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2018 Board of Director Elections

ChampCar Endurance Series :
2018 Board of Directors Election

Two seats are up for election. The following candidates are wanting your vote. Please read their biographies below. When complete, please visit our voting booth where you can vote for two of the four candidates.

Vote Here

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Board of Director Candidates

Jerry Enger

Jerry Enger with his EcoTech Miata at the Nelson Ledges 24h

I’m Jerry Enger, Jer on the forums, and I’ve served on the Board for just over a year and running for election. I believe I can do more on the Board and would like three full years to accomplish that. I have skill sets that are somewhat unique and I believe compliment the rest of the Board members and add value to ChampCar. I’ve served on numerous Boards over the years, but only for organizations, I’m passionate about.  I’ve been a Chumpcar/Champcar avid supporter since 2010.

My motorsport experience includes endurance racing for more than a decade and being a National Level autocrosser before that including a Nationals Pro Solo win in C stock in 2011.  I quit autocrossing to focus all my resources (time and money) on road racing with this organization.

Why should you vote for me:

  • I believe in stable rules and transparency.
    I try to make sure members are informed about what is happening and why. I also try to answer the questions that come up on the forums if I have information that will help.  Transparency is key; it’s your organization, I don’t believe in secrets or the holdback of information nor the reasons for why decisions are made.  We also need stability in the ruleset.  I lived the Condron years as a car owner and it was maddening. Back then it was Lemons or Chump, so the organization could do almost anything and get away with it. Because of that behavior, we now have AER, WRL and Lucky Dog. All we can do now is fight hard to present a consistent, reasonable set of rules that are tweaked, not re-written, and only do so once per year with total transparency and plenty of warning on changes. This is the only way we will have a chance to win back the teams we lost from the craziness of those old years and keep our current members happy and wanting to race with us.
  • I am the Treasurer of the organization,
    and we are coming out of a time when there were no public financials or results. I was instrumental in forming our first coherent set of financials.  In addition, my input, direction, and interpretation of results and the effects of possible decisions have helped and will help keep the organization in the black and viable for all of us.I’m happy that we are slightly profitable as an organization, but have pushed the Board to take care with all decisions. If we lost 5% of our membership, we’d be in the red. An economic downturn could put us in the red. A few really bad losing races could do that too. I keep these issues at the forefront of the Board.
  • I believe in keeping the racing affordable, competitive, and accessible.
    That means no more “free stuff” that raises the cost of racing for all. That means an annual review of the VPI table, making sure that outliers are trimmed. The flipside is I pushed hard to give the members 90-120 days notice before implementing crippling point increases to selected marquees. No one wants to build a car only to find it’s no longer competitive due to a no-warning rule change. Geographically, we need to keep pushing as much as fiscally possible to add races in the central and west areas to give those racers a chance to experience ChampCar and grow our brand.
  • I understand the fiduciary role I play on the Board,
    which always requires removing self-interest for the better of an organization. I race my own Miata in the series, but even if a rule would hurt me personally if it’s best for the organization, then it’s best. Period. Yes, I believe the MR2 is undervalued in points and should be increased.
  •  I’m geographically from Denver, but race everywhere in the country.
    Because of where I live now (technically the central region), I regularly race out west and in the central region in my Miata, but also have raced up and down the eastern seaboard. Because of this, I’m in a unique position to hear opinions from across the country. I informally poll almost every race I go to, actively seeking issues and feedback, and I bring that information to the Board.

Accomplishments:

  • I’ve served as Treasurer for ChampCar, with my background as a CFO and CPA, and helped get the financials in order and put into a presentable format this year (for the first time ever). I work with the bookkeeper and the tax accountants on issues and financial results.
  • I enlisted my intellectual rights attorney for help with securing the tradename ChampCar.That work continues.
  • I developed and maintain a spreadsheet that shows attendance by race for us and our competitors to help us better understand who is succeeding, who is not, trends, and how ChampCar can grow and succeed.
  • I’ve never missed a meeting, and passionately but (I believe) reasonably present issues and solutions and my input into the important decisions we make as an organization. I do not sit on the sidelines, and in many cases am the person to bring up issues to the Board to help us address them as they arrive.
  • I keep members informed as much as possible by delivering information when people are asking for it on the forums.
  • In my past, I’ve served on a number of boards, but I only serve on boards for organizations I’m passionate about.
  • I’m one of the earliest members on ChampCar, having done many, many races since 2010 on 25+ different tracks across the county. I consider myself very lucky in this regard.

I hope I get your vote and welcome feedback and questions. My number is CC000282.  Thanks!!!


Chris Huggins

I am 28 years old, live in Raleigh NC, and work as a Utility Engineer in the BioPharma industry.  I previously worked in the auto industry, both in engineering and as a mechanic.  My degree is in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University.  I am married to a wife who supports my addiction, including wiring in the living room, car parts on the kitchen table, etc.  We have two dogs, but no kids, and therefore I have a significant amount of “hobby” time to commit to racing based endeavors.

I grew up a child of the digital era, and video games introduced me to competitive racing.  As I got older, I was able to combine this with mechanical aptitude and began turning wrenches in the shop with my dad.  I took a rather unusual route to endurance racing after that, detouring through the world of drifting for a few years.  I believe that experience taught me car control in a slightly different manner than the normal process.  It also contributed to my mechanical repairs resume, resulting in engine swaps, rebuilds, repairing broken axles, wheel bearings, etc.

In 2014 I joined ChampCar (Member No 8876) to race in the VIR 24 as a renter.  That was all it took to get me hooked, and I began building my E30 a few months later.  Since then, we have won some, almost won some, and gone home early, but we always have a good time.

I am competitive both on and off the track.  This leads to getting rather busy during races, but I still strive to be approachable and friendly to everyone I meet at the track.  I always make an effort to cruise the paddock/pit and chat with familiar and unfamiliar faces when time allows.  If you have been to a southeast race, you have probably seen me rolling around on my electric unicycle.

My team is “Huggins Racing” or “Pinkies Out”, racing under #146 and #246.

What experience do you have with working in a “committee” atmosphere? As a single voice in seven, you’ll have to work with the rest of the board as a team to ensure the continued success of the club.

I have not been on a company/club BOD before, but I do have significant experience working collaborative projects in a professional environment.  My day job has seen me involved in the construction of multiple biotech production lines and the implementation of software maintenance systems that interface with multiple US and EU facilities.  I am able to professionally and respectfully communicate with others, maintain focus on the big picture, and manage timelines as needed.  I am not hesitant to voice an educated opinion, nor am I embarrassed to ask questions and admit to unfamiliarity with topics.

What is your motorsports experience? While being a driver is not a prerequisite for serving our club, it is interesting to see where you have been and how that has shaped your viewpoint.

My love for racing began in the digital realm with the papyrus NASCAR simulators, but I began real racing with Lemons in 2008, Crewing for 1 race before building a car and racing it twice. The other team members lost interest, but I kept the car and continued doing HPDE’s with it.  I built a drift car in my college years, working on car-control skills and budgeting (tires).  After finishing college, I was ready to jump back into wheel-to-wheel racing and I started renting from a team (TCR, RIP#144) in ChampCar.  I built my own car, #146, in 2014-2015 and my teams first ChampCar race was the 2015 VIR 24.  Since then, we have raced multiple times a year and have 14,000+ race miles on the car.

What assets, experience, and strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors? How could you contribute?

I have always been a very analytical person, and I have a significant amount of data-driven analysis experience from both racing and professional situations.  We have a wealth of data available as a club, both internally and industry-wide, which could be used to drive strategic decisions in the future. If elected, I hope to be able to improve or build upon any existing statistical analysis to drive business decisions and benefit the club.
In addition, I am extremely passionate about racing and very detail oriented, and this has kept me on track as a team leader and manager.  I hope to leverage these strengths at the club level to benefit some of the more tedious tasks required of the BOD.
Finally, I have existing relationships with ChampCar Employees, BOD members, TAC members, and many other club members and teams.  I am in communication with TAC members and TECH on various questions I have regarding rules, parts, and interpretations.  I also have an established presence on the message board/Forum.  One of my goals, if elected, is to improve communications with the membership, and I expect I can build upon the above channels to achieve that goal.

Where do you see ChampCar as fitting into the racing market? Who is our target member?

ChampCar slots in as the “serious” racing league that remains affordable.  Lemons has become more of an “adventure” and less of a serious race.  AER and WRL allow some really serious hardware, and the speed differentials between the mega-funded teams and the teams which also race with ChampCar can be significant.  Even with a similarly paced car, weekend costs and stint costs tend to be higher with these leagues.
If you don’t have the budget or the desire to race mega-fast cars, but want to experience competitive racing, ChampCar is the ticket.
ChampCar also has the best track selection of any Endurance Racing Series going right now.  I believe this is a huge selling point for our series.
Our target new member is a person who has been a racing fan and wants to try it out for themselves.  It is also a person who has participated in an HPDE and wants to try out wheel-to-wheel racing.  It is also a person who has tons of track experience and wants the best track-time to dollar ratio possible.  These members like the idea of competitive racing, but may have a limited budget, no racing license, or limited experience.  We should continue our efforts to attract and support new (as in no racing experience) racers in our series.  At the same time, our high level of competition and close finishes are an attraction for all levels of experience and budget, and this is how we attract racers experienced teams and drivers.

What is the #1 thing you would change if you could?  

I want to promote not making rule changes as the default situation.  That does not mean I am against all change, but I want to increase our hesitancy before making any changes.  We have an excellent BCCR that can be used as-is, and there are many areas ChampCar can focus on improving consistency and enforcement without having to add or adjust the base ruleset.

The past few years, we have seen some significant changes to the ruleset.  Some have been necessary.  Some have been painful.  I believe we are at a point where we can continue to survive and grow as a club while making fewer and less significant changes moving forward.  Each potential change needs to be thoroughly evaluated for impacts to our current members.  Any potential change will impact some negatively and some positively.  In either event, it is likely to cost real-world $.  Any change that costs teams money to modify/adjust their cars is less money they have to enter races.  We do not want to alienate any teams, and a constantly shifting rule set is likely to do that.

My main consideration is to maintain our cost-conscious rules while continuing to provide competitive racing on the best tracks in the country.

 


Ronnie Killion

I live approximately an hour and a half southeast of Dallas in Eustace, Texas with my wife of 29 years, Mary. I’ve recently retired after 38 years with Oncor Electric Delivery. I now own and operate a classic car restoration shop, which I began several years before retirement. Along with restoring and maintaining classic cars, we build vintage racecars.

I am currently serving on the board of directors of Heartland Vintage Racing. I have also served on the board of directors with an area cutting horse association, the executive board of my local union as well as well as being on multiple committees with the union and company I retired from.

I began motorsports by driving in open track events and some drag racing about 15/16 years ago. I quickly found I preferred turning corners to driving straight. I enrolled in the Panoz Racing School at Road Atlanta hoping to improve my driving skills. During the process of building a car to vintage race, a friend and I discussed building a car to compete in 24 hours of lemons. Upon researching what it would take to go racing, we discovered the ChumpCar World Series, which seemed like a much better option and fit for what we had in mind. I worked my first race at Harris Hill Raceway and was hooked. We began racing with ChumpCar World Series at Texas World Speedway in 2010. When we were unable to race for one reason on another, I would volunteer with series. I really enjoyed any chance to volunteer, as it gave me a completely different perspective of the series. I have been the builder, manager, and captain of our race team since we began racing with the series. I also vintage race with, Heartland Vintage Racing and Corinthian Vintage Auto Racing.

Although I originally began racing with ChumpCar World Series/ChampCar Endurance Series to fill in before I completed my vintage car to race in vintage events. I fell in love with what ChumpCar World Series/ChampCar Endurance Series had to offer. Everything from the endurance aspect, the staff, the racers, to the team format, that makes up the series. I see continued growth and potential of ChampCar and would like to give back what the series has given me.

What experience do you have with working in a “committee” atmosphere? As a single voice in seven, you’ll have to work with the rest of the board as a team to ensure the continued success of the club.

I am presently on the board of directors of Heartland Vintage Racing. I have served on the board of directors with the Oil Belt Cutting Horse Association and on the executive board with IBEW Local 69. I have also served on multiple committees with both the union and the company I worked for.

What is your motorsports experience? While being a driver is not a prerequisite for serving our club, it is interesting to see where you have been and how that has shaped your viewpoint.

I began my involvement with motorsports, drag racing and then open track events. This led me to enroll in a racing school and ultimately racing with ChampCar Endurance Series,  Heartland Vintage Racing and Corinthian Vintage Auto Racing. I have been racing with ChampCar Endurance Series since 2010.

What assets, experience, and strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors? How could you contribute?

I would bring the desire to see this series grow from the perspective of a car owner, team captain, car builder, volunteer, as well as a driver and competitor. My ability to listen and work with both competitors and staff, also being involved with ChampCar Endurance Series thru out the evolution of the series gives me a good perspective of the series.

Where do you see ChampCar as fitting into the racing market? Who is our target member?

I see ChampCar as a grass roots endurance racing series where participation does not require a huge expenditure of cash. Our target members are anyone from novice to experienced racers who desire to compete in a series, which offers single class racing with the added benefit of multi class awards.

What is the #1 thing you would change if you could?  

I don’t have any #1 thing I would like to change. I would like to see the series continue on the path that it is on.  I guess if there’s one thing, I would like to see the continued and expanded enforcement of the rules. While we have made great strides in this area, there is more we could do. I have seen growth in the series but would like to see this continue. Also would like to see the expansion of more races nationwide.

                   


Bruce Mills

My name is Bruce Mills, Captain of Uncommon Friends Racing, and we have been racing our Datsun Z car in Champcar for five seasons.  I have been privileged to serve on your Board of Directors for the last year.

I grew up near Riverside International Raceway and Ontario Motor Speedway and saw the heyday of TransAm, CanAm, NASCAR, and Indy racing. Once you develop a passion for racing it never really leaves you.

After college, not wanting to grow up, I moved to Utah in 1973 to ski and skydive. It was there I met Steve Nichols (one of our drivers), who was a rocket scientist at the time and helped him race his Merlin Mk 11 Formula Ford all over the west.  This began a lifelong friendship which we have maintained while keeping up with his adventures as a Formula 1 designer for McLaren and Ferrari.

I moved back to California in 1977 and began enduro karting, where I met Steve Ohara (another of our drivers with a background in karts, Formula Mazda, and Formula Atlantic.), thus beginning another lifelong friendship.

Blessed with a 32-year marriage and two fine sons, we coincidentally happened to put our 2-year-old used Jeep Wrangler for sale in 2004 and the ad was answered by an abrupt sounding guy from El Segundo.  John Morton showed up with cashiers check in hand, and we discovered common interests and passions and have been friends ever since.  John is amazingly smooth, amazingly quick, and has an amazing sense of humor.

As president and owner of a healthcare construction company in Southern California, my skillset includes business management, marketing, and financial analysis—all of which have been used over the last 15 months in evaluating marketing surveys, financial statements, and member petitions as part of my Board Member duties.

Life has lots of twists and turns, but in life, as in racing, it’s about friendship, hard work, and community.

I want to continue as part of Mike Chizek’s team, focusing on growing our sport and continuing to raise the level of professionalism.  How best to attract new participants and retain current members?

Here are some ideas….

Schedule stability: Schedule stability will help racers plan ahead while coordinating with family and work commitments.  Full schedules at premier tracks across the country at the right time of year should be the goal.  This is not easy (many tracks have very few dates available), but positive refinements to a stable base schedule should be the goal.

Assistance: Ideas like helping teams that travel over 250 miles with a 15% (or more) reduction in their entry fee might provide enough incentive (financial assistance) to convince them to “make the trip”.  You could consider helping new teams with a similar 15% incentive-say for their first three events.  An extra three cars per event, times 30 events, times $1,000.00 (reduced entry fee) adds an extra $90,000.00 to the club’s “bottom line”. That’s corporate welfare in reverse!

Rules stability: A stable rulebook that is easy to understand will attract more racers, ensures your car won’t be rendered uncompetitive at the stroke of a pen–and enables you to plan your next build while racing your current car.  The board has made great progress (the rules are fundamentally the same 2015 thru 2019), and the new technical committee promises to provide even more stability and fairness.

Outreach & Marketing: Showcasing our cars and series at places like car shows, colleges with Formula SAE programs, drift events will pay long-term dividends.  We need to enlist our current members as ambassadors of our sport, pay booth fees and meals, and provide them with outstanding marketing tools.  We also need to keep current members up to date on the latest news and remind them of upcoming events-and reach out to inactive members via direct email with the same information.

Outreach & Marketing: All our teams should be encouraged to email a hyperlink of the Champcar.Live broadcast at every race they enter, along with a link to the Champcar website, to their friends, family members, and co-workers inviting them to “watch the fun”.  Racing is contagious, and it may encourage someone to come to an event, offer to help, or even start their own team.

Reduced Costs: The above measures will help promote full grids across the country which will enable management to reduce entry fees, which will attract more cars, which will reduce entry fees……and so on.  We will all benefit from a stable schedule and rulebook, have more fun racing with full grids, and be able to race more often with more race dates and reduced costs.

Recent years have seen Champcar take it to “the next level” in the professionalism of our race organization, management, and marketing—along with improvements in the venues we race at, quality of the competition, quality of the cars, and even the skills of our drivers.  I appreciate your consideration and look forward to the opportunity to continue serving on the Board.

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Two seats are up for election. The following candidates wanting your vote. Please read their biographies below. When complete, please visit our voting booth where you can vote for two of the candidates.

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