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AWARDS BAQUET, THE BEACH, AND NOT SO SILLY SEASON
Jan 21, 2009
Author: Bobby Martin

Following a Great '08, what do we do for an encore?

Frank Parker and I will continue our alliance in 2009. To say the least, I'm very happy about that. In our first year we finished number 8 in the world, won the Division 3 Championship, and won the Spitzer Cup low qualifier award. The Spitzer Cup represents a season's worth of performance, and demonstrates the level of skill and hard work on the part of Frank and Dan Parker. The Cup is proudly displayed at the Parkertech shop. I was thrilled to take home Division 3's "Pro-Sportsman Driver of the Year" award. That's special because racers and fans selected the winner. A big thank you goes to all who voted. It means a lot. One of the greatest things is the season made a lot of people happy. Check out http://www.totalflowproducts.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=5&Itemid=6 to get Total Flow Products' take on the proceedings.

As good as 2008 was, it wasn't perfect. We went through slumps just like a lot of teams and we left a lot of points on the table. On the other hand, I've been around long enough to know how tough wins are to come by. Things have to go your way in order to go all the way to the winner's circle. So it will be a challenge, but we're very excited. Here's why. The team remains intact for '09. Larry, Kyle, Kevin, and Mike will all be back. I think team chemistry was one of our major assets last year. But Frank and Dan are never satisfied with the status quo. They are making changes and upgrades to their hot rod in search of even more power and performance. All of that means we're looking forward with great anticipation to the new season, and can't wait to get out there. Our scheduled season debut will be the Gatornationals.

NOT SO SILLY SEASON - just ask the guys without a ride or a sponsor
This off-season has been extra tough. Companies are cutting back their budgets like never before. Just the same, I had a meeting with one progressive industry leader who said, "I choose not to participate in the recession." Is that a cool quote or what? I think that's the attitude that must prevail if we as an industry or even a country are to move forward. We're still working to finalize our sponsor roster for this year. Many of our loyal clients are staying with us, and we're coming out with all our guns blazing. We have some interesting prospects, so we'll see what happens. This team has nothing if not perseverance and faith. I can tell you that our car for this year will again be a Dodge Charger.

WE'VE GOT THE GO, HOW 'BOUT THE WHOA
The 2008 Parkertech/Lane Automotive/CAP Charger was fast. In fact, there were times when stopping was the biggest challenge. For '09, we plan to go with Dennis Taylor's new chute launcher. This thing actually launches the whole parachute pack, from which the chute then deploys. I love going to the beach, but not while wearing a fire suit and helmet. Dennis' stuff is first class all the way.

THE DIVISION 3 AWARDS BALL

I call it a ball because that's what it was. Our whole team dressed up and everyone, especially the women, looked really nice. It was a special night for all of us. For a single team to take home the Division championship trophy, the Spitzer Cup, and the Driver of the Year award is really something special. Frank and Dan even made us a special thank you award. It's a clock made from actual pistons and rods that won events. Everyone on the team got one. Very unique and very cool. Frank could barely contain his emotions when he presented these to us. It's that kind of appreciation that makes you work even harder. After the awards was a party. We even got to hear Persons of the Year, starter Bill Floyd and announcer Leo Taugher sing. It's fun to see people in a relaxed environment just having a good time. We thank Division 3 for all their efforts in presenting a great weekend.

CAP CHARGER AT THE BEACH

The weekend was especially wacky for me because I was also showing the CAP CHARGER at the Hampton Roads Auto Show in Virginia Beach. Again, we had the only Funny Car there, and the crowds loved it. It's fascinating when you get these cars out of the racing environment and see people's reaction. Think about the difference between a 30mpg street car and a 3200 horsepower Funny Car. You even get folks who stop and stare, trying to figure out what all this is for. You get everyone from people who have no idea what the car is, to avid drag fans who can tell you the history of drag racing from its very beginnings. I also had the privilege of addressing some high school students on Friday morning. The people at Tidewater Community College put this event together. Thanks to Bud Brueggeman, Howard Didier, and Fred and Bob too. They are passionate about education. I attempted to pass that passion along to some of America's future auto technicians. The students that attended were a great audience. On Saturday, (Jan 10th) I flew from Virginia Beach to Indy to be at the banquet, then returned to Virginia Sunday morning to finish the show. The show had some extra excitement in the form of a bomb threat. No terrorists or anything, just a grouchy local person. Nothing happened but a delay in getting our stuff in on Thursday. My personal favorite car at the show was the Challenger SRT8. Virginia Beach is nice, even in January. I absolutely love the view of the ocean. You can watch giant ships coming in and out anytime of the day or night, and the sound of the waves is very soothing. My drive home included some drastic climate changes! I went from sunny and 50 to a snow storm and 20's. Let's just say it was a project getting my rig up the driveway. It took most of Tuesday. I thank the neighbors who are so patient with me when I park in the street. Now I'm safe inside while it's 2 degrees outside. Our thoughts turn to racing on a nice, hot track. . . See you soon.



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