When we heard the news the other day that the Super Chevy Show had been sold, we figured some promotions or event company bought it and the event series was on the short road to extinction. Then we found out who bought it and it kicked our interest up about 200%. To say that the new ownership group is “interesting” would be the understatement of the drag racing decade.
A group calling themselves SCSW Inc. purchased Super Chevy. The leaders of SCSW are President – John Bandimere Jr. of Bandimere Speedway in Colorado; Excecutive Vice President, Lex Dudas; Vice Presidents, Bill Bader, Charlie Allen, and Bryan Pierce; and Secretary/Treasurer, Billy Meyer.
This is not just some group of schmoes, this is a drag racing business machine.
Anything that Bill Bader is involved in needs to be paid attention to. He’s one of the most interesting and driven personalities in the history of drag racing. Initially he bought a little hole in the wall drag strip in Norwalk, Ohio, and worked it and worked it until today it stands as one of the nicest tracks in the world. He also took the IHRA from the brink of death to strong health before leaving a few years ago.
John Bandimere Jr. is the operator of Bandimere Speedway outside of Denver, Colorado. He’s widely recognized as one of the greatest drag strip operators ever. His facility is top notch, he is an innovative thinker, and has earned his reputation as a man to pay attention to in drag racing.
Lex Dudas was the longtime VP and General Manager of Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvanis. Again, one of the finest drag strips in the world and a track that is often whispered to have the highest grossing national event on the tour. Reportedly the track is one of the few that has cleared a million dollars on their event. This is rumor and speculation, but judging by the crowds and the quality of the facility, it may well be true.
Charlie Allen is the operator of Firebird Raceway in Arizona and Bryan Pierce is the operator of Virgina Motorsports Park in Dinwiddie, Virginia. Interestingly, Pierce is the only guy to be operating an IHRA sanctioned track in this group.
Billy Meyer is the owner and operator of the Texas Motorplex. He formerly owned the IHRA and was a standout Funny Car racer for many years in the 1970s and 1980s. His history in the sport is varied. His track has been a great success but his time operating the IHRA was nothing short of diasterous.
So what’s going on here? Did these guys just buy the Super Chevy Show so they could direct it to their tracks? We don’t think so. It has been common knowledge for a couple of seasons that SCS was not the cash cow that it once was. The schedule was shrinking with the car counts and attendance.
These guys can revamp the show and get that bit of business back in order, but we think there’s more happening here. None of these guys are small thinkers, so the chance to buy a turnkey series that can be used as a petri dish of sorts to see how stuff works in different markets across the country is pretty valuable. This could be the start of something very interesting over the next few seasons. A “breakaway republic” perhaps?