FAMILY MATTERS: Crazy Horse Racing Off To Big Start
Great Run at Waterford Speedbowl Sign of Things to Come in 2012
SOUTH PARIS, Maine – It’s still early on a Saturday night, at least by stock car racing’s standards, when Mitch Green’s cell phone rings.
“The first thing I’m thinking is, ‘Uh-oh. This can’t be good,’” Green recalls. “Usually when you get that call so soon, something must have gone wrong.”
Green bids a hello to the voice on the other end and then tentatively asks how things have gone at a race track on the other side of New England. He is pleased when Jeff Marshall, a competitor in the weekly Late Model division at Riverside Speedway in Groveton, N.H., fills him in on some good news.
“We won!” Marshall tells Green, and Green is already smiling.
From that night on, Marshall never tried another trick with his stock car – riding Green’s advice and a setup provided by Crazy Horse Racing to the 2011 Riverside Speedway track championship.
“Those are the things that I enjoy most about being in this business,” said Green, who took over Crazy Horse Racing in 2008 – combining the chassis builder known as Race Basics with his own race car parts business. What competitors have enjoyed the most is Crazy Horse Racing’s reputation for success on short tracks across the northeastern United States and eastern Canada.
In four short years, Crazy Horse Racing teams have won dozens of feature races and ACT Late Model Tour main events. In a relatively short period of time, the former schoolteacher, his wife, Judy, and his son, Mickey, have made Crazy Horse Racing into a name synonymous with success.
Last weekend during Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl’s traditional opening day for New England short-track racing, Crazy Horse Racing teams claimed six of the Top-9 finishing positions in a 50-lap Late Model event, including race winner Keith Rocco for car owner Scott Fearn. The day also featured the debut of the 2012 Crazy Horse chassis, one driven by Travis Stearns.
“The reason that we have good-going cars is because we have a lot of great drivers and teams,” Green said. “Because of their outcomes, they propel our business. When Judy and I got into this, we did it because we love the sport. Our enthusiasm sets us apart. We’re not in this for the money… We put in ungodly hours – but if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.”
Certainly, Crazy Horse’s customers don’t feel as though they’re part of a business transaction. As important as performance is a commitment to helping its teams both find and maintain success.
No matter where they’re competing.
“We’ve got 40-50 cars across the U.S. and Canada, and every one of those guys has my cell phone number and Mickey’s cell phone number. So, they know we’re accessible,” Green said. “If they have an issue or a concern, they know they can feel free to call anytime they need to.
“Our philosophy on that is that the Wednesday night four-cylinder guys at Oxford (Plains Speedway) are just as important to us as the (ACT Tour) cars we setup for Loudon. The guy sitting in that seat, it’s just as important to him as it is for the guy running at New Hampshire. Sure, they walk in and they know we build Late Models here, but they also walk in and they know that they are every bit as important to us.
“It has to be that way.”
Crazy Horse Racing is located in South Paris, but its reach extends far beyond nearby Oxford Plains Speedway. Welch won the 2011 track championship at White Mountain Motorsports Park – one of the highlights of Green’s tenure as a chassis builder – while Marshall and Aaron Fellows (Canaan Fair Speedway) also won track titles.
But, as Stearns rolling out a new car illustrated over the weekend, there is no resting on the laurels of previous wins or championships.
“Competition is the best thing that there is to improve your product,” Green said. “Never say you’re the best, because it will turn around and bite you. While you’re sitting around high-fiving, the other guys are going by you.”
Not in this case they’re not.
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