I am sorry to say that our date for April 19 and 20th at the Sonoma raceway did not get held for us as discussed. I was working with Jeremy Davidson of Speedway Motorsports, business development manager for Bristol Motorsports, on an arrangement to get AHRMA into several tracks for 2019 and beyond. Our main focus during the initial discussions was to get the western road race program more opportunities. Early in the discussions we penciled in Sonoma, which is one of their tracks. Jeremy gave us the dates of April 19 and 20th. We worked with Willow Springs to have the next weekend so there would be a back to back event out west and to move Willow back some to have better weather. These discussions were going on prior to the Talladega race and Cindy Cowell’s death. Of course everyone knows that Cindy Cowell passed away and then we had to finish the year with Talladega and Barber races without her.
All track contract discussions got put on hold due to Cindy’s passing and the hurricane that hit North Carolina. We could not get to Cindy’s home to see what had been done and what was still opened for track dates. During that time, just before Talladega, Jeremy Davidson left Speedway Motorsports. Unfortunately he had never gotten us the contract to review with Sonoma, and obviously never finalized discussion with the track to ensure our position. In the interim, the track committed to someone else on the April dates. Once Jonathon Thomas came on board with Speedway Motorsports, we began discussing Sonoma. Johnathon came to Barber and met with us to catch up on our discussions about race potentials. He then went out to the west coast and met with the track and found out that the track had already contracted for the date in April. The issue was, obviously, that Jeremy Davidson had not made it clear to the track that we were waiting on the contract. The track thought we had not responded when we had been talking with Jeremy Davidson. So there was a mix-up on both of our parts. I take responsibility for what has happened on our end. I know better now that I have to talk directly to the track coordinator regardless of what the business development folks say. We are working hard to recover this situation so that we can continue as promised with an increase in western races. We have not given up on getting western tracks.
I am working hard to get more race venues, and working to minimize the back to backs that don’t make sense in some cases and find us places we want to race. I have learned that we have to start working on the race tracks during the event that is occurring in the previous year.
We have reached out to over six more tracks in the west, however we have had few get back with us. I will let you know as we continue to work on our schedule.
Sonoma is willing to work with us for 2020. I assure you, we will have more western races in a balanced schedule for 2020.
AHRMA Roadrace Director