Last Monthly Meeting for Spring Update!
Our last monthly meeting of the winter season was held on April 14th at Papio’s Food & Spirits in Reese. Denny Trinklien did a great job lining up speakers and venue. If you are in the Reese area you definitely owe it to yourself to stop in at Papio’s for some great food or a round of golf if you are a golfer. Papio’s is located on Reese Rd, just South of M-81. Our first speaker was Chas Howe of Howe Racing Enterprises (HRE). Chas gave us a very informative talk on not just how Howe Racing got its start under the guidance and diligence of his father Ed Howe but also shared with us where it has been, where it is going , and what it is doing these days. Many of us may not know that HRE has delivered many cars to Scandinavia, where they have a road racing series called the “Scandinavian Cup” that uses cars and chassis that are built in the Beaverton race shops and imported overseas. Many of us are used to associating HRE with turning left but we found out that they do turn left and right. Chas spoke a bit about his son Charlie and his early racing in the go-carts and how they worked on that program together having success and winning a championship in the Super Dirt Kart Series but that after a few years, Charlie wanted to play hockey so Chas, like every good and supportive Father got involved with that and it has been fun for the two of them. Chas gave us a very informative take on where he sees racing at today and compared it to the glory days of yesteryear that so many of us long time fans always remember and talk about. I truly wish we could have had a whole day to talk with Chas as He has so much insight and knowledge of our sport.
Curt Tucker of Teamtech Motorsports Equipment was second out of the chute for the meeting. I knew we were going to be informed about Teamtech and all that it is involved in when Curt brought in a mannequin dressed in full safety gear and strapped to a seat. Curt got his start as a tester and spec writer for SFI. As it turns out, the window nets He had been testing were not living up to the specs. That He had written and were the standard. So based on an idea that He had, He took some material to his Mother to sew it up. As it turned out, his design and his Mother’s sewing resulted in a window net that passed the testing and lived to the standards of the specification. Before long, racers were calling and wanting to order window nets. That quite honestly is how Teamtech got started. Along the way and early on Curt came up with a better way of developing seat belt hardware and that was snapped up by an automotive supplier and they haven’t looked back since. Curt shared with us that all of the Dodge Vipers have Teamtech harnesses in them and that the “Drifting” aspect of Motor Sports in Japan has been a major consumer of Teamtech product. Curt has worked with NASA on safety harnesses for the astronauts to use upon launch and re-entry as well as working with the military on developing quick release straps to allow for quick ingress/egress on back packs used in detecting and dis-arming or remote detonating of the IED Devices that have hurt or killed so many of our service people. Teamtech provides any type of safety equipment used in a race car including fire-suits, gloves, shoes, underwear, harnesses, window nets, and the most important of all the Head and Neck Restraint. One of the things that Curt is most proud of is the work that they have done for wheelchair bound children. All too often the harnesses that are available for these individuals are uncomfortable and hard to use. Teamtech has developed special “Racing Harnesses” that work well with the wheel chairs and the kids like as they feel like a “racer”. Just like Chas Howe, another person in Motor Sports that has their priorities right and someone that I wish we could have spent all day talking with.
Steve Puvalowski of the Tri-City Motor Speedway took us up on our offer to our Promoters to attend the meeting. Steve gave us some information on what is in store at Tri-City for the 2012 racing season as well as a comprehensive look at all the trials and tribulations they went through in getting the Speedway re-built into what it is now. It looks to be a very exciting year at the historic Auburn facility. This was truly a great meeting and informative meeting and if you missed this one you missed a good one. We will be back at Papio’s in November so don’t miss out on the next one and come hungry as the food is excellent. Many thanks to Papio’s for hosting us and providing gift cards for our raffle prize drawing. Thanks also to Deanna Couper of Coupar Creations, Curt and Korina Tucker of Teamtech, and Steve Puvalowski as well for donations to our raffle prizes. Last but not least, Thank You to our guest speakers for sharing with us, what they do in Auto Racing.