• UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

WHY WE DO IT

CLASS PHOTO: Top row, left-to-right -- Tony Schumacher, Dario Franchitti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jaime Melo, Alex Lloyd, Jon Fogarty. Bottom row -- Scott Pruett, Tony Pedregon, Carl Haas, Dane Cameron, Mika Salo, Frank Kimmel. (Photo by Dan R. Boyd.)


Take a look at the above picture.

A good look.

Every now-and-then, someone asks me what's the point in joining the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. OK. Fair enough. We live in a society of skeptics.

What other similar organization, I would respond, can bring together such a prestigious group in one place on the same evening? Those above are members of the 2007 AARWBA All-America Team. They were honored with the traditional Horsepower Trophy Jan. 12 at the 38th Team dinner at the Indianapolis Hyatt presented by A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway chose AARWBA's new Shav Glick Newsmakers Forum as the place to present Franchitti with his Indy 500 winner's ring and unveil his likeness on the Borg-Warner Trophy. MAZDASPEED, Champ Car Atlantics, A1GP, IndyCar Series and ESPN also utilized the Forum to make announcements.

A strong, effective media organization is GOOD for the motorsports industry. It's that simple.
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SEEN AND HEARD AT AARWBA: Tony Schumacher taking my Sharpie to get Emerson Fittipaldi's autograph . . . Fittipaldi, Schumacher, Tony Pedregon and Frank Kimmel acknowledging Champ Car owner Carl Haas during their podium remarks . . . Haas and Jerry Titus Memorial Trophy winner Dario Franchitti earning standing ovations . . . Haas becoming emotional in accepting the Pioneer In Racing award . . . Fittipaldi revealing A1GP World Cup of Motorsport will create an off-shoot A2 series to crown national champions -- including in America . . . A1GP Chief Commercial Officer Scott Hollingsworth telling A1 Team USA driver Jonathan Summerton one of his jobs is to make next year's All-America Team! . . . Tom Anderson agreeing to a two-year extension of Lowe's Fernandez Racing's support of the Straight Shooter Award, in memory of Art Flores and Ron Hussey, for photographers . . . Scott Pruett revealing he plans to visit an NHRA event this year as Schumacher's guest . . . AARWBA members will choose Champ Car Atlantic's 35th anniversary All-Star team . . . IHRA reps attending the All-America Team ceremony for the first time. Please note, World of Outlaws.
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As is my custom, as event chairman, I want to offer thanks to the PR people and others who helped AARWBA by arranging for their drivers to attend, or in other ways:

* Kelby Krauss
* Ron Green
* John Griffin
* Chris Dirato
* Jerry Archambeault
* Anthony Vestal
* Sophia Kokonas
* Jim Sullivan
* David Higdon
* Don Helms
* Sharon Zeeck
* Bob Dickinson
* Tyra Sitton
* Stacie Shain
* Mike Geylin
* Andy Schupack
* Adam Saal
* Reece White
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Watch Dave Densmore accept the Jim Chapman Award at AARWBA and Susan Wade's conversation with Dave on 1320tv.com. (While you are there, check out Emerson Fittipaldi and Scott Pruett talking drag racing . . . yes, drag racing!):
http://www.1320tv.com/featured.asp?vid=1-1-08/dave_densmore_speech&title=Dave%20Densmore%20honored%20with%20Chapman%20Award

http://www.1320tv.com/dialed_in/article10.asp?vid=dialed_in/dialed_in_densmore&title=Dave%20Densmore%20honored%20for%20public-relations%20excellence

Here's my new Business of Racing video commentary on 1320tv.com:
http://www.1320tv.com/straight_talk/article3.asp?vid=straight_talk/aarwba_dinner_bor&title=The%20Business%20Of%20Racing&des=New%20commentary%20by%20Michael%20Knight

And my story in last Friday's Arizona Republic, where Dario Franchitti reveals the REAL reason why he switched to NASCAR:
http://www.azcentral.com/sports/speed/articles/0117racingnb.html


[ more next Tuesday . . . ]