NEMA sure has changed a lot over the years. What some of you kids out there may not know is that NEMA was originally started for the “little guy.” The guy’s that couldn’t afford the big Offy engines or Kurtis-Kraft chassis of the day, but it was more for guys that worked forty hours a week.
Their “shop” was (and in some cases still is) the garage at home. Now I wasn’t around in those days but I do remember NEMA in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s. If there was anything I can tell the new faces of NEMA is learn who these people and events are that made the organization what it is today.
The older gentlemen that just walked past you in the pits could have been Carl Kibbe, who won four NEMA titles as an owner, or maybe Joe Fiore who’s been such in intergral part of the success of NEMA’s greatest team, Gene and Marilyns #45. Sorry boys, but if you had to compete aginst guys like Billy Mann, Joey Coy, Lee Smith, Mike Favuli, Paul Stoehr, Russ Klar, Drew Fornoro, Butch Walsh, Bobby White or Dave Humphrey….you had a long night ahead of you. Not to mention your win percentage wouldn’t be as high.