[Portland Tribune] Banking on momentum
[This article originally appeared on the Portland Tribune website.]
Talented area drivers Lux and White open up the throttle and launch reality cable series
By JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE
There’s a saying in motor sports: “If you want to make a small fortune in racing, you need to start with a big one.”
Racing costs a tremendous amount of money, and comparatively few racing drivers have enough money to carry themselves to the top of the game.
That’s why drivers and racing events depend on sponsors to pick up the tab for the show.
At the end of the 2006 season, local racers Cindi Lux and Scotty White found themselves at a crossroads.
After several years of contending for the Sports Car Club of America’s national championship in their Dodge Vipers, the team had racked up an impressive record of victories, lap records and recognition.
However, it was time to move on and take their team to the next level in the SPEED World Challenge GT series.
Lux and White obtained a sponsor commitment for the year and ordered a pair of factory-built Viper competition coupe race cars from Daimler-Chrysler.
But on the day the team received the cars, the sponsor backed out of the deal, citing unrelated financial trouble.
“If I was smart, I’d pack this up right now. We’re rolling the dice more in my career than I ever have,” Lux says.
“I’ve been very blessed over the years to have corporate backing and to have a manufacturer behind us, but this year it’s crazy, from an economic standpoint,” she says.
But as crazy as it might seem, Lux and White each took out a second mortgage on their homes and forged ahead with their racing plans.
“We’re spending a little bit of our own money this year, but we have to. We can’t let the momentum stop. If you stop for one race, you’re a has-been,” Lux says.
The Portland racing community recognizes that both drivers have what it takes to win.
In 1999, Lux had the chance to compete in the Women’s Global GT Championship if she could raise enough money to participate. Local racers passed the hat and raised the necessary funds — and Lux brought home the championship trophy.
This year, local entrepreneur Nick Fluge of Fluge Global Adventures stepped up to send Lux and White to the prestigious Long Beach Grand Prix.
“I wanted to give them a little help in their first race, and that’s what I did. I’m really proud of them,” Fluge says.
Lux and White performed well at Long Beach.
On the notoriously difficult street track, Lux advanced five positions during the race while staying out of the trouble that seemed to develop at every turn.
White also delivered a promising performance despite a few scrapes and dents.
“We’ve had some great help from Fluge Global Adventures, but we’re still looking for sponsors on a race-by-race basis. World Challenge is a great series, and it’s got a great TV package,” Lux says.
Part of the team’s promotional plan includes a 13-part reality TV show called “Racing Naykid,” produced for the iDrive and Men’s Outdoors & Recreation channels.
The show will follow the team through the season, offering a backstage look at the challenges and victories of a professional racing team.
The first show is scheduled for June 6. For information, go to www.naykidracing.com.