A friend of mine from grade school, John Strand, went to take in an Outlaw kart race in Knoxville, TN, back in 2004.
He saw a racer that day that blew him away. This racer drove smoother, cleaner and faster than anyone else on the track; he won the 500cc open (adult) class as well as the 250cc class – where they started him in the back in a 125cc kart.
He wanted to talk with this driver and was shocked to meet a 4 foot tall, 12-year-old boy named Kyle Larson.
John was so impressed that he hustled back to his employer, ParkerStore, and put together a sponsorship package. It wasn’t a ton of money, but by 2014, ParkerStore began sponsoring Kyle at the Truck and Xfinity levels. It turns out that racing sponsorships are a natural fit for ParkerStore.
It has paid off this year. A couple of days ago, Kyle won the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at Michigan. Several weeks ago, Kyle won the XFINITY race at Dover in a ParkerStore sponsored car:
John Strand knows racing talent; he’s been around it all of his life, going back to the 1979’s when he helped a young Todd Elmer paint his Polaris snowmobile in custom colors because he knew Todd was a great talent as well.
As the Inc.com article says: “When you spot a talented job candidate or identify a talented employee, take a chance. Bet on your experience and judgment. You may just find your superstar.”
Congratulations John – I always knew you had a great eye!