Respect and Appreciation

By: Chris Fobbe

So, I’ve had a section on this website to write a column, and I’ve wanted to for quite some time, but blah blah blah, life is busy, woe is me, reasons, etc. But I had a few extra minutes, so I wanted to sit down and pen a little article just about how encouraging the last few weeks have been.

When Rick called and told me about the financial problems going on at the track, I was devastated. As many who frequent the Owosso Speedway know, it is a very special place. The track has had a lot of trials and tribulations over the years, but has always made it through. And now, it seemed poised for the brightest future in some time. But this was a bit of a reality check.

The idea of a world without the Owosso Speedway racing on Saturday’s is simply a world I don’t want to be in. I am completely biased, but you will be hard pressed to find racing as great as it is at the Big O. And I’ve been there as long as I can remember. I grew up bouncing between Spartan Speedway, Owosso Speedway and Springport Speedway. Owosso Speedway is where I announced my very first race when I was 12 years old. And most of all, Owosso Speedway was the first track I was an employee of back in 2007.

But to sit back and watch tons of race cars come out, and then watch drivers give their pay back to the track was a truly heartwarming event. Race Car Drivers and Race Tracks can sometimes have an adversarial relationship from time to time, but when the chips are down, there is no family I would depend on more than the racing family. So, simply as an outside observer, a huge thank you to all of the drivers at the Owosso Speedway for helping out.

I’ve also gained so much more respect for Rick and Jennie these last few weeks. When it was looking like I was going to leave Owosso to be back-up at a different track before the 2011 season, I got a random phone call late on a February night from Jennie. She told me how much faith she and Rick had in me, and that if I wanted to come back, the door was always open. Without that vote of confidence, I would have never had the belief in myself to try and step out and become the lead announcer. Rick and Jennie (and Jeff and Pam Parish as well) put a tremendous amount of faith in me, and that faith gave me the confidence to do what I am doing now.

This year has been a huge one for me. I’ve gotten to do a lot of work with Speed51.com. Including being a part of their coverage of the Howie Lettow Memorial at the Milwaukee Mile, I got to call a race on radio from the Berlin Raceway, and so many more amazing memories, and without the opportunity Rick and Jennie gave me, none of it would have been possible (though I must also give a call out to Matt Prieur for pushing me to announce from day one, that also helped).

The Owosso Speedway is full of great people, one of the most cohesive and hard working groups in motorsports. And I am so grateful and blessed to be a part of it.

Filed Under: Columns