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My final thoughts...


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#1 Tom Thumb Hobbies

Tom Thumb Hobbies

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 03:24 PM

We are just about back to normal at the store. So much has to be broken down and moved to the warehouse that it takes a few days to rebuild. But after 10 years we have things down to a science.

 

Speaking of 10 years it’s hard to believe that this was the tenth anniversary of the R4. Wow. I don’t think many would have bet money on this “Retro” thing lasting 10 years. Let alone growing. But, there are some signs of the same kind of “decay” that has killed almost every other racing program in the past. It is our job to not let that happen. Stop and think if what you are doing is helping the hobby or just your program. Do what is right for the hobby and we will be talking about the 20th Anniversary of Retro someday.

 

The R4/10 went extremely well in my opinion. I have had almost exclusively positive comments about the weekend of racing. The few negatives have been in the form of constructive criticism and not just bitching. Always appreciated. In fact, I have had numerous “best R4 ever” and “don’t change the format next year” comments even from those who initially hated the hand-out idea.

 

After race directing about half of the heats and doing all of the qualifying I can say that the racing was closer than ever. Every last Main had multiple stints with wheel-to-wheel racing for position, often between three or more racers. The final results didn’t always show that but I guarantee that if you were involved you won’t soon forget. Was it because of the hand-out motors? I would like to think that had at least some part in it. Looking at the non-hand-out F-1 class the racing was close, but not as close as the others. I wasn’t expecting new faces at the top. But I was hoping for closer racing with less gap from top to bottom. We got that.

 

So, do I think my hand-out plan was a success? Yes, I think so. All of the doom and gloom predicted by the naysayers was unfounded. Some stayed away because of hand-outs. No problem. But others came because of them. And like it or not, new faces are just as important as the old.

 

The countless hours I spent planning this was vindicated I think. Things went off with only very minor glitches. But that only happened because of the tremendous amount of help we had from our local, and extended, racer families. Whoever coined the term “Lazy Locals” for my guys obviously has no idea what they are talking about. Without Eric Balicki (and his wife Melinda who basically loans him to me every March), Rick Starkey and Tina, Jim and Sherri Leezer, Earl Graybill, Jason Vicars, and Steve Johnson this would not have been possible. Bill Fulmer, who is best known for his photography, is irreplaceable in the tech line. Believe me he does far more than just take pictures. Thanks also need to go to Kyle Snyder who not only did well as a racer (congrats, dude) but helped out at the sales counter all week and to Greg Wells who assisted in tech and published his awesome race reports.

 

Then comes Cindy and Jessica. Without Cindy filling in for me in our normal store operations I wouldn’t have had the time to plan anything. Day to day operations, food preparations, daily cleaning. the list goes on and on. She willingly shoulders a heavy load. Truly a phenomenal lady. Impossible without her. And Jessica… what didn’t she do? No one worked harder than her during those three days. I can’t tell you how proud I am to be her dad. And not to forget Avery. Avery helped keep me sane during all this time. She is awesome!!

 

Bottom line… it was a lot of work but worth it. Lots of new faces and also returning friends. Records were broken and the racing was close. New friendships were made and old ones rekindled. Being a BoD member, a track owner, and a race host it sometimes feels like I’m constantly under attack no matter what I do. This year was the worst. But, you the racers as a group make it worthwhile to me. As I have said before, Retro is more than just the cars we race. It is the attitude we have while we do it. Don’t lose sight of that

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Don’t forget to thank all the sponsors who generously donated money and merchandise to this event. I’ll be posting something separately later thanking them all but you already know who they were. Take a minute to send an email and say “Thanks.”

 

And let me do the same. Thank you to all that came and all that watched online. It was a pleasure to have you.


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Mike McMasters
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