|In Times Past………..
By Andy Pouncey
August 2, 2007
It was a great day for the Great Race – Germantown, July 3, 2007. The flags were flying, and the banner was hung (above the roadway) with care, in hope that the vintage cars soon would be there. 5:55 p.m. to be exact.
July 3rd was a day full of excitement as the local car clubs arrived after lunch bringing their mustangs, dodges, cobras and other assorted means of conveyance. While the attention was focused on the racers, the racers enjoyed the locals’ antiques as well.
The day was full of stories of community-minded folks coming together to make this a memorable occasion. We had 70 individual and corporate sponsorships. Sponsors assisted in greeting individual cars, serving as their host from the time they arrived until the time they left for their hotels. Their financial aide and presence that day gave the racers a face on Germantown, an example of the good will present here.
Major sponsors included – Poag & McEwen, Prime Development Group, Barnett Benefits, Hineman Companies, and Dick Leike. Other in-kind sponsors such as Schnucks really helped replenish our thirst with ice-cold bottles of water.
The memories will be recorded in the form of stories that will be told over and over.
First, the racers were handed a bottle of ice-cold water and a wet towel from 1st Tennessee by fellow Germantown racer, Bobby Hadsky, who in past years has been one of their most serious competitors. Bobby and his partner, J.R., won the event in 2004.
Some of our sponsors began their communications long before the racers reached Germantown. Several began emailing each other before the race started. George Brogdon continued to follow Car #74 (Kevin Ryan and son Ian) throughout the race, emailing encouragement as they proceeded to Anaheim. While they were in last place in Germantown, they managed to come in 35th in the end.
Co-Chair Sherrye Rhea toured the parking lots that night checking out the business of keeping a car in running order. While the racers slept at night, their mechanics worked to ensure that the cars were in top condition for the next day of racing.
The mechanics for Car #76 needed a transmission for a 1928 Ford Model A Speedster. Sherrye got on the phone with the Antique Automobile Club of America. After networking, Phil Irish located a transmission in Hernando. Around 9:30 p.m. he went south to pick up the part and returned with it to the outdoor shop in the UT Medical parking lot.
There were other good Samaritans who were not part of the race that helped the visiting racers and their mechanics. One mechanic needed a machine shop.
A sponsor of one car saw that the racers of another car, G. Martin and J.A. Martin, were from his hometown of Louisville. David, of Metropolitan Anesthesia Alliance, gift-wrapped a Louisville cardinal sticker for their car. They were thrilled to get something from home and put it on their 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air (see photo).
This was a family affair as well. Families of the racers drove along for support. You found grandparents baby-sitting or taking the kids along to see the country. The racers and their entourages were also one big family.
In the end, the city put on a great face. While Big Bear, California won the best stop and they were a Pit Stop (not an overnight stop), Germantown received nothing but praise for its efforts.
Our efforts also paid off for the library as we had $2,140.10 left in the bank, all of which is going to the library. Thank you to everyone who participated, sponsored a car, or just came to enjoy the day. I am sure that there will be another great day for a Great Race in Germantown.