Meyers' Winning Formula; Achieving success in sprint car racing is like climbing a mountain.
Even though the view from the summit is the same, there are many different paths you can take to get there. No matter which route they choose, teams require people to succeed.
They can outspend the competition to obtain the best equipment and hire the top drivers, crew chiefs and mechanics. They can work harder than everyone else until discovering the winning combination to attract major sponsorship.
They can toil for years waiting for Lady Luck to shine upon them. Or, in the case of driver Jason Meyers and Elite Racing, they can work smarter. Meyers, a three-time runner-up in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series championship standings, bills himself as a true independent.
The Clovis, California native is one-third of an operation that has become an ideal business model for the sport given the current economic climate. Elite Racing, which fields car number 14, builds its own chassis, its own engines, and has two shops more than 2,200 miles apart to accommodate the rigors of running coast-to-coast with the Outlaws.
"This entire team is made up of racers," Meyers says proudly. "They work hard and they have a lot of talent and work together very well. All of our sponsors are proud to be part of it (the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series) and we're looking to put them on top where they deserve to be," he added.
Elite Racing designs and fabricates chassis from a facility in Fresno, California, while the engines are developed "in house" and built exclusively by Charlie Garrett in central Pennsylvania.
The other shop in Brownsburg, Indiana features 8,200 square feet within the headquarters of drag racing legend John Force. "With our own program we've only got ourselves to work with, so it's a tough road every now and again, but when we do find something good it's ours alone," stated Meyers, who also serves as director of operations.
As close as the competition is nowadays in winged 410 sprint car racing, ingenuity lends itself to finding an advantage.
According to Meyers, "We can all pretty much get the same thing, so we've tried to take some of those things in-house to build for the future and find some competitive advantages that our sponsors can put their names on."
In addition to Meyers, Elite Racing's team principals are Guy Stockbridge and Chris Luck.
"I've got two of the greatest people, not just car owners, but people that I've ever had the opportunity to work with and be involved with and it's really been a neat thing we've been able to do," said Meyers, a 35-time A-feature winner with the Outlaws about his business partners.
From its hospitality to the "hero cards" distributed at the track, this media-savvy squad is first-class in its approach to attracting and maintaining primary, secondary and associate sponsors, which number around 60 on its website.
The team sees the advantage of working closely with its vendors and other people in the industry, taking every opportunity to showcase them.
Case in point, Elite recently held an open house in Brownsburg, which coincided with the International Motorsports Industry Show in Indianapolisand gave team partners and supporters the opportunity to see the new facility.
That was followed by the company's appearance at the Performance Racing Industry Show in Orlando, Florida, during which Elite became the first team within the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series to stage its own exhibit.
On the heels of those efforts, Elite Racing re-signed all sponsors for 2010, including the sixth consecutive year that Elite Landscaping Incorporated and GLR Investments have supported the organization in sponsorship roles and the third straight year for Digital Delivery Networks Incorporated (DDNi).
Meyers, who will turn 31 later this month, is a polished, fresh-faced company spokesman as well as an accomplished driver seeking to give his investment partners greater value while adhering to a tight budget. Like a growing number of his contemporaries, he communicates to fans and supporters on social networks such as Twitter.
"Communication is key," says Luck, who has spent decades in motorsports in various series, including CART and USAC, and always seems to have a Bluetooth device affixed to one of his ears.
"Whether it's a new set-up or a different way to do business, you cannot let egos get in the way of communicating," added Luck, an outgoing gentleman who never met a stranger and says he acquired his penchant for hospitality through his parents.
From "aristocrats to alley cats," they taught him to treat everyone the same. So why is the team named Elite Racing?
"Elite was the name of Guy Stockbridge's landscaping company," Meyers explained.
"We sat down at the end of 2003 and came up with the idea of putting a car out on the World of Outlaws tour."
The name stuck, and Luck became a managing partner the following year. Meyers, entering his ninth full-season with the Outlaws, says winning the series championship has always been the goal.
"We (Stockbridge and Meyers) talked about that the first day we started Elite Racing. That's what we set out to do. But now to sit back and look at it the other way--from being where we thought we might get is really neat. I feel very blessed to have what we have, and hopefully we can get it done," Meyers concluded about his title chances.
And the climb continues.
CHIAPPELLI: Meyers' Winning Formula Join Elite Racing On Twitter In an effort to stay connected with fans and supporters, The Elite Racing Team has become a new member of the Twitter community. Elite Racing Team followers will be provided real time updates direct from Jason and the Team. Fans with a Twitter account will receive our updates on twitter.com and have the added option to receive updates via text messages to their mobile phone. We encourage all of our supporters to stay in touch with team updates by following the Elite Racing Team and to complement our service; also follow the World of Outlaws on Twitter for excellent trackside series-wide coverage.
-source: elite racing