Just short of the halfway point in race season 2018 I wanted to discuss or maybe inform you on what the heck we are doing here. This offseason an owner of a well known track in in southern Wisconsin approached Tom Heacox #080 an myself to talk about our group and throw some support our way. His and our combined visions came up with the paid meetup as a way to bring more fans to specific events, show them a good time, and raise some funds for the group in the process to put back into short track racing in one form or another. The hope being that if we create a fun event, members will bring friends and family with them and start to turn the casual fan back into a die hard and the curious into casual fans again. Live our mission statement in real time vs online.
Let me backtrack a little bit….
United Race Fans of Wisconsin is and always will be a “non-profit”. Officially we have wavered on how to best accomplish this in the legal sense of the matter. For now, we are asking for a little bit of your trust until we find the financial means and volunteers to make this possible in the legal sense. I have spent the last 5 years on this idea called United Race Fans of Wisconsin with one thought in mind. I love short track racing and I want to do whatever I can to ensure until the day I move on into my next life that I did everything I possibly could as a FAN, no more no less, to keep it going. I have no financial stake in this. I have lost more money to this idea than I will ever recoup in financial terms. I invested what I could to get it off the ground and going forward it is the responsibility of the group as a whole to decide its worth their investment of not only time but money as well. I have done what I can to ensure the value of what our members are receiving with their purchases and donations are more than what they put into every step of the way. Through NASCAR Fantasy or t-shirts or meetups we have tried to find ways to have some funds to support other aspects of ‘URFWI’ like continuing our free Super Late Model Fantasy Contest which awards prizes which we purchase, trophies for the top 5 super late model drivers in Wisconsin each season, donating lap money at events like the Slinger Nationals and the Bev Aschenbrenner Memorial race along with others. We hope to do more of this and our meetups are a key function in raising the funds to do this.
Long term goals....
Our long term goals are to continue building a strong meetup program connecting the fan to other fans, drivers, and tracks, continue with our current asphalt based programs, and building a larger base of dirt track members and followers. If we have success in those we for see us having a ‘URFWI’ member track program where you could buy a membership that would include discounts to all ‘URFWI’ member tracks as well as other perks and benefits and possibly a season ending member banquet or social that we can utilize as a way to connect our fans and their favorite drivers and race teams. We are always looking for help and open to new ideas to grow the group so please reach out. As always, we will continue our free membership to 'URFWI'.
I realize now that some of you may be cautious in supporting the group financially in any way as you may not realize our “self declared” non-profit intentions. Where’s the money going? With transparency, I feel, comes a better likelihood of participation of our groups activities. As stated before I will never make a dime off of this and everything I have stuck into ‘URFWI’ to date I consider it a loss. A loss on my personal finances but huge gain for my hobby and that is being a race fan. With that I feel it necessary for transparency to let everyone know where the group stands financially. We had $40 rolled over into 2018 from donations and other sales of products in 2017. Through our SLM trophy sponsorship dollars (thank you Cowbell Street Stock Tour, Rudser Racing, and a “Wisconsin race fan” for donating), NASCAR expert fantasy league, and race fan meetup #1 at Madison International Speedway, we have raised $720.75 so far in 2018. Expenses are Facebook advertising and social media contest items purchased, SLM driver rankings trophies, NASCAR expert league payout, SLM fantasy prizes, shipping of various items, sponsoring a lap at the Bev Aschenbrenner Memorial race, and t-shirts. That leaves us with a $110.75 balance to the good going into Saturday’s meetup at Beaver Dam Raceway. Not a huge amount by any sense of the imagination but better than what has happened in the past where I would just eat the loss each year. But we want to do more. We want to sponsor more laps or maybe even our members/drivers each season, and reach those long term goals. I hope now that there is some more transparency that anything you may have been cautious of in the past has been somewhat removed.
Going forward I will provided line item details for any member that requests our financial sheets. Tom Heacox #080 is the acting Treasurer for the group and we still tag team a lot of it, but feel free to reach out to him with any questions as well.
Lastly I will just say this, we have a decent online presence but we need more support from everyone there if we are going to take this group to the next level. I dream of this group having an impact in real time vs online and it starts with the online connection. This group is not mine or Tom’s or #002 or #174’s this group belongs to the almost 200 members and the success of ‘URFWI’ will be reflective of what all of us put into it.
We’ll see you #atthetrack!
Rich Zimpel has been attending local race tracks for the past 30 years.