Besides Sam Ard & Monk Tate, Many Forget This Thomas Bros. Country Ham Car

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
03/27/13 09:37:11PM
8,969 posts

Probably 95% of the time when we hear NASCAR and Thomas Brothers Country Ham in the same sentence we think of the great two-time NASCAR Busch Series National Champion, Sam Ard and his white #00 cars. We may also think of Monk Tate and Wayne Andrews.

How often do you think of the late Ray Hendrick of Richmond? Maybe never?

Well in 1974, the famed Littleton, NC duo of Jack Tant and Clayton Mitchell debuted a new "Flying #11" Chevelle for Hendrick to compete in NASCAR's Late Model Sportsman Series. Hendrick was already age 45 by then, but age didn't keep him from putting the Chevelle upfront.

There was something very, very different about this Chevelle, though, from all other Tant and Mitchell Hendrick driven cars through the years. In deference to sponsorship from Asheboro, NC-based Thomas Brothers Country Ham, this Hendrick ride was WHITE, not the cherry red flying 11 usually associated with Rapid Ray's Modified and Sportsman rides.

The car debuted at Martinsville's Dogwood 500 on March 21, 1974, starting on the front row beside fellow Richmonder Sonny Hutchins in the powder blue #01 owned by Emanuel Zervakis. Hendrick put the new Thomas Brothers sponsorship in victory lane first time out.

The T. Taylor Warren photo of the car's front row Martinsville debut in 1974 appears on the cover of the 1974 Martinsville fall Cardinal 500 program below, to the inside of Sonny Hutchins' #01.

The story didn't end at Martinsville, though.

Feeling their oats, Tant, Mitchell and Hendrick decided to do something they'd never done previously. They decided to tow the new, white Thomas Brothers Country Ham "Flying #11" from eastern North Carolina 584 miles to Nashville, Tennessee for the opening 1974 race at the Nashville Fairgrounds. It was the NASCAR National Championship Permatex 200 for Late Model Sportsman cars on April 13, 1974.

If anyone thought 45 year old Rapid Ray Hendrick would be intimidated running with the likes of Bobby Allison and Red Farmer and Neil Bonnett at a track he'd never seen, they didn't know Ray.

Thanks to the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway blogs and photos of Russ Thompson, we have a good picture of Ray's Nashville visit in his unusual white car. For starters, Ray qualified the car on the front row next to Nashville star Darrell Waltrip. However, trying to get back by Ray later in the race would prove DW's undoing. He wound up in the wall.

When all was said and done, Ray finished second to Richard Orton that day on his first Music City visit. The photos below are all by Russ Thompson. Look at that lineup of cars at the finish. Quite a field!

Results - 1974 Permatex 200 Late Model Sportsman Race
Fairgrounds Speedway - Nashville, TN - April 13, 1974
Finish StartPos CarNo Driver Car
1 5 2 Richard Orton Chevy Nova
2 2 11 Ray Hendrick Chevelle
3 9 12 Bobby Allison Chevelle
4 8 97 Red Farmer Ford Torino
5 21 63 Jimmy Hensley Chevelle
6 20 43 Phil Stillings Chevelle
7 15 Paddlefoot Wales
8 26 64 Freddy Fryar Chevelle
9 19 92 Jimmy Means Chevelle
10 27 00 Wayne Andrews Chevelle
11 17 7 Bob Burcham Chevelle
12 29 10 Steve Spencer Chevelle
13 16 2 L.D. Ottinger Chevelle
14 32 16 Jerry Sisco Chevelle
15 13 25 Charlie Binkley Chevelle
16 4 88 Flookie Buford Chevelle
17 22 3 Brad Teague Chevelle
18 1 84 Darrell Waltrip Ford
19 25 50 Bill Morton Chevelle
20 11 02 Dave Marcis Dodge
21 14 11 Jack Ingram Chevelle
22 6 40 Buddy Baker Chevelle
23 28 21 Wayne Carden Chevelle
24 7 18 Dave Mader Chevelle
25 30 44 Rod Stillings Chevelle
26 12 55 Gene Payne Chevelle
27 23 16 Ray Putnam
28 33 59 A.C. York Chevelle
29 3 1 Neil Bonnett Chevelle
30 31 39 Billy Hammonds Chevelle
31 10 26 John Utsman Chevelle
32 18 41 Gary Myers
33 24 Clyde Peoples

In the black & white photos, that's Ray leading Bobby Allison in #12 and leading Darrell Waltrip in #84. Remember, he was already 45 years old. Imagine how he drove at 25!




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"

updated by @dave-fulton: 04/14/17 12:50:47PM
Tim Leeming
@tim-leeming
03/28/13 09:34:34AM
3,109 posts

Dave, I don't think I ever knew Ray drove Thomas Brothers. At least I don't recall it. Thanks for sharing that bit of racing history with me.

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
03/28/13 09:44:38AM
8,969 posts

The car carried Thomas Bros. sponsorship, but it was Jack Tant and Clayton Mitchell's car, based in Littleton, NC near Roanoke Rapids.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Jan Woodberry
@jan-woodberry
03/28/13 11:46:13AM
171 posts

Thanks for posting....never knew this either, Dave. Sam started with Thomas Bros. Nov 1970 but departed ways after racing season ended in 1972. Back at home in Florence, he raced any and every race he could get to...winning many.He was contacted by Howard Thomas, returned to Thomas Bros. in Nov. 1974 to build cars. Sam began racing the #00 again in 1975.

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
03/28/13 12:09:36PM
8,969 posts

I note a little spooky irony here regarding this post and the first photo from Martinsville.

10 years after that photo, Sam, at the exact same age as Ray in the post above - 45 - would make his only career Cup start. It was at Martinsville in a Chevy fielded by the same Richmond car builder who owned Sonny Hutchins' #01 in the first color photo above - Emanuel Zervakis, the "Golden Greek."

That venture in the September 23, 1984 Goody's 500 ended prematurely on the first lap with what is shown in the race rundown as a "steering" issue. I don't know the story, but I'm sure you do. Anyway, isn't it interesting how paths cross in stock car racing through the years?

Thanks greatly for the timeline history lesson on Sam.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Charles Ray Stocks
@charles-ray-stocks
03/28/13 09:45:32PM
222 posts

really enjoyed this post dave never saw this car race anywhere but i do remember pictures of it dave while its on my mind johnny mallonees chevelle has a strong resemblence to the no 77 65 chevelle that bud elliot from emporia va drove at wilson

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
03/29/13 03:45:12PM
8,969 posts

Yep, Bud Elliott (who was the uncle of Hermie & Elliott Sadler) always ran red & white #77s at Wilson County Speedway and our RR member, Johnny Mallonee has several #77 Chevelle photos posted on his home page and in his avatar:

Bud Elliott at Wilson County Speedway by Tim Hamm

Bud Elliott at Wilson County Speedway by Steve Summerlin

Johnny Mallonee's #77 down Georgia way (from Johnny's page)




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
DONALD L. EVANS
@donald-l-evans
03/30/13 10:30:11AM
25 posts

Here's a picture I took of the "white" Hendrick/Thomas Bros Country Ham car at Martinsville.

Thx for the story.....

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
03/30/13 01:51:20PM
8,969 posts

Donald's photo from his attachment:




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Jan Woodberry
@jan-woodberry
03/30/13 07:34:35PM
171 posts

Dave, this is a news article about the 1984 Goody's 500. I just remember that Sam said at the time that "the car was no good-didn't run good". Of course Sam never thought any car ran like his! :) ~jan~

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
03/30/13 08:08:18PM
8,969 posts

Thank you, Jan, for posting the article and Sam's thoughts.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Johnny Mallonee
@johnny-mallonee
03/30/13 09:28:37PM
3,259 posts

Also Dave look at the trailer I have in comparison to Bud Elliotts trailer --strange how same number,very close paint schemes and trailers are very close also

Johnny Mallonee
@johnny-mallonee
03/30/13 09:31:52PM
3,259 posts

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
03/30/13 09:52:26PM
8,969 posts

Really interesting, Johnny. Sure y'all weren't related?




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Johnny Mallonee
@johnny-mallonee
03/30/13 10:53:35PM
3,259 posts

Only he doesnt have the signature tire marks that Tim allowed me to enjoy on my door,but wait I think I repaid him back on his door I think

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
03/31/13 12:57:49PM
8,969 posts

Johnny, something else I remember about Bud Elliott. At some point he started towing his trailer with a step van - we called it a bread truck. Outfitted with a little lighted shop/parts area in the back.

Don't remember seeing any of the school bus rigs at Wilson like I had seen over at Sanford. No big high dollar rigs either, like the ones up in Virginia at Southside owned by Junie Donlavey, Emanuel Zervakis or Bob Adams.

I guess the nicest rig I remember at Wilson was the one of Hemingway, South Carolina's Mutt Powell. Here's a partial photo of it from the RR page of Mutt's son, Tony Powell.

Funny thing about that rig. In 1981, when I was at Darlington for the Labor Day Southern 500 with the Earnhardt/Wrangler deal, I came across Mutt's rig, with the racecar on iot, parked in the Darlington infield. They'd raced somewhere and stopped back by Darlington to watch the 500. Seemed like old home week.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Johnny Mallonee
@johnny-mallonee
03/31/13 05:13:14PM
3,259 posts

my lil 37 pickup cant hold up to that hauler

Charles Ray Stocks
@charles-ray-stocks
03/31/13 10:25:47PM
222 posts

though ive never met johnny mallonee in person he sure can make me recall things from my memory bank and i appreciate that also i really enjoy all these great post my rr freinds share with evereyone

Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett
04/01/13 12:57:17AM
490 posts

Dave,

photo #1.Did you notice the white "FLYING 11 decal" Ford pickup truck/car trailer in the Martinsville Speedway infield?

photo #2. Ray Hendrick and white "FLYING 11 decal" Ford pickup truck

photo 3. tractor/ trailer has Lonesome Pines International Raceway, Coeburn,Va. advertisement on side? #2 L.D. Ottinger Chevelle race team hauler?
Lonesome Pines International Raceway - Coeburn / (aka Lonesome Pines Raceway) 3/8 mile paved oval (7/22/1972-1976) (6/05/1982-8/13/1983) (1990-present) information from "The History of America's Speedways, Past & Present by Allan E. Brown.

photo #4. white Thomas Brothers Country Ham "Flying #11" with "LANGLEY SPEEDWAY, HAMPTON,,VA. painted on right front fender? Don't see it on any above left front fender photos?

Thank you very much for any information given.
Dennis Garrett
Richmond,Va. USA

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
04/01/13 10:01:11AM
8,969 posts

Thanks, Dennis. That Martinsville infield was full on those big weekends, but Tant/Mitchell had their trailer in a prime spot, didn't they?

I, too, guessed that the #2 rig was L.D. Ottinger's. Many years after this, 1988-1989, I had the pleasure of handling PR for L.D. when he drove in the Busch Series for Ron Parker and Detroit Gasket. L.D. is a super nice, softspoken fellow. His shop and Detroit Gasket's Tennessee manufacturing plant were both in Newport, TN.

I'm guessing that the late promoter, Joe Carver, who just recently passed was responsible for that Langley Speedway sponsorhip on Ray's Tant/Mitchell ride. Joe had left Nashville Fairgrounds and gone to Langley as promoter at that time.

All very interesting points, Dennis.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Robbie Watson2
@robbie-watson2
04/01/13 10:39:27AM
12 posts

Dave, the Littleton gang also ran a Nova and if I'm not mistaken a Camaro that was white with the Thomas Brothers sponsorship on them. This photo is at Trico in Rougemont N. C.

Robbie Watson2
@robbie-watson2
04/01/13 10:40:36AM
12 posts

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
04/01/13 10:57:28AM
8,969 posts

Thanks for the Trico photo, Robbie. I've never seen a white #11 Nova or Camaro. If anybody has a photo of one of those it'd be great to see it.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Robbie Watson2
@robbie-watson2
04/01/13 11:41:32AM
12 posts

Dave, the photo at Trico is of the Nova. I don't have one of the Camaro wish i did.

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
04/01/13 01:23:11PM
8,969 posts

oops... my bad... thanks!




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Leon Phillips
@leon-phillips
04/01/13 07:20:56PM
626 posts

Thanks for posting

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
04/02/13 06:16:02PM
8,969 posts

Woody... that does appear to be a Camaro's back end poking out on the other side of the tow truck in Robbie's Trico photo, doesn't it? I hadn't noticed it.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
04/06/13 04:57:52PM
8,969 posts

Johnny & Charles....

Here's a Tim Hamm photo of a little different look on the Bud Elliott #77 racing J.E. Beard in the Mitchell Brothers Supermarket #22 down the Wilson backstretch for the lead. J.E. took that #22 Zervakis-built car to Martinsville in asphalt trim and won best appearing car at the Fall Doubleheader. J.E. went to work in Littleton, NC building engines at Jack Tant's and then moved to Kannapolis, NC and built the Cup engines at Lake Speed's shop.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
04/06/13 05:12:25PM
8,969 posts

J.E. Beard's #22 at Martinsville when it won "Best Appearing Car" award:

This is another Tim Hamm photo.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
04/06/13 05:23:49PM
8,969 posts

1976 version of Bud Elliott's #77 at Wilson by Tim Hamm:




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Randy Binkley
@randy-binkley
05/05/13 02:20:50PM
9 posts

David Fulton,please tell me where you found these pictures from Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway..They look awfully,awfully familiar!!!!

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
05/05/13 03:14:43PM
8,969 posts

Randy, the photos were in a Russ Thompson Nashville Speedway blog.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Randy Binkley
@randy-binkley
05/05/13 10:34:09PM
9 posts

David,I run the Nashville Fairgrounds Racing History page on facebook,and the pictues lookedd like they were from it...I've posted several of Russ Thompson's pictures,along with the Marchman Family Collection(MFC)..Anyways,Im a really SOB when it comes torecognizing the owner of the photo,and I thought they were taken from my page.Please,stop by and checkout my page,you won't find a bettersite on the entire internet concerning one local short track..Thank you!

Jan Woodberry
@jan-woodberry
05/06/13 07:35:04AM
171 posts

Randy, I understand your feelings and agree that credit should be given for photos. However, I see my photos out all over the internet! I've learned to live with it,figuring they all belong to the One Above anyway. If I see a pic of Sam Ard which I don't have, I just might "borrow" it!! LOL

Wally Bell
@wally-bell
05/06/13 09:41:00AM
83 posts

I am proud of Brett Bodine's time in Howard Thomas' 00 car...

Brett did well.......

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
05/06/13 12:06:54PM
8,969 posts

Randy, I'm glad you brought up the subject of photos. I'm a real stickler (I hope) for always trying to recognize the source of photos... if you'll check the opening copy in my original post, here's what I said:

Thanks to the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway blogs and photos of Russ Thompson, we have a good picture of Ray's Nashville visit in his unusual white car. For starters, Ray qualified the car on the front row next to Nashville star Darrell Waltrip. However, trying to get back by Ray later in the race would prove DW's undoing. He wound up in the wall.

When all was said and done, Ray finished second to Richard Orton that day on his first Music City visit. The photos below are all by Russ Thompson. Look at that lineup of cars at the finish. Quite a field!

I'm happy to hear about your Facebook site on Nashville. If it'll let a non-Facebook member view, I'd love to see it. I don't "do" Facebook - but sometimes I notice I can view photos posted there.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
05/06/13 12:16:34PM
8,969 posts

By the way, Randy...

When I made my first visit to the Nashville Fairgrounds representing Wrangler for the first of the two 1981 Cup races there, I met the local Nashville chapter of the Dale Earnhardt fan club... easily the best organized and most active Earnhardt fan club anywhere at that time. They even had a blue & yellow Wrangler/Earnhardt Jeep that appeared in the parade laps at Nashville, Bristol, Charlotte, Rockingham, Atlanta and Richmond.

Through the Nashville chapter of the Dale Earnhardt fan club, I was introduced to an amateur photographer at Nashville Fairgrounds named Beverly Hamer. You may know her or have some of her photos. She owned a Nashville business named Cross Stitch Corner and later started traveling the NASCAR Cup circuit, shooting for Harry Hyde's Hendrick teams, as well as having NASCAR and the trade papers use her photos. Ironically, she had a cousin or sister-in-law who worked as a secretary for Richard Childress around 1982-1983.

Don't know if Beverly is still around Nashville, but if so I would think she'd have lots of Fairgrounds Speedway stuff from the 80s.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
05/06/13 02:53:34PM
8,969 posts

Randy, that suggestion won't work. Just discovered Beverly's obituary from February of this year in The Tennessean. R.I.P. to another racing photographer and old friend.

Beverly HAMER

HAMER, Beverly Age 65. Passed away February 4, 2013. She was the owner of Cross Stitch Corner for 33 years. An extremely talented woman, she was a photographer for racing and had a love for NASCAR. She designed beautiful cross stitch pictures. She was a framer. She loved animals and gave to the Nashville Humane Association. She was an advocate to save our Tennessee Fair Grounds and the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Best of all she was a wonderful friend. Preceded in death by her father, Leslie B. Hamer, Jr.; brother, David Hamer. Survived by mother, Ruth Hamer; niece, Kalli Litchfield (Michael); nephew, Jason Hamer; beloved friend, Jack Doles. Graveside service will be 1 p.m., Friday, February 8, 2013 at Woodlawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nashville Humane Society, 213 Oceola Avenue, Nashville, TN 37209. Visitation will be Thursday from 4-8 p.m. at WEST HARPETH FUNERAL HOME, 6962 Charlotte Pike, (615) 352-9400

www.afamilylegacy.com
Published in The Tennessean on February 6, 2013




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"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dennis Andrews
@dennis-andrews
05/06/13 07:19:42PM
814 posts

Hey Wally, Harold Fountain, Harry Gant and later Ronnie Silver aslo drove for Howard Thomas.

Jeff Gilder
@jeff-gilder
05/06/13 08:24:42PM
1,742 posts

David,

If you put them on facebook without a watermark, you've lost complete control of attempting to manage their posting and associated credit. And if you posted them under the default facebook upload, they (facebook) now have rights to them by way of your posting....depending upon when they were posted...and which version of facebook guidelines were in force...at that time.

Facebook is the absolute worst place to put any content you wish to manage...not to mention .... if you want folks searching for that content to find them...they can't. Google can see very little of the content... and facebook's search engine is ridiculous.

You can tell I'm not a big fan of giving facebook your content.

Unfortunately the only way to control photo rights on the internet is to watermark in a way the watermark can't be cropped out.

We've been at this longer than most and have battled these things from day one. Many times some of our 100,000+ photos are taken from here, posted on facebook, or some other site...then end up back on here under another profile.

We always recommend our posters watermark...most do not.




--
Founder/Creator - RacersReunion®
Jan Woodberry
@jan-woodberry
05/07/13 01:33:56AM
171 posts

Thanks, Jeff for this information.....I should have watermarked a long time ago. Can you give us a quick lesson on watermarking. I have more pictures to be added but have been reluctant to do so.

Your help will be deeply appreciated.

~Jan~

Randy Binkley
@randy-binkley
05/07/13 08:35:14AM
9 posts

Janice,thank you for your response..It wouldn't bother me so muchif the photos I post on fb were mine,but they're not....So,I feelobligated to policethe use of these photos as much as possible..I know,it's nearly impossible to police,so that'swhen postinga photo,I ask people to keep the owner's nameattached to photo..I want people to enjoy these photos,and I have relatively good luck with people respecting this simple request.Like I told David,please stop by my site,Nashville Fairgrounds Racing History,which is on fb. I've posted some Sam Ard photos that you have never seen(I hope so ,anyway)Thanks again!

Randy Binkley
@randy-binkley
05/07/13 08:56:11AM
9 posts

David,Im sad to report that Beverly Hamer past away a few months ago,I believe she was battling cancer.I had gotten to know Beverly over the past year,as we worked together on publishing Nashville's 2012 Official Souvenir Program.I helped put together a small tribute to her in the 2013 Official Souvenir Program,as she was a great friend to the racing community.Also,I hope I didn't sound out of line when inquiring about your photos,I see you have a great appreciation and understanding of this particular issue.Thanks again!............David,I just read your comments concerning Beverly's death,as Im writing my response to you..Yes,it was a terrible loss!

Randy Binkley
@randy-binkley
05/07/13 09:07:58AM
9 posts

Hi,Jeff..Jeff,I totally agree with your comments concerning fb andprotectingproperty rights..However,it seems here of late that Google or any large search engine are pulling up photos from my racing history page(facebook)..Are you aware of any fb settings that would not allow my page'sphotosto be presentvia search engines..I know less than a year ago my page'sphotos weren't showing upin Google(for example)..Thank you!

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
05/07/13 10:40:27AM
8,969 posts

Randy, if you'd ever have the opportunity to scan and post the tribute to Beverly that was in the 2013 Nashville program, I'd sure be interested to see it.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Jeff Gilder
@jeff-gilder
05/09/13 07:25:30AM
1,742 posts

FB changes the default settings without notice. For the longest time, nothing inside could be seen by google except the main url. Now, I'm seeing the same thing...some photos being indexed. I'm not sure how the Microsoft / Bing / FB partnership will shake out. I think they have serious security issues to overcome. My guess anything that is indexed by Bing will show up on Google as well. Time will tell. I have stopped posting much of anything on FB and wish I had never began.

It has been a few months since I went through all the settings to see the latest, but if you search all the help menus, you can find whatever is available today. My guess is they embed the default photo / content rights to avoid dealing with the UGC (User Generated Content) elements of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) that is intended to protect websites against third party posting of illegal ordefamatory(among other things) content. This law, like many affected by the growth of social media and other interactive sites will probably receive severalamendments asprecedenceis made.




--
Founder/Creator - RacersReunion®
Jeff Gilder
@jeff-gilder
05/09/13 07:28:50AM
1,742 posts

Dr. Woodberry..as much as I hate it, the best way to watermark is to put the watermark over (part of) the subject in the image. This will keep folks from being able to crop the watermark out of the image and still use the pic.

There are many programs out there you can use for photo editing, most include the ability to add text over the image.




--
Founder/Creator - RacersReunion®
Randy Binkley
@randy-binkley
05/10/13 10:52:43AM
9 posts

Thank you,Jeff for responding..I get it,I just don't like it...Have a good day!

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
10/24/15 12:42:17PM
8,969 posts

Randy, this is the photo of the very first Dale Earnhardt fan club, taken in the Nashville infield in 1981 by the late Beverly Hamer of Nashville and posted with permission of Russ Thompson from his personal collection:




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"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
04/13/17 10:29:01AM
3,775 posts

Bump re: @dave-fulton story and @russ-thompson photos from April 13, 1974 Permatex 200 at Nashville 




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Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.