After having her season opener at Kokomo Speedway this weekend cancelled due to weather, Jessica Bean took her Mel Kenyon, UAW Motorsports #100 midget to Anderson, Indiana. Jessica has been chosen to serve as an American Cancer Society Motorsports Champion and is promoting the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer awareness program. The #100 promoting the 100th Birthday of the American Cancer Society. Although I know she would’ve liked to finished 1st, she made a great debut of her 2013 season getting a 2nd place finish. It’s a great testament to her character after having a rough ending to her 2012 season plus an up and down preseason. Jessica hasn’t been just sitting still writing emails and posting on Twitter. She’s been busy with the construction of her new #9 Ignite Midget. She’s also been working hard to line up her sponsors for her 2013 Season. For all of you drivers out there, this is a testament to having a ‘Never Give Up’ attitude. It has a tendency to help us friends and fans wanting to get involved in the racing business as well.
In case you might be wondering why I’m doing sporting news results of Jessica Bean Racing. I made a small investment in Jessica Bean Racing. A sponsorship perhaps. It was somewhat accidental but there also is a thing about destiny or God providing connections to be made. I started following some drivers on Twitter last Summer. Slowly one after another I would see a retweet of someone and then follow them. I took interest in their discussions on racing but in particular evaluated what I could of their personalities and character. Very little in social media but it was a start. Words mean things so what was said on many topics and sometimes not said was very telling. Sometimes I could just get a sense of things in less than 144 characters of text. And so it was on a December day in 2012. I had found out about GoFundMe.com through messages Jessica sent out to everyone. I thought it was an interesting way for a driver to obtain finances to race. I thought I might do $25. Something Jessica wrote one day struck me. To this day I’m not sure why. But I felt a sense of urgency or disappointment. It seemed to me Jessica’s 2013 season was in question. I didn’t know if I was right or not. I went to the website, calculated the difference, calculated the cost, but most of all calculated the benefits to Jessica. A person who I had started to see as a hard worker and devoted to racing. I entered an amount equal to her goal. I clicked the mouse button and it was done. I then got on Twitter and suggested to Jessica that she check her GoFundMe site. Next thing I see is: “From bad to good in a blink of an eye!#unbelievable #blessed”. I guess I made a difference. In my line of work, seeing someone happy and healthy is a great reward. Making a difference is all that matters.
Of course soon the communication would naturally increase with Jessica. I was very honored to receive her autographed 2012 suit. Having nothing to do with racing as a buisness, I asked her if she would classify this as sponsoring, investing or just a buddy giving a few dollars. Her answer was classic. “All of the above”. One message would get the idea wheels turning. She wrote me,”if you have maybe a company or something that you would like to put on the side of the car and/or on my suit we can do that.” Logo? Business? My reply, “I don’t have a company, any ideas?” to which we both had a laugh at. It then hit me that if I wanted to do this again, I wanted to do so in an organized way. So I started thinking of getting into racing at least with a business name to promote drivers and my efforts to change how people look at race car drivers who are women. That they are a race car driver the same as all the rest in the field. That means they can finish first, last, not qualify, be a great prospect for a sponsor and team, or not have media on them at all if they are running 42nd. (or 32nd). It’s a catch 22 that I wrote of earlier. So I contacted an investment professional and started the process. I wrote up a business plan and created a ladder of sponsorship levels. I added to my sponsorship of Jessica to match that basic plan. I was heavy into the planning stages when some personal legal problems would put a hold to everything. I still created a logo for the car and gave it to Jessica asking her to just put my Twitter name on her suit. A business name is more desirable and I intend to continue but sometimes you just have to adjust and keep going. I hope to continue with the business idea and sponsor other drivers. But of course, finances will dictate how much.
Jessica kept going also. She had weekends being an instructor at Glass Hammer Racing Experience. She traveled to Daytona Speedway in Florida to the Daytona KartWeek and worked WKA’s social media/internet. She has been to the Skip Barber School of Racing at both the 17 turn, 3.7 mile famous Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida and the 2.54 mile, 12 turn Grand Prix circuit, Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia. Just before her first week of racing, she announced in an interview with Racing Diva Radio that she will be racing in the Skip Barber Summer Series. She has two dates set. June 20-23 at Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Florida, (the Spring Training home for the St. Louis Cardinals I might add) and July 3-7 at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, South Carolina. I have the utmost confidence that she will do very well. Plus she will have a fun and success in her Ignite and Mel Kenyon Midgets. In a way we both are going through some new prospects this Summer. I am but a small assistance amongst some great sponsors like Glass Hammer Racing, UAW Motorsports, Bell Racing, Radical Racegear, and Race4Girls.com just to name a few. I couldn’t have met with a better individual as a base to start from.
You can see Jessica Bean’s full schedule on the right side of this page or at JessicaBeanRacing.com