Back Seat of the Chariot

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I’m not a huge fan of name dropping, but sometimes you can’t help it when you’re acknowledging someone’s generosity of themselves, their world and their influence. Bruton Smith, Chairman and founder of two NYSE companies, Speedway Motor Sports, Inc. and Sonic Automotive, Inc, has been a great friend for over 25 years. We get to go places that only an owner could. Sitting (yes, without the “h”) in the backseat on Sunday, while Bruton was driving on the intimidating 36 degrees banked turns at Bristol Motor Speedway, you can only imagine the thrill.


At one point this motor sports mogul took his hands off the wheel bosting, “Look, Jan, no hands!”


And then this recent NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee (should have been in the 1st, undoubtedly by the 2nd year of Inductees!), this no-holds-barred Baron of the BIG Life entertained in his triple-wide suite, overlooking the greatest half mile track in the world, where we rubbed shoulders with the ever-faithful defender of our 2nd Amendment, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. We then met and got to rub tires with another icon in the world of sports, Bill Rassmussen, Founder of ESPN!  FOUNDER!!!  That’s no small potatoes.  What a mind.  What a visionary.  What a kind man.  So, when we met Hutton Pulitzer, who not only came to the races with Mr. Rassumussen, but is his partner, we took notice.  Hutton’s broadcast background, inventor’s mind, and innovative social media experiences, only magnifies the power of that partnership.  It’s true, ‘you are the company you keep’…  I can only hope some of my personal fortitude is the result of Bruton’s Shadow of Influence, and vice versa, via some of my humor, talents and love of life.

My respect is obviously shared as shown in the following excerpt from Hutton’s blog:

     Here I was, standing in the magnificent last colosseum (Bristol Motor Speedway) and as all the warriors prepared for battle at 125 miles per hour, these same guys, same teams which fans see on TV were out there talking to their fans, taking pictures and  welcoming the fans to the event.

Bruton and Marcus

Wait, the stars of the event welcoming the fans?  Fans had access to the superstars, their teams, the infield and such?  Yes, they did and everyone felt like they belonged.

The fans felt like they had a vested interest and friendship with the sport and the professional, and the professional- the very superstar on TV- was there to let the fan know “We are here for you, doing this for you and we will be doing our very best for you – AND- by the way it was great to meet you!”

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"Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way." Edward de Bono