A first-of-its-kind Short Track Alliance has been formed with hopes of improving the landscape of short track racing for all involved. Currently consisting of Late Model racers, team owners, crew chiefs and specific industry leaders, the new group has a mission to connect the racers and teams to the decision makers in short track racing.
Although the idea had been floated around by Late Model driver Bubba Pollard for a few years now, the idea began evolving into a reality following a town hall meeting that occurred during CRA SpeedFest in Cordele, Georgia this past February.
While a select group of drivers, owners and crew chiefs from all geographic areas of the country and economic levels will also be a part of the STA, the new organization will be headed up by Pollard, veteran motorsports broadcaster Bob Dillner and industry leader and racer Chris Dilbeck.
Pollard, widely regarded as one of today’s best Super Late Model racers, has been victorious in Late Model racers all over the country in recent years. His resume includes wins with Late Model sanctioning bodies such as the ARCA Midwest Tour, CARS Tour, Champion Racing Association (CRA), Pro All Stars Series (PASS), Southern Super Series and SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour, as well as other series’ and independent events.
“We want to work for the average racer to get back to the track and the two things to do that involve time and money,” Pollard said. “This group is to help the average racer. Some of us in this alliance are considered bigger teams and others are from smaller teams, and we think that it’s going to take ideas from all sides to make Late Model racing even better than it is right now.”
Dillner, who currently works as a motorsports broadcaster on MAVTV, has previously worked for the SPEED Channel, Fox Sports and TNN during his 20-plus-year career. In addition to his role as a broadcaster, he has played many different roles within the short track racing industry, including team owner, race promoter and driver. One of the business ventures owned by Dillner is Speed51, a multimedia company specializing in live race broadcasts and overall coverage of short track racing.
“Bubba has talked to me about this for more than two years and with everything going on right now in the world of Late Model racing we thought this would be a perfect time to allow the drivers, team owners and crew chiefs to have a voice in all the aspects of the racing they compete with,” said Dillner. “The STA wants to work with all of Late Model racing and not just a specific group. We feel that it will be positive for the racers, the promoters and the companies involved with this style of short track racing.”
Dilbeck has been an industry leader in the business end of short track racing for many years, but is also a successful driver with several victories in the Late Model ranks during the course of the last decade.
Between the connections that the trio has, they plan to work with racing series, promoters, track owners and businesses around the country to help racing in all different facets. This includes input on rules, helping promote the sport of short track racing and working on bringing additional funding into the sport.
The specific STA members will also speak to those in their geographic area to bring more conversation into the group.
Those involved with the group hope to work with all series, events and tracks to help improve the short track racing landscape for all parties involved including racers, team owners, promoters and fans.
Currently, the STA is only involved with Late Model racing.
There have been several meetings leading into the formation of the Short Track Alliance; however, most recently there was a meeting between the STA and a group of promoters in Nashville, Tennessee this past weekend to begin discussion between the groups.
According to those involved, that meeting was extremely successful in terms of having both parties understand where they stood on many different topics. Following the meeting, the STA plans to reach out to other series and event promoters to discuss Late Model racing moving forward.
The group has formed a Twitter handle, @STA_Racers and offered that if racers, promoters or industry people would like more information, to email them via [email protected]
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com