USPRO Cup Racing has announced that Chris Throgmartin, Race Director for the series is retiring effective immediately. Throgmartin, a well known motorsport's marketing specialist from Michigan was diagnosed in 1999 with a rare and incurable bone...
USPRO Cup Racing has announced that Chris Throgmartin, Race Director for the series is retiring effective immediately.
Throgmartin, a well known motorsport's marketing specialist from Michigan was diagnosed in 1999 with a rare and incurable bone marrow disease. Despite ongoing treatments since diagnosis the disease has progressed and has entered a critical "spent phase" creating worsening bone marrow conditions that will require additional treatment from chemo type drugs. Throgmartin will fly to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ for further evaluation and to inquire about a bone marrow/stem cell transplant next month.
"This is one of the most life altering decisions I have had to make. It breaks my heart to have to leave the sport I have given so many years to and more importantly it hurts deeply to have to leave behind such great officials, drivers and team members in USPRO," Throgmartin said. "Ron Varney and I co-founded this series together and brought it forward from its infancy. Words just can't explain how terrible inside this latest news is to me. I just cant stand giving up what I love but the doctors want me to concentrate all my energies on battling this disease and the flights back and forth to Michigan are taking its toll on me," Throgmartin said from his retirement home in Bristol, TN.
Throgmartin started in the corporate world working for his Godparent, Tom Jakovac at the age of 14. He focused his efforts on Marketing and Public Relations as an adult and later expanded his career into stock car racing in the late 80's. He went from the local ranks to Winston Cup in less then four years working with dozens of drivers along with Fortune 500 companies. He has credited many of today's NASCAR stars with helping to formulate his progressive ideas in motorsport's marketing. He was voted in 1994 one of the Top Ten Motorsports Marketing consultants in the USA. He has served as an expert witness to the Michigan Senate in motorsports track developments and has been a leader in aggressively promoting the sport of stock car racing throughout the State of Michigan.
In 2001, Throgmartin returned to the Michigan local race scene and met Ron Varney through a Michigan internet race club site. The dual began tossing idea's around for a new series. In the end they became inseparable friends and together their ideas formulated one of racings cutting edge super late model series, USPRO Cup Racing. The series launched its first season this year and has experienced growing car counts at each race with expanded support from the racing community. USPRO is the only super late model series of its kind currently racing in the United States which features crate engines from both Ford and GM and which mandates cost controlling rules.
" Chris is more than just my race director, he is my friend, my mentor, and is like a brother to me. Words alone cannot express what a loss this is not only to the series, but too me personally as well. I am truly grateful, that I will still be able to seek his advice and wisdom as USPRO continues to grow. He will be greatly missed by all of the USPRO drivers, officials and team members that make up the USPRO family, " Commented Ron Varney USPRO President.
Details about a Charity Foundation being structured in Throgmartin's honor will be made at a later date. The series is also planning several charity events for Throgmartin this season and will release details once they are finalized.
Throgmartin's duties have been assumed by USPRO's new Race Director Bill Lackey. Lackey, a Michigan native assumed his new role as USPRO's Race Director at the USPRO / Spartan Speedway event. The retirement announcement of Throgmartin was initially made in private at a drivers meeting during the Spartan Race to USPRO teams and drivers.