2013 Area 6/MiDiv Elections

General announcements of interest to MiDiv SCCA members

2013 Area 6/MiDiv Elections

Postby Eileen » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:23 pm

The MiDiv/Area 6 Directors position is up for election. The candidates are Mike West (Mid-South) and Peter Zekert (St. Louis). A conversation was started in a Wichita email group October 15 and I’m posting it here for all to read.

I will divide the posts up by date/day.

Eileen Waters, Gateway to MiDiv columnist.
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:24 am

Postby Eileen » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:24 pm

October 15.....

October 15, 2013 2:32 p.m.

BTW, you probably got a card in the mail yesterday from Peter Zekert of St. Louis Region, running for Lisa's seat on the BoD. I'd encourage a vote for the "other guy," Mike West of Mid-South Region.

Both good fellows, longtime SCCA members. I believe both care very much about the club.

Read between the lines of Zekert's campaign card and it says "let's keep doing things the way we've always done." Which is a problem these days because "we've always done it that way" has resulted in race entries half what they once were, and a loss of more than half our MiDiv driver base.

Peter's primarily a racer, and only drove one race this year, at his home track (Gateway). In 2012 he raced as a member of Chattanooga Region, SE Division. Mike's been involved in all facets -- race, rally , solo -- including officialdom, and made an appearance at the Solo Nationals this year.

--Rocky Entriken

October 15 3:28 p.m.

I will agree with Rocky (and you wont see that very often). Mike is the best man for the job. Rocky may remember and be too nice to point out that during the go round to decide on the rules for MIDIV Peter Zekert as the St. Louis RE didn't vote. When I questioned this he said he couldn't vote until he ran the idea past several committees in St. Louis. We had been discussing these rules for a month (if not two) and if he had been doing his job as RE, he would have known how his Region wanted him to vote. We have not had a Director for the last six years and we don't need someone who can't stand up and vote one way or the other. I'm not as sure of Peter's racing career, but I know he ran against Lisa Nobel for Director six years ago, so he was part of the MIDIV then. I was told the only reason he ran was to be on the Board to keep his class a National class. I see that his class is being moved down again and Peter is running again. Peter did declare to run before I heard about his class being moved from the list of Turnoff classes, but maybe he knew more about what was going on with class than I.
Mike is the best person for the job. I had thought about running myself, but when Mike told me he was running I backed out immediately and asked what I could do to help him win the seat. Mike has done a little of everything (except maybe rally-cross (too new for most of us)). He is willing to look at new ideas as he knows that even with our rich history and wonderful past we are in a new environment and have to look for new ways to get things done. My vote is for Mike and I hope you will join me. We need and deserve a voice on the National Board of Directors.
Bruce (Lost in Kansas) Bettinger

October 15 7:59 p.m.
With all due respect I disagree with both you and Rocky.

First, for those who aren't familiar with me, my name is Eileen Waters and I am the Gateway to MiDiv columnist for SportsCar and the current St. Louis Region Secretary. I am a St. Louis motorsports historian who has followed both local SCCA Regions for more than the current 16 years that I've been a member of St. Louis Region.

Second, I've written the November MiDiv column about the elections. I provided both candidates with the same set of questions and used a select few in the column. I have already asked the MiDiv webmaster if the complete set of questions and answers can be posted to the MiDiv website and he said yes. Once SportsCar hits the stands/mailboxes I will send him the complete and unedited questions and answers for him to post for all MiDiv/Area 6 members to review and form their own opinions.

Third, as to Peter, your information isn’t complete. Peter is a self-employed high-threat driving instructor, and when you lose a contract you unfortunately cannot race as often as you would like and end up having to take jobs that prevent you from participating in events you'd rather attend. (He did participate in the 50th Anniversary Runoffs.) Instead, Peter used his time to immerse himself in St. Louis Region. He also runs a foster race car program. (Ask the guys who have used those cars what they think of Peter.)

He took a Region, who last year cancelled two-thirds of their Club Racing season because of a bad start, and turned it around (not just in Club Racing). By the end of this weekend, the Region will have held three successful Club Racing events, one a Majors. The August Majors received glowing reviews from the National office, the stewards, the Majors program, the competitors and the volunteers in large part because of our hospitality, which starts with Peter.

He has attended the Street Survival schools, Solo events (the last one he rode with five different participants), helped guide a team to host fundraising Solos that benefited all of the Region's programs while simultaneously introducing the SCCA to a whole new audience, assisted in resurrection of the PDX program, and he piloted the then CRX, now REX, program for the National office in the spring as the Chief Instructor and bandleader. He's also brought back members we haven’t seen in years to help instruct at various events.

Peter has reached out to every person who has contacted him and guided them to their best interest and fit within the club. He's attended local non-SCCA motorsports events, getting time on the P.A. with the track announcer to invite everyone in the grandstands to SCCA events. He’s done a half-dozen local motorsports radio shows explaining the SCCA and inviting people to check us out, including a live remote where his skills and knowledge turned what would have been a five-minute piece into a 20-minute one.
He’s guiding the upgrading of our social media and an updating of our By-Laws. He’s brought sponsors to our events.
Have either of you asked Peter why he has not been SOLELY a St. Louis or MiDiv member? I’ve found with racers there is a whole host of reasons why they may change a region or be a dual member, and I’ve often been surprised as to why.
Have you asked Peter himself what his goals are versus what you’ve heard Bruce? You’ll find that Peter, as an independent businessman, is VERY customer service oriented, an attitude that he’s brought to St. Louis Region and plans to bring to the National level as well. He’s not, as Rocky thinks, talking about "let's keep doing things the way we've always done." I read a well written, thought-provoking article today online at the Autoweek website by Steven Cole Smith, “SCCA makes a big move, firing its president. Is it the right one?” that points out a lot of reasons why the SCCA is driving people away. Peter’s done nothing this year but work hard to bring people and programs back.
I have nothing against Mike West and obviously I do not know him as well as I do Peter. It is my understanding that Mike will be at the OctoberFast Club Racing event this weekend in St. Louis and I hope to get to know him and his goals/ideas better.
During my time as a motorsports journalist I’ve always found it best to go directly to the source for your information. I encourage both of you to do something similar and reach out to both candidates.
Eileen Waters

October 15 8:31 p.m.
Ohhh spanked on our own board!
Nicely written Eileen, can only believe that Bruce meant well with replying to give some of us not as familiar with the candidates some insight.
LD (Lawrence Duty)

October 15 10:16 p.m.

Eileen, et all,

I like Mike! He has always been nice to me, seems very involved in SCCA.

That being said, I want to say thank you for your review of Peter's skills. It seems obvious that Peter has a true passion for improving and developing SCCA!

All I can say is I wonder how MIDIV would be today, if Peter was elected 6 years ago as Area Director. Based on what you are saying he is doing in St. Louis, I imagine it might be different in a very good way.

I don't agree with the comment that said reading between the lines Peter is going to "keep doing things the way we have always done", either. Peter made it very clear to me that he feels that SCCA needs to be treating its members like customers, and that goes a long way to changing SCCA for us from a (we decide what we will do Nationally, and you can survive however you want as a Region" to "what can I do to help you succeed".

I am not putting words in his mouth, he told me this. I cant imagine many who get in this position wanting to serve anyone.

Maybe it is time that we try to get someone in as Area Director that is willing to make some changes, we could sure use someone who will help us grow our racing programs, that have been shrinking so fast we cant hardly put on a club racing event anymore without loosing a ton of money!

I look forward to your questions and answers before I even think of who is going to get my vote, but I think we are very lucky to have two extremely talented individuals running for this office!

Just my two cents.

Racer Dan

October 15 10:23 p.m.

I don't care if Peter has been in different Regions or Divisions. So have I. If the folks would read what I say and not what they think I say we would have less to disagree about. I said that Peter had run six years ago inferring that he had to be a member of the MIDIV and some Region in the MIDIV at that time. There are many reasons any of us pull back from racing, money and job is certainly among those reason. I didn't start racing till I was in my sixties because of job and money.
I shouldn't have to ask a candidate for the Directorship what his goals are. He should be telling us. Unless he doesn't care about the rank and file of the Division (we've had six years of that). If Peter has been the leader you paint, I applaud him, but we can find people with that dedication in every Region and it doesn't always translate into a National leader. My big rub with Peter was as I said that he didn't seem to be able to vote on a subject that had been on the table for some time. When I scolded him for not voting (I was disappointed as St. Louis was doing so many great things and I felt should be a leader among Regions not a follower). Peter also didn't read the letter and replied that I should never again tell him how to vote. I never told him how, but to vote. I find it funny that now Peter wants to be in an office where everyone in the Division will be telling him how to vote (including me). If he takes the position of never tell me how to vote to the National Board we will have an other three years with no representation on the National Board.
I do not know Peter as well as I do Mike. I wonder why that is as Mike is also from the far side of the Division. I met him at races, conventions (both divisional and national). Why would I have not met Peter at the same type of events? Again for me Mike is the best person for the job and I still encourage everyone to vote for him.
Bruce (Lost in Kansas) Bettinger

October 15 10:57 p.m.

Today we found our SCCA Area 6 Election ballots in the mail box. They are blue ballots in a white envelope. Ballots must be returned to the auditors by November 15th. Therefore - its a great idea to vote as soon as you get your ballot and put it back in the mail. Regardless of which candidate you support - I heartily encourage you to vote. It's one of the benefits of your club membership. There are around 3,400 members of Area 6 ... usually only about 15-20% of the members vote. Wouldn't it be great if this year we could have that voting percentage near 50%? Thanks for reading, Kelley Huxtable

October 15 11:20 p.m.

Wow, seems like a lot of politicking in a non profit organization. Nice to know that the middiv website that couldn't publish midiv results is now our source for information. And why did the SCCA fire the President?
Jim Harrison
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:24 am

Postby Eileen » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:25 pm

October 16....til noon

October 16 8:10 a.m.
Jim you beat me to it. :) Everyone's friend is the better candidate. Whichever candidate has the most friends wins. It's just like the government. It's always just like the government.

I have a strong dislike for all the "this guy did THIS and that other guy did what now??" crap. Everyone has access to mostly the same information and can make an educated decision about who to vote for if they so choose. I'm not trying to discount anyone's opinion but you have no influence on me, and hopefully not on anyone else who is capable of thought. If it turns into an argument fistfight of words, all the debaters end up doing is making each other mad and chasing people away.

I hear enough of it in the news. I really don't want to have to start sifting through it for the sportscar club.

Just my $0.02. :)

-Eric Brown

October 16 9:04 a.m.

Which of them participates in more of Solo 2 program? It could be a narrow view of the SCCA, but honestly, that is all I do with the SCCA right now and so really all I care about is how much time and effort the candidate is going to put into the Solo2 program.

Dylan Smith

October 16 9:27 a.m.

Neither candidate is involved in solo 2. It doesn't exist any more. I know Peter as RE of St.Louis must have been involved with solo as they have been working very hard to rebuild their Region and that can't be done with out solo. I have no idea about his personal involvement. I do know that a lot of racers (which Peter is) simply don't have time for other parts of our Club. The race car seems to take up all the spare time there is. Add to that the fact that Peter is also a RE with the time that takes he may not be as involved with solo as we would like. When he ran for the Director's job he did not contact me as Divisional Rally Steward to see what that part of the Club needed and I doubt he contacted the Solo Stewart either.
Mike is also primarily a racer. He did take the time and spend the effort to go to the Solo Nationals. He has been trying to become more intimate with all parts of our Club to listen and react to their needs. I think Mike is and will become more well rounded and that is one of the reasons I recommend him as the best pick.
Bruce (Lost in Kansas) Bettinger

October 16 9:35 a.m. Eric,

This may define the difference between members that joined the Club when you did and those that joined when I did. When I did we didn't have the internet and e-mail so we had to depend on personal experience and the advise from people we trusted. Now the whole world is open to you and as a reasonably smart person you can gather all the facts you need to make the correct pick. Your way is faster and I hope better because that the world today. The reassuring thing is that everything on the internet is true.
Bruce (Lost in Kansas) Bettinger

October 16 9:39 a.m.

Our Solo program in St. Louis has its own minor issues like any other, but as far as I know, Peter and his region board have done exactly the right thing – supported the Solo committee 100% without meddling. You probably saw part of that with whatever this vote thing at Midiv was about.
Peter is a very outgoing guy and very committed to our region. He tends to stay away from the them versus us BS and just tries to grow the region. He does attend a lot of Solo events locally, just to say hi.
I also know Mike and he is also a very good candidate. I don’t think you can go wrong either way, honestly.
Either way, please vote. A BoD rep might not effect what you do with the club today, but certainly will somewhere down the line.
--Dave Whitworth

October 16 9:40 a.m.

I had forgotten that they had gotten rid of the Solo and Solo2 stuff and just made it Solo, I must be getting old! Thanks for the clarification guys.

Dylan Smith

October 16 9:53 a.m.
It is all those club racing people who bring the drama to the organization, all of us solo and rallyx people are too easy going to participate!
LD (Lawrence Duty)

October 16 9:57 a.m.

For a while it can be fun.
Bruce (Lost in Kansas) Bettinger

October 16 10:59 a.m.

Funny. I can recall several members that left the Wichita Region & went to Salina because of DRAMA in the Solo program.
DRAMA- Welcome to today's Society.

Andrew Timmons

October 16 11:15 a.m.


Out of curiosity, when was this?


October 16 11:20 a.m.

Probably 8-11 years ago.

Andrew Timmons
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:24 am

Postby Eileen » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:26 pm

October 16....from noon on

October 16 2:29 p.m.

Giving equal time here to Mike West....I sent him the message thread and he picked up on me saying I didn't know him very well and has responded.
Eileen, I announced my candidacy in March of this year and have made it a point to attend as many events (club racing and solo) across the division as my schedule would allow. I personally asked as many members as possible for their thoughts and ideas. I’ve also sent email inquiries to all the members and also to the division’s leaders (MiDiv Council, Reg. Execs., Asst. Reg. Execs., Solo Safety Stewards, etc.) again asking for their thoughts and concerns. My goal has always been to represent all the members and their concerns on our national Board of Directors. Our Board member must represent the membership in every segment of our sport and I have over the years participated in all of them except Rally Cross.
You mentioned that you did not know much of my background. With your indulgence I’ve attached my SCCA resume (SCCA annually asks all the stewards and appointed officials for this information so the Board of Directors has an idea of the qualifications for those holding responsible positions at a national level).
Continuous Member since 1974
Membership: 50333
Awards and Recognitions
England-Stipe Award – Awarded annually to the member of the Mid-West Division Sports Car Club of America who has made the most outstanding long term contribution to the club and the sport. 2007
David Morrell Memorial Award – Presented to an active National Steward who has exhibited outstanding performance, dedication to the sport, and the highest principles. 2006

Court of Appeals (Chairman – 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012) 2005-2007; 2010-2012

Executive Steward, Midwest Div. 2002-2003
Deputy Executive Steward, Midwest Division 1999-2001
Midwest Div. Training Coordinator for Stewards in Training 1999-2001

Mid South Secretary 2013
Mid South Member, Board of Directors 1999-2001
Mid South Member, Board of Directors 1992-1994
Mid South Race Chairman 1991-1992
Mid South Regional Executive 1991
Mid South Chief of Flag. & Comm. 1989-1990
Mid South Region (66) Asst. Reg. Executive & Solo Chair 1977

Regional and National Competition Licenses 1992-1994; 1998-2008;
National Flagging and Communications License 1988-1993
Reg./Div./Nat. Flagging & Communications License 1977-1982

National Steward 2009-2013
National Series Chief Steward 2004-2008
National Chief Steward 1997-2004
Divisional Chief Steward 1995-1996
Divisional Steward 1994
Steward in Training 1993

October 16 3:19 p.m.

Thanks Eileen, That was nice of you.

Bruce (Lost in Kansas) Bettinger

October 16 4:01 p.m.

I asked Mike about the Midiv which has seen severe reductions in participation and below is his answer.

Sent from my iPhone – Jim Harrison

Begin forwarded message:
From: "Michael West"
Date: October 16, 2013 at 10:56:04 AM MST
To: "'Jim Harrison'"
Subject: RE: Mike West for SCCA Board of Directors, Area 6
I’ve asked my solo guys (Mid-South) why we haven’t held a Divisional event in the recent past and get lots of answers. The most common response is that we’re way down in the corner and the distance is possibly too great for competitors from the West and NW parts of the division. That leads me to believe the major impediment right now is the cost of travel. If we have an event at Lincoln (site of this year’s divisional championship) it’s a long drive/tow from Mississippi, Mid-South, Arkansas. And if the event is say at Blytheville (former SAC base in Blytheville, AR) it’s a major trip for Nebraska, Des Moines, Wichita competitors.
What I would like to see and will work toward is finding a way to reinvigorate the Divisional championship as a way to ensure our regional programs remain strong and grow. We have some spectacular sites that are hosting national events (Lincoln, Blytheville). Can we, should we be incorporating a divisional event into those events? Another thought is to look and see if there are sites that kind of meet in the middle that would make the trip easier and encourage more to participate. An additional thought is associating a divisional event with a club race. Both Kansas City and St. Louis have space at their respective tracks for a solo while the club race is in progress and have been hosting them. Memphis Int. also has potential space for a solo while the road course is in use. When we can all get together and play, it builds strength for our entire club.
As with most problems, there is no easy answer. But knowing and accepting we need to work to keep it going is half the battle. I’m willing to listen and entertain ideas, thoughts, suggestions, and even “pie in the sky notions.”
Thanks for your inquiry and desire to see our sport continue to flourish.
October 16 4:56 p.m.

To all concerned......

I'd like to see these messages on the MiDiv forums for ALL of the MiDiv/Area 6 members to see because you're getting some great responses.

So....I'll start a thread or two at MiDiv and I would appreciate EVERYONE carrying on the discussions there.

I feel this is the best way to benefit all of the MiDiv members....and make life a little easier for Mike and Peter.

Once the threads are up, I would appreciate it if each region would then direct your members to the conversations/messages in the MiDiv forums.

Thanks to everyone and especially Wichita for getting the conversation started!

Eileen Waters

October 16 5:05 p.m.

What I'd like to see are the lines that Rocky supposedly read between causing him to reach that flawed conclusion.

"Read between the lines of Zekert's campaign card and it says "let's keep doing things the way we've always done." Seriously? You got that from HIS campaign card?!?
Here's a link to his campaign card copy: http://www.scca.com/about/?cid=51657 (pasted below for your convenience) I defy ANYBODY with any common sense to show me where he comes off as a "let's keep doing things the way we've always done." kind of candidate. If anything, he comes off as someone that wants change for the better. I'm confident that once the actual lines are read and not between them, you'll have to change your view. No reading with the same glasses Obama reads with...

Peter is the reason I'm still a member of the SCCA and still a member at large on the StL BOD. This tripe I've been reading in this thread has reminded me of why I want OUT of the SCCA. Peter IS...and this is my EDUCATED opinion and without reading between ANY lines, the best choice. READ THE LINES, NOT BETWEEN THEM. It's white space between the lines (black in the case of Peters card). You can make up any kind of BS you want by reading between the lines. Considering what he's been able to do in one short year on the StL board is reason enough to know he's not a member of the Good Ole Boys club like I'm seeing here, or a "lets keep doing it the same way kind of guy".

A vote for Peter is a vote for moving the SCCA in the correct direction to ensure it's future relevancy.

Tim Weatherford

October 16 5:38 p.m.

And there's a few who went to the KS region....

Robert Foster / '05 MCS

October 16 6:20 p.m.

It is worth noting that this was long enough ago that most of the leadership that supposedly cause the turmoil is no longer in charge or even nearby. People who changed regions but stayed in the area owe it to themselves to attend Wichita events now.

Mike – Conekiller75

October 16 6:23 p.m.

I agree. Besides I don't see the validity of it as an excuse to leave since you can just ignore all of it and attend events if you want. Maybe it is an excuse to quit for those who are burned out...

Eric Brown

October 16 7:01 p.m.

I don't see anybody on the national Salina membership report that lives in the Wichita area, except for one who is on the KSU FSAE team. I guess those folks moved on. We have depended on Wichita folks entering our events, but it seems everybody is traveling less.

I joined SCCA (Salina Region) 15 years ago. I actually live closer to Yoder than Salina, and have usually attended events in both regions.

Bill Dayton

October 16 7:18 p.m.

Interesting read on Dahnert being fired...

Robert Foster / '05 MCS
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:24 am

Postby Eileen » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:27 pm

October 17....

October 17 5:39 a.m.


Did you mean to post this or something else?



October 17 7:03 a.m.

Dang, missed the copy paste.....that's it Keith, thanks.

Robert Foster / '05 MCS

October 17 7:13 a.m.

Don't you think, as paying members, that we should know why he was let go?


October 17 7:17 a.m.
I was thinking that this morning... Since we are a club, it seems pretty ridiculous that there wouldn't be an honest reason as to why.
If it was for some BS reason then fine, but don't lie about it. Communicate why it happened. Based on one article on the internet, it sounds like the guy did the club a lot of good. What went wrong?

October 17 7:20 a.m.
As I was hunting for this I came across a forum post that stated there was a confidentiality agreement. I guess we'll have to wait a couple of days until someone comes out and says something and the whole story is exposed. Usually in a bad light.
Keith Pfautz

October 17 7:23 a.m.
That's ridiculous. We are a non-profit organization, and I think we deserve to know what happened to the guy who seemed to be heading our club in the right direction.

October 17 7:35 a.m.

Yep, that article did nothing but praise the guy that got fired. So where's the article from the other side of the fence?

Guy Roberts

October 17 10:27 a.m.

Sorry Guy and all the rest of us, we will probably never know. Unless you know some one on the National Board who is ready to come forward with the true story you and the rest of us will be left in the dark. Jeff is most likely bound by a clause in his contract to remain quite and our National Board doesn't like we lowly members to know what they are doing. I hope with the new members joining the National Board we will get them to start coming out of the back room as all the smokey back rooms are not healthy. Write an e-mail to Lisa and see what she says and believe what she tells you (oh and by the way I do have some land and a bridge to sell).
Bruce (Lost in Kansas) Bettinger

October 17 2:04 p.m.

About the only thing they might complain about is his travel budget: The guy was everywhere. Solo Nationals, Runoffs, other races, etc. If there was a chance to talk to the members, he always seemed to be there. Or maybe that was just Bob Tunnell (a common joke that Jeff used in the Solo community referring to their similar appearance).

And I too find it very troubling that the "official" SCCA press release says that he resigned, when they fired him.

David Avard

October 17 2:54 p.m.

At that level in the corporate world "resigned" is corporate-speak for "fired". Part of his job discription was to be at as many of our functions as possible (or if not it should be).
Bruce (Lost in Kansas) Bettinger
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:24 am

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