PENDERGRASS, GA - The American Racing Association (ARA) has become stronger and more viable thanks to the ongoing efforts of new President Terry Treadwell. In the wake of gloom-and-doom rumors, Treadwell stepped to the forefront and purchased the...
PENDERGRASS, GA - The American Racing Association (ARA) has become stronger and more viable thanks to the ongoing efforts of new President Terry Treadwell. In the wake of gloom-and-doom rumors, Treadwell stepped to the forefront and purchased the vibrant ARA touring programs.
As the former ARA Competition Director, Treadwell was acutely aware of the issues that needed immediate attention. Among his primary projects since assuming the ARA presidency July 3rd have been:
- firming up schedules that fell into disarray when two of the original six host tracks closed,
- re-signing Kool Seal as the series title sponsor for the Kool Seal Challenge Series Late Model Stock Car All-Stars through the end of this season,
- altering the Outdoor Channel television package to a new half-hour feature format that offers more exposure to all teams and sponsors, and
- hiring a public relations, marketing and sponsorship fulfillment services company.
Treadwell is the bottom-line, go-to decision maker for the ARA, a position solidified by the fact that his company, Winners Circle Promotions, now owns and controls both of the ARA touring series. Treadwell and his silent partner closed the deal on July 2nd to purchase all rights and assets of the two ARA touring series from HMS, LLC, the original founder two years ago. The Kool Seal Challenge and the Southern Thunder Late Model series are now owned solely and exclusively by Winners Circle Promotions. HMS, LLC, retained control of the ARA weekly points series at the tracks HMS, LLC, still owns.
"A big plus is that tracks outside the original HMS circle are asking for future race dates," Treadwell says. "That speaks well of the quality of our young racing programs.
"John and his partner, Doc Kasin, decided to get rid of some of their race tracks is perhaps the best way to put it," says Treadwell, "and that put the series in jeopardy, I believe. I knew I had the tools and the knowledge to put a deal together to buy the series."
Treadwell had to make new deals with the new track owners to keep the race dates at some tracks. He continues to work on confirming the remainder of the current season, as well as planning for the future.
For 2002, the ideal schedule Treadwell says would be "18 races in each series at nine tracks on alternating weekends. That would be a tight, manageable deal that would be good for our teams, sponsors and fans. I think from a marketing standpoint, the more of the Southeast we can cover, the more viable product it is."
Treadwell is well qualified to head the ARA. He is a former racer, engine and chassis builder, track operator/promoter, TV broadcaster, and ex-technical editor for Short Track magazine.
"I like the status of being a blue-collar racer," Treadwell says. "You'll see me in the tech line, and working hand-in-hand with the racer. We're not ritzy or flashy, but we put on a good show for our fans, and we offer value to our sponsors."
The sponsors will get more exposure in the new television package. Instead of one-hour taped delayed race broadcasts, the new show will be a 30-minute feature/highlights show.
"We were on Fox Sports Net the first year, but Fox cold-shouldered us this year because of their NASCAR connection," Treadwell says. "We chose the Outdoor Channel, maybe not the biggest network out there, but it was a network that I thought personally fit the demographics of the series. The Outdoor Channel is 3-4 years old and ARA is two years old, so we can grow together, and I think that will be good. We'll also be on ComCast Sports Southeast, which brings us another two and a half million households to the 18 million we've already got with the Outdoor Channel. It also brings an interesting deal in that ComCast is in the process of buying AT&T (Broadband) and that will give us a number of other markets."
Barber Broadcasting Systems, Inc., of Stockbridge, GA., which has extensive experience in producing half-hour highlight shows for short tracks in the Southeast, will produce the ARA television shows. The highlight shows will air within eight days of the event, with the Outdoor Channel airing at 5 p.m. Sunday and the ComCast show airing at a consistent time - to be determined.
And in a move designed to increase the overall exposure for both series, ARA has named Vivid Images Press, Incorporated, as the official media agency of the ARA. The VIP staff includes motorsports veterans David Allio and Earl Fannin. The Virginia-based company will provide full-time public relations, marketing and sponsorship fulfillment services for both ARA touring series.
"By hiring VIP, we will be trying to get as much coverage for the ARA, our teams and sponsors, as possible. The more exposure we can bring, the better chance the teams have of attracting a sponsor, and the more fans will know about us," Treadwell says.
By agreement, the American Racing Association name will continue to be used by HMS, LLC, for their ARA Weekly Racing Series program until the end of the current season. Beginning in 2002, the ARA name and banner will be used exclusively for those tours and events sanctioned by Treadwell and Winners Circle Promotions.