posted December 26, 2002 02:47 PM
An Open Letter from Bob Memmer
November 27, 2002
By Bob Memmer
Editor's Note: United Midwestern Promoters Founder and President Bob Memmer wrote the following letter explaining his relationship with promoters Ken Schrader and Bob Sargent, whom are part of a group, which is helping the organization financially.
I love dirt auto racing very much. Nineteen years ago, I got a dozen race tracks together and came up with a set of rules to downsize the wedge and make the super late-model more affordable for the working man. Those are the only two reasons for the United Midwestern Promoter's existence. Race tracks working together, and affordable dirt racing for the working man at your weekly race track.
I'm very fortunate to have been able to do what I love for the past 19 years, and wish to see UMP continue for another 19 years, to continue the policy of making decisions for the good of auto racing, not for profit motive.
In Feb. 2001, a CT scan at Deaconess Hospital disclosed that my aorta had split. When your aorta splits, you die. My cardiac surgeon said I'd probably never see March 2001. By the grace of God, I am still here, but if my aorta ever moves, I am dead.
I had contacted several people in auto racing that I have always admired; that I felt loved the sport of auto racing as much as I do (one of those being Ken Schrader), that I felt would continue the philosophy of UMP.
I have always dreamed of "The Million Dollar Point Fund" for my drivers. Bob Sargent said he felt he and Ken Schrader had enough sponsorship contacts to guarantee $300,000 of the "Million Dollar Point Fund."
I want UMP to continue and grow after I die, so we wrote an agreement that if I should die in 2002, UMP was theirs and the point fund would be paid. If I did not die, the $300,000 would go to my drivers, and hopefully, the sponsor would be happy with our performance and continue their sponsorship in future years. There were no sponsors, and Bob Sargent wrote the UMP Point Fund a check for $300,000. We didn't quite total a Million Dollar Point Fund, but we came close. Terry English, Scott Bloomquist and Jimmy Owens will each receive $100,000, and almost 400 race drivers will share in the UMP "Million Dollar Point Fund."
Aaron Butcher, an Oakland city graduate student, will become a full-time employee and UMP's competition director in 2003. He will learn everything that I do and why I do it. Nothing will change in 2003. UMP will still be located in my home, at 5010 Winding Way in Evansville, Ind. I will still be at my desk computing the weekly newsletter and communicating and coordinating daily UMP activities. The UMP Summer Nationals will continue to grow and continue to be America's No. 1 Racing Series. All race tracks will continue to be treated equally. No race track will ever be given preferential treatment, ever!
What is more enjoyable than dirt auto racing? Why would I ever want to do anything else in life? However, I am 68 years old. Twice in 2002, I visited the emergency room, the first time with serious pneumonia and the second for blood clots. If that aorta moves, I'm dead.
Why would I ever sell UMP? Auto racing is my entire life. I did not and would not sell UMP to any group of investors basing decisions on profit motives. I asked Ken Schrader, Bob Sargent, Robert Lawton and Howie Commander to bring my drivers sponsorship and I would GIVE them UMP. May UMP continue to grow and prosper.