It’s been a busy summer so far, and here on the final day of July, things show no sign of letting up - we’ve got a Triple Regional and Solo events coming in August, and then more events in September, leading right up to the Solo, Time Trials, RallyCross and Road Racing national championship events.
One of my jobs on the SCCA Board of Directors is to be board liaison to the Time Trials program. This year, that program will hold its second national championship event at NCM in Bowling Green, Kentucky at the end of September. I’ll be there, and I’ll be at the Runoffs at VIR a few days later in October.
If you have never attended an SCCA national championship event, I strongly encourage you to look into it. These events draw the top competitors in the nation, and you can gain a year’s worth of experience in your preferred racing venue in a matter of days. Plus, the elation of seeing champions crowned can’t be matched.
If you can’t manage to compete at one of these events - and it can be expensive, for sure - then consider going as a volunteer. Working at the Runoffs or Solo Nationals is a wonderful experience, and you’ll make friends that last a lifetime.
Finally, I want to congratulate Oregon’s Rose Cup Champions. Peter Baljet won the 59th Rose Cup race, but Will Schrader, John Black, Ken Sutherland, and Eric Dolson all received well-earned victories that weekend. You’re what it’s all about.
If you’ve been around Oregon Region for any length of time, you probably met Monte Shelton, and it was probably memorable.
I have two memories of Monte that, for me, perfectly illustrate who he was. The first happened some time after he survived a heart attack. He was telling me how he went to the gym six days a week, working out and running for a couple hours each morning. I said, “Gee Monte, I wouldn’t want to run a hundred-yard dash against you, and I’m half your age!”
Monte looked at me, smiled, and said, “I’d kick your ass.”
The second happened in the same era. I had a pretty hard day on the annual Monte Shelton Northwest Classic rally. Two of my old cars had broken down on the rally that day, and I finally rolled into the hotel in my daily driver during the “beer wash” car washing party.
I went into the hotel to check in, and when I came back out, there was Monte washing my car for me. I said, “Monte, you don’t have to do that.” He replied, “You know, my first job was washing cars at a lot on Sandy Boulevard, and I still love to do it.”
Those memories are pure Monte - equal parts competitive and gracious. He had a big heart and a genuine affection for people. That’s how I plan to remember him, and I hope the memory helps me become more like Monte Shelton.