Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) President Ron Drager (pictured) and Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways General Manager Scott Schultz were jointly presented with the 37th Auto Racing Promoter of the Year award by Racing Promotion Monthly (RPM) recently during the 40th RPM Speedweek National Workshop at the Plaza Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach, Florida.
“Considering the caliber of auto racing industry leaders who have won the Auto Racing Promoter of the Year award in the past, it’s very humbling to be selected for this honor, and to be among that group,” Drager said.
“I accept this award on behalf of my grandparents (ARCA founders John and Mildred Marcum) who started promoting races in 1949, and Scott Schultz, who puts in tireless hours of effort so the tracks can be as successful as they are. I’m honored to be one of the six regional winners, who are all deserving of the honor.”
The Auto Racing Promoter of the Year is short track racing’s most prestigious award. It is awarded each year after voting by promoters. The award was originated in 1976 by the editors of Racing Promotion Monthly. Voting is conducted in two phases: a preliminary ballot in the newsletter nominates candidates in six regions. The six candidates become Regional Promoters of the Year and then appear on a second ballot for final voting. It is the only national award recognizing promotional excellence selected by peers. The award is for the 23rd year sponsored by Charlotte Motor Speedway which confers upon the Promoter of the Year perks and privileges at the North Carolina Superspeedway.
The nominees up for the award this year were Region One, the Eastern Region, Bruce & Teresa Rogers, Grandview (PA) Speedway; Region Two, the Southeastern Region, Harold Crook, Lonesome Pine (VA) Raceway; Region Three, the Central Region, Drager and Schultz, Flat Rock (MI) and Toledo (OH) Speedways; Region Four, the Northern Region, the Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association and Kurt Beeksma, ABC (WI) Raceway; Region Five, the Great Plains Region, Dan Robinson, Lucas Oil (MO) Speedway; and the Rocky Mountain West Region, Steve Beitler, Skagit (WA) Speedway. The Rogers received their fourth nomination, their first coming in 1984 and most recent previous nomination in 2008, Beitler received his third nomination in four years, Drager and Schultz their second, following a previous nomination in 2001. Ashland-Bayfield, Robinson, and Crook are first-time nominees.
Bob Sargent, Track Enterprises, Macon (IL), Paducah (KY) Speedways, received the award last year. Previous winners are: Hugh Deery, 1976/1984; J.C. Agajanian, 1977; D. Anthony Venditti, 1978; Jack Gunn, 1979; George Eisenhart, 1980; Dick O’Brien, 1981; Howard Tiedt, 1982; Don Martin, 1983; Glenn Donnelly, 1985; Cary Agajanian, 1986; Bud Lunsford, 1987; Bob Daniels, 1988; Howard Commander, 1989; Ray Wilkings, 1990; Paul Kuhl, 1991; Robert Lawton; 1992; Earl Baltes, 1993; Jody Deery, 1994; Andy Vertrees, 1995; Charles Powell, 1996; C-Ray Hall, 1997; Larry Kemp, 1998; Charles Cathell, 1999; Charles Deery, 2000; Ralph Capitani, 2001; Lanny Edwards, 2002; Bob and Nadine Strauss, 2003; Tom Curley, 2004, Steve York, 2005; John Padjen, 2006; Lynn Phillips, 2007; Joe and Walt Doellefeld, 2008; the Nuckles family, Columbus (OH) Motor Speedway, 2009; and the Queensland family, Deer Creek (MN) Speedway, 2010.
The Auto Racing Promoter of the Year is selected by readers of Racing Promotion Monthly. Nominees operate weekly schedule oval tracks or drag strips.