From The Executive Editor
Who will you help?
Motorsports industry veterans have received help at some point in our lifetimes that has ultimately benefitted our careers. But this assistance can go further back. Whether a school teacher, a guiding relative, an honest yet direct coach, or a car owner willing to give an up-and-coming driver a chance, these real-life influencers (as opposed to virtual) make lasting impacts that we carry with us to this day.
While spending time last month in Indianapolis for the PRI Show, I observed a common theme throughout the event. As I looked at the tens of thousands of people, and interacted with hundreds of them, it occurred to me, “Each one of us had to get our start. Who helped us?”
We commonly hear the question, “How do we keep motorsports prospering for generations to come?” Well, it begins with us, and if you haven’t done so already, it needs to begin now.
During the PRI Show, I had a timely encounter with a respectful and highly knowledgeable young man who was excited to attend his first PRI Show. As our conversation progressed, he shared his plans with me for his future and where he would like to eventually work after graduating from college. As he spoke, I started thinking of the people with whom I could connect him and how they could encourage and guide him. By the end of the first day of the Show, he left with an arsenal full of resources and connections to begin his motorsports career. Sure, I had the ability to recommend him to the decision makers, but it was his passion, his skillset, and his determination that will soon transform what is currently a dream into a viable reality.
Influencing today’s youth to guide them into motorsports careers can be as simple as making some introductions, as I did, to people who can offer advice, words of encouragement, or actual employment. We have the knowledge and experience that allow us to take someone under our wing and train them so they can learn a new skillset that translates to marketability, and ultimately, a prosperous career.
I challenge each one of you in our industry: Help someone this year. If you have provided guidance in the past, that is commendable, but we aren’t done yet. We can’t be. We need to search out those opportunities to keep motorsports thriving. This can be as simple as assisting at entry-level racing events or mentoring a student from a local high school, tech school, or university. How can you encourage or train a young man or woman to transform their interest in racing into a lifelong career?
As we look ahead to the 2024 race season, go out there and make a difference in someone’s life to ensure motorsports continues to thrive for future generations.