company could not .”
Fourteen seasons later , Whitmore continues to exceed expectations . The personal touch is something Whitmore believed in 14 years ago , and he still uses the same strategies to keep the program going strong all these years later .
Specifically , Whitmore listened intently to what the racers said they wanted in a points bracket program , and then presented them with a multiple choice of scenarios based on their own desires . “ I ’ m a strong believer in letting racers vote on matters that directly affect them , especially purse structure , entry fee , and buy back ,” says Whitmore .
This was his belief when he took over the program in 2009 , and voting still goes on today when it comes to matters that directly impact the racer . Most recently , the subject of double entries came up , as it relates to running the same car in two different classes .
“ Personally , I wasn ’ t a fan of the idea , but since some of the racers were requesting it , I put it into the racers ’ hands to vote on the matter , and they voted in favor of it . So far , it ’ s worked out fine . It ’ s confusing when you keep points and it ’ s something you really have to pay attention to since you ’ ve got one car that ’ s collecting points in two different classes ,” explains Whitmore .
Another matter Whitmore felt strongly about from the very beginning was cashing the racers ’ checks before they ever left the dragstrip . Initially , it was because Whitmore felt he was a complete stranger to Bristol ’ s drag racing community , having come over from the circle track , so he thought this would be a great way to get to know them . In the years that followed , it ’ s a practice that is still firmly in place . “ Everybody has different financial circumstances , and there ’ s been times when I cash a racer ’ s check on a Saturday night , and he tells me that now he can race tomorrow .”
Speaking of payouts , Whitmore doesn ’ t under any circumstance cut the purse . “ If a man travels X number of miles he ought to know exactly what he has a chance to win . If the car count is off , it ’ s not his fault ... he did his part and showed up !”
70 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 179