What some people who think that NASCAR's "acquisition" of ARCA is a good thing because now they are a part of the "big leagues" don't seem to understand is that ARCA was a good place to stay. NASCAR isn't the be all, end all in stock car racing for a lot of people. After my local track closed after the '85 season I started to go with a friend to Flat Rock Speedway and help him. My car wasn't legal for any other track. Flat Rock and Toledo Speedways are like what ISC is to NASCAR. Owned by the same people but two seperate companies.
Then in 1990, I started helping another friend in the ARCA Series.Went to all the races from '91 to 2001. From '95 as an official, which included back then working a few Cup races. They helped us, we helped them. Hated every minute of working with them. Almost every minute. I could at least talk to Doyle Ford, Rodney Wise and Jimmy Howell, as I had worked my way up to one of ARCA's flagmen. For someone 6' 3" , I never felt so talked down to. Their were a couple other officials who helped work our races who knew what I was capable of and tried to get me to think it was the same as working for ARCA.
The people in ARCA for the long haul. Most of them didn't have a personal agenda. A few were there for the power trip, a few were there to see what they could get out of the NASCAR teams just to turn around and sell it online. I was right where I wanted to be. The right mix of "professional ism and realism". This was all until I had a heart attack in 2001, on the flagstand, about 20 laps after Dean Roper (Tony Roper's dad) died in his car from a heart attack. My health became long-term and multiple problems, so after trying a few more times up until about 2003 or 2004, but there was now too much wrong that appeared was going to remain cronic. I'm know on 100% disability, so any dreams of ever going back now are just dreams, just like it looks like ARCA itself is going to be. I see a little glimmer of hope that NASCAR will let it run as a separate entity like IMSA is to the corporate structure. Ron Drager did use I, us, our, and we a lot like he may be the one to continue having a big role in it, and the references to "these two will be stronger working together."
Sorry for the length, but I'm pretty passionate over helping, even a little bit, to bring ARCA where it is today
Hasn't been fun, but managing. Hard to say how much the heart problem messed everything else that held me back. But that's time everything went downhill. Nobody expects to have to retire at 50, especially someone self employed.
The biggest problem for me is when I was just so close to being satisfied with my life, something screwed up, and I have to go in a different direction. Been involved with so much, it's hard to watch any racing without being critical of something I see.
Thanks for asking, and I hope to vent a little more on my blog again.