When I could go, I would watch races and play different sports and my fantasy was to drive a race car.
Certainly one of the many memories of this speedway is visiting with the Winston Racing Series signs all over the speedway and the venture using R.J. Reynolds that enabled NASCAR to take short track racing to new heights led by a visionary named T. Wayne Robertson.
Robertson usually showed up at HMS once I started covering there and later working as his son and decent friend, Toby, raced there. Regrettably we lost the elder Robertson too early and now we ’t lost yet another beloved friend to the trail racing scene from Kurze.
Following the the tragic lack of T. Wayne, the late Jim Hunter stepped up to NASCAR and was understood to a good deal of short-track operators because a big supporter of the weekly NASCAR short tracks.
Subsequently came Kurze. Kurze was an executive at Whelen Engineering and businesswise, the union made sense for the company and NASCAR.
The company makes light used by safety personnel around the environment. Its services and products are currently used by every NASCAR track inside the United States and for the most part municipal first responder departments together with their vehicles.
While I’m pretty convinced it had been beneficial to Whelen’s bottom line, you could possibly tell being part of short track racing was more than just firm for Kurze.
To me Kurze was this particular generation ’s T. Wayne Robertson and let me explain why to give these two fine gentlemen the credit they deserve.
When I was managing HMS from the late 1990’s, Robertson fulfilled me and said he can help me out with a specific amount of marketing dollars. I was good friends with different promoters but learning the business enterprise and found other monitors got more cash some times than that I did and that I inquired Robertson why.
His answer didn’t really resonate with me before I started traveling the country seeing different paths when I worked for NASCAR and the USAR ProCup Series.
Robertson said to me, “Tim, my job is to be certain short track racing continues anywhere and not only Hickory. Hickory is in better shape than a lot of different monitors and that I will help you just as much as I could, however there are paths however that I still will never forget about you. Heck, I’m. ”
Well. Kurze had that mentality. Kurze attracted Whelen Engineering sponsoring the tour from the north east and NASCAR announced Whelen would take over naming rights of their racing program.
Kurze would also last the company’s devotion to NASCAR’s first organized division in Europe sponsoring the NASCAR Whelen Series starting in 2013. He created the Whelen all star Shootout which gave it & rsquo to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour;s outstanding event showcasing a division the New Englander adored at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Kurze didn’t have to make that happen but he knew it had been beneficial to the activity and competitions and also this reminds me so much of everything Robertson and Hunter usually considered in short track racing. That is why I believe Kurze was he and a ally for my short track racing friends ’ll be overlooked instantly.
YesKurze had to look out to the business interests of his company, however it can never be said the gentle giant didn’t have a large heart for short track racing and NASCAR.
I observed him innumerable times do longer for racers than most might not ever realize because he loved the activity and wished to encourage the racers and understood the sacrifices a lot of them designed to compete in series he sponsored.
From taking over the weekly program, to helping NASCAR rise in Europe and after creating a meeting to showcase the division he loved, Kurze realized steps to make matters easier for a lot of people in NASCAR.
This is what I believe would have been a lasting legacy for a guy who never sought the limelight for himself.
He had been concerned with the light beaming on racers.
Whomever becomes the ‘second friend to short track racing’ could have some mighty big shoes to fill.