Lee, NH (March 8, 2009) – – He has been in speedway promotions since the
1970's following a tour in Viet Nam. He has organized and promoted races in
New Hampshire and Florida over three decades with much success. He has
orchestrated radio shows, owned a Florida speedway, and promoted the famed
Volusia County Speedway in Barber Florida., can talk a dog off a truck load
of steaks, and if given the opportunity, get you into the biggest concert
venues possible. Bob Watson loves a challenge, and the soon to be 60 year
old track manager agrees, The 2009 season is going to be a challenge.
"I'm optimistic" said Watson recently, days after returning from the recent
Speedway EXPO race car show promoting Lee USA Speedway; the track Watson
started his career at in the mid 70's. Reflecting on the country's economic
status, Watson agrees it will be tough, but he expects to survive. "Every
time we have a crisis like this, we survive, we do okay. The crisis of the
70's was the fuel shortage. That was a challenge but we got through it. We
got through the high gas prices last year. Am I concerned, yes, I'm very
concerned, but I'm confident we'll get through it. We just have to work
Last year Watson threw himself on the seacoast and southern Maine in an
attempt to get new fans, kids, and local people involved in his race track.
At seasons end it was felt that despite the economy and gas prices, Watson's
theory of "working the coast" paid off in a big way. Solid crowds, first
time fans, old time fans visiting Lee for the first time in years.
John Spence SR, the tracks chief announcer and a long time friend and
colleague points out Watson has always been a strong believer of being
visible as much as possible. Follow him around for a summer and you'll
quickly find out.
"I recall talking to Bob last winter. We were concerned about the high gas
prices. We agreed we'd have to go hard and market around the speedway. Bob
focused his advertising, press releases, and flyers, on a 20 mile radius
around Lee. He hauled an ISMA super modified all over the seacoast to
promote the ISMA race, at car shows, at fairs, parades, malls, got involved
in radio station broadcasts, helped start a racing talk show in Dover,
bought radio time on area stations, gave away tickets, passed out flyers at
schools, libraries, did special deals, you know Bob, he always has a deal
going, the guy literally blanketed the area and the result was very clear.
From the tower each week, we saw more and more new faces, families, kids all
over that Kid Zone. I personally had not seen crowds (kids) like that since
the 80's, the guy lives to promote. Like Russ Conway, Bob could get people
come to watch snow melt." Spence said.
Watson has a genuine concern for the competitor. Always trying to make
things better for the race team, this season will be no different. His
popular race car show at the Lilac Mall, Rochester, NH, March 20 through the
22nd, has an abundant amount of cars ready for the weekend. Fully realizing
the economy will take its toll this year, a new coupon book will be made
available to his weekly competitors that will save them money when touring
shows drive up the price of pit area admittance.
"If the weekly racer registers prior to April 1, they'll receive a coupon
book. The coupon will be presented when signing in on race night for the
events that carry a higher back gate fee. That way the competitor will
always pay the same price they do for our weekly events. The coupon books
will be available at the Lilac Mall show," said Watson
Watson also stated that his open wheel division, the small-block
supermodifieds will run a reduced schedule this year, by choice. "After
talking with our competitors, we all decided that 14 races were enough, that
it was better for them." he said.
Lee opens its season on Sunday afternoon April 19 with the ACT Late Model
Series 150 lap event. and a full program.