After being urged by many, I will start posting images and editorial from my motorsports career. While I currently have no desire to become any less active on the racing scene, eventually I hope to get a book out documenting all my years in the business. I think this process can help me refresh my memory while also develop interest in such a project along the way. My postings will bounce all over the spectrum of the more than three decades since graduating from the University of Alabama.
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If not for Warner Hodgdon, I might still be working in the race track side of the motorsports business today. Working in the role of Assistant General Manager & Director of Public Relations at the fairgrounds track in Nashville (Nashville International Raceway at the time) was a fun and rewarding experience in the early ‘80s. It all came to an end in the early fall of 1983 when Gary Baker, my boss and a prominent Nashville attorney, summoned me to his downtown high-rise office. Behind closed doors, Gary attempted to advise me as to what had just transpired. He was immediately interrupted by Warner, who said, “I just decided to buy the son of a bitch out.” I knew from that very moment that I needed to be looking for another job. Warner, a California industrialist, had acquired interests in teams and tracks at the time. Professing to be a great American, I looked at him as one of the biggest charlatans I had ever encountered. Fortunately for me, Eddie Gossage had moved to Milwaukee to head Miller Brewing Company’s motorsports communications and publicity programs. When he offered me the chance to work the NASCAR program with defending Cup champ Bobby Allison and the No. 22 DiGard Racing Team, I jumped at the opportunity. In only the third event of the 1984 season, the March 4 race at Rockingham, I had the opportunity to visit Victory Lane for the very first time of my career when “BA” pulled off the impressive win. The race was the Warner W. Hodgdon Carolina 500. I was the lone team sponsor representative in attendance. The experience was made even sweeter when the Hodgdons presented me with the winning sponsor’s trophy. In the photo (left to right) are TR, Sharon Hodgdon, Bobby Allison, Jim Gardner and Bill Gardner. That’s “Mom & Pop” Allison off to the right. A big perk back then was that I had this cool “look-alike” version of BA’s car to use as my personal vehicle.
(left to right) are TR, Sharon Hodgdon, Bobby Allison, Jim Gardner and Bill Gardner
The big perk TR had back then was the use of this cool “look-alike” version of BA’s car to use as his personal vehicle