how important it would be to balance both sides.
Leo grew up in racing from birth and it's the only life he's known. It has been his dream to do something like this and for him in his typical fashion, he set out to make it a reality. A harder worker than I've ever seen from anyone, he set his mind to starting a series for the hobby stock guys and with sponsorship from Heintz Performance, Albany Motor Speedway, Wildcat Engines and Big Jim's Racing Supply, that's exactly what he did. It was a long time dream come true. For a man I see go to work and come home, even working well past working hours and on weekends and always on call, it was truly a gift to watch his dreams coming to reality. Tracks like Needmore Speedway, Albany Motor Speedway, Waycross Motor Speedway and Golden Isles Speedway became the first tracks to give the series it's first season and thus the momentum began to build with each race.
The season finale race was set to be a $3000 to win race but the idea was brought up by someone to see if we could make it a $10000 to win race to make it the biggest race in the area. With sponsorship help from Scrugg's Concrete, Dewitt Produce, Big Jim's Racing Supply, Wildcat Engines, White Brothers, Week's Farming and Machinery, Car Quest- Larry Bennett, Laster Heating and Air, Napa Auto Parts on West Hill Ave. of Valdosta, Ace Pole Co., Massey Ferguson, Ga./Fla. Power Sweep, and especially Fussell Tire Service, they all made the increased payout a reality. Leo's dream became at that moment, bigger and brighter. He has answered countless phone calls taking time for each question to make sure rules are followed and stayed up late nights worrying and stressing about the success of the series and this race and deserves credit for the hard work he's put in.
This weekend will be a culmination of all the hard work and countless sleepless hours but looking at the enormity of the crowd of fans and drivers coming it will all be worth it. Golden Isles Speedway has been in preparation for this race since it was announced and Darryl Courson has been working diligently to have everything prepared from the track to the concessions. The drivers have been preparing for this race every since it was announced and on top of someone winning the $10000 check, the All Star Series will also be crowning it's points champion. With Kyle Livingood in the points lead he only has a 13 point advantage over second place of Brian Wooten and 28 points over third place of Brian Grantham and 44 points over fourth place of Michael Davis, so it's really anyone's to take. The driver's who have been racing in the series from the beginning deserve many thanks from us for sticking with us and giving the series the support it needed. Without them we couldn't have done it and without the tracks' support it wouldn't have been possible. Next year is already coming together and looks to be bigger and better with new tracks coming on board and new sponsors and drivers joining the series.
Starting Thursday, all the hard work and stress will culminate into the finale and while we know everything will NOT be perfect we will try with everything in our power to make it as close to perfect for everyone as possible. Thursday will start out with practice, Friday will be qualifying and heat races, and Saturday will be B-mains and the feature. With drivers coming from all over and even Canada it looks to be a good show. A phone call Leo got today was from Indiana and the driver was bringing 4 cars with him. That's a long haul and I am completely grateful for these guys coming to be a part of this race. I hope that everyone has read the rules thoroughly before coming and if there's a question you can click here to check the rules again. Any additional questions, you can call Leo Johnson at 229-251-1727 or track parking and ticket questions call Darryl Courson at 912-242-8000. Words can not express how thankful we are to the sponsors, fans, and drivers for all their support and I can't thank them with words enough for letting me watch one man's dreams come true. It has been an overwhelming ride and I've learned a lot in this first year. I only hope we can make next year's season just as good for our drivers and fans. You don't know what you've all meant for us and I could never explain it properly. To our fans, we hope to bring you a great show. One you will talk about for a long time to come and to our drivers, thank you for being a part of this series and this race. I hope the time and money you have all spent pays off in the end. I wish each and every one of you good luck and a good time. You have all made it possible for dreams to come true and for one man, a lifelong ambition is realized and for letting me be a part of that, I will forever be grateful. We can't wait to see you all there and good luck to everyone!