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We all heard the news last year from then FEAR President John Zaretzke that we and the Hornets would be required to join NASCAR - just to enter the pits at Evergreen Speedway, starting in 2008. I contacted the promoters for clarification and confirmation, and was assured that it wasn’t a “take-over” of our club, nor did they have any interest in running FEAR. It was about insurance, IPI’s newest contract with NASCAR and, well, about business. IPI did allow us to survive for a very long time – to remain independent, make our own rules, fines, dues, and even our own mistakes. Every time I needed space in the program to celebrate our history, time for award presentations, or food and drink money for our Longhouse reunion parties, former promoter Mickey Beadle and his staff were always there, and happy to help.
So, as it was discussed at the final FEAR meeting, everyone must join NASCAR to race at Evergreen now. With that said, Figure-8 drivers no longer were required to join FEAR, as a membership was no longer necessary to race there. We, as a rare independent racing club, and after 42 years of fun, had been served the proverbial lemon! And, as with our 1985 surrender of the “oval racing” Super-stock membership, can still “make lemonade” - and survive for perhaps another 20+ years! Last season I volunteered to manage the Club, to simplify and re-create FEAR, keeping the spirit and history of the club intact for the next several seasons, which John, his board and the membership accepted.
Fellow FEAR members, let me welcome you to the “new” 2009 FEAR! It will only cost $10 to join for all racers, fans, crew-members and supporters of FEAR, and for FEAR “Old-Timers,” as well. New for ’09 is the “GOLD” FEAR Membership which cost just $25, and is exclusively for Evergreen Figure-8 drivers. Both memberships get you the updated Rule and History Book, 2009 membership card and a cool FEAR sticker. The “Gold” members will also enjoy extra stickers, more exposure in the racing recap story each week, and an updated personal profile page on the website stocked with action photos and sponsor info that will be perfect for sharing with new sponsors and out-of-town friends. Your’09 membership will help protect our 44 years of history at Evergreen, AND support the racers and racing that we all enjoy so much! 100% of the funds raised from membership sales will go to cover expenses, such as Rule Book and sticker printing costs, website fees, and the 45th anniversary FEAR Reunion/picnic, scheduled for next summer. Official Club Historian Tom Claibourn will again be sharing his incredible collection of pictures, models and FEAR memorabilia with all current and former FEAR members and their guests. The ’10 picnic date will be determined and announced later.
So what we have now is a fun, non-profit Club that simply supports us figure-8 DRIVERS! It doesn’t require ANY meetings, and will eliminate storage, legal, board coat and newsletter mailing costs. We won’t need to buy trophies or an expensive banquet, either, since those – like the tech tools, protests, and tear-downs will be handled by NASCAR/track officials. I’m offering up the idea that the “new” FEAR can be more like a figure-8 racing “fan club”! One that you and your racing friends and family can join to get: 1) the new FEAR membership card, which provides a FRONT GATE discount, so it soon pays for itself, thanks to our NEW track promoter, Lex Johnson; 2) an “original design” FEAR racing sticker or two; and 3) an annually updated and stylish 2009 FEAR Rules & History Book!
At the center of the “new FEAR” is this website, now, which I will continue to utilize, with thanks to Vern Foster at Foster Press. The FEAR website replaces mail and meetings, provides updated and current information about the Club and our events each week during the racing season, while cutting costs big time! We did “freeze” the current (updated ’07) rules, and will let track officials handle all safety upgrades, tech issues and fines. John Zaretzke and Doug Delfel worked hard together last year and came to terms with the track promoter for our “final” FEAR contract. We are now guaranteed weekly payouts and Super-8 point fund money through the 2010 season as well; you can check your new NASCAR (figure-8) rulebook for the exact amounts. So I’m asking that you help Doug, Tom, John, Vern and me save our Club’s rich racing traditions by joining FEAR again each year! Renewals and memberships will be available in February at the annual NASCAR membership meeting, and 2009 memberships are now available in the pits at the #99 car, or email your request to me at Website and Picnic sponsorship is available ANYTIME!
Thank you, and welcome to the Club.
Benson Chandler
FEAR Club Manager
Home phone: (425) 747-4736