I hope this post finds you well. I am writing you today to update you on the SCV race car project. I am pleased to report that after a long and at times, difficult journey, the SCV finally had its' day on the track.
Saturday, July 25th, 2009, in Hickory, North Carolina, the SCV race car was driven by Brandon Ward of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Brandon is one of the top drivers in the USAR Pro Series circuit.
The race unfortunately coincided with our National Reunion in Hot Springs, Arkansas. But I had the pleasure of announcing at the Confederate Ball on Saturday night that our car finished the race in third place.
The race was filmed and is scheduled to be telecast on Fox Sports Network on Sunday, August 23, 2009. The SCV membership was represented by: Craig Cooke, Ricky Reeves and Scottie Shook of the North Carolina Division. Craig's wife Jana was also along. Ricky Jenkins and Irvin Shuler of the South Carolina Division also attended.
Commander Shuler sent me a report and wishes me to relay to you the reaction of the crowd to our car.
He allowed that when Brandon Ward was introduced to the crowd and the SCV was announced as his sponsor, the crowd cheered and cheered louder than they did for anyone else. I spoke with Mr. Jack McNelly, the co-owner of the USAR Pro Series and he not only buttressed Commander Shuler's remarks but added that the crowd responded with thunderous applause. He then went on to tell me that he spoke with many people that day about the SCV car and he NEVER heard one single negative remark.
Commander Shuler added that he was approached by many men interested in joining the SCV. He handed out applications and directed them to the website. Many more people came just to congratulate them and thank them for putting Southern heritage back into racing.
Our Compatriots spent time before the race with the driver, talking and taking pictures. After the race, they tried to get back to the car to congratulate Brandon but found that they could not get close because of all the photographers and TV crews surrounding our car.
As rough as the negotiations were over the past six months, I am prepared to call this a success. Of course, I have been fielding calls from the race circuit offering us deals to sponsor the car again. I would like some input from you before we even discuss going further. Drop me an email and let me know your thoughts.
The race was not the only part of the SCV race car equation. Part of the deal was to have a show car on display at the reunion on Hot Springs. This also was a reality.
Our original driver and fellow compatriot, James Hylton sent his NASCAR truck series truck. The truck sported our logo on the hood, the back quarter panels and the bed. It also had the website address along the sides and 1-800- MY-DIXIE across the back. Unfortunately, at the last minute, the art department was under the impression that the truck was black. The truck was in fact yellow and the lettering was white. But one of the ladies of the reunion staff quickly remedied the situation with a black marker.
James Hylton has generously offered this truck to the SCV as a permanent show car. If we are able, I would like to have a professional wrap made for the truck and have it sent to many shows and events. Furthermore, I discussed an ad campaign with Mr. Hylton that would use the truck to promote the work of the SCV. He is on board with using the truck wherever we can to raise awareness of the SCV.
I would be remiss if I did not thank a few people that made this possible. First and foremost, I thank the membership for standing behind the project. I thank James Hylton and his crew especially marketing director, Doug Barron who hauled the SCV truck to Hot Springs and back again to the shop in South Carolina. I thank Brandon Ward and his team for their help. And I owe a great debt of gratitude to Larry Foyt for helping at every turn.
If you have any questions or suggestions please drop me a line at the address below. If you would like to know a bit more about Brandon Ward and the USAR Pro Series check the links below. I will be posting photos from the race soon and other designs of our cars at my website.
Thank you and God Bless the South,
Lieutenant Commander in Chief
Sons of Confederate Veterans