Accessibility Navigation

Jump to:

End of menu. Jump to Accessibility Menu

Main Content

Ron Sutton's Winner's Circle Closes Race Team Operations
2013/1/1 6:50

RSWC_logo.jpgEnding of a Chapter

Sacramento, CA - All good things must come to an end as the saying goes.  Ron Sutton and his talented team of people closed the Ron Sutton's Winner's Circle driver development program and nine race teams at the end of 2012. 

Ron stated, "This long economic turn down has been especially hard on racing sponsorships. When Dale Earnhardt Jr has a third of his races in 2013 unsponsored & top drag racer John Force loses Ford & Castrol ... you can imagine how much smaller operations have been affected.  We simply couldn't continue to race at the high level of performance we were known for ... with only half the normal sponsorship funding." 

Long_Star_Midget_Team.jpgRon continued, "I am so very proud of all the great people involved that helped build these winning race teams & driver development program.  We felt, as most people familiar with us did, that we built the most comprehensive driver development program to date, with 30 winning race teams in road racing, open wheel and stock cars, the 29 career training classes with top instructors, a dozen veteran driver coaches plus a full marketing & PR program.

If the economy had came back sooner, we could have been able to survive the downturn.  It just lasted too long for us to hold out financially.  So like thousands of other businesses in this bad economy, we closed the doors.  But this is just one of many chapters in my racing career. 

People found we operated our business with integrity, and the staff & I committed to closing the business with integrity too ... taking care of everyone involved with RSWC & Star ... and going out knowing we did the right thing. 

Long_Star_Mod_Team.jpgMy staff & I worked hard to wind the company down in an orderly fashion ... sell off all our racing assets ... and took care of all the people we had relationships with, including client families, vendors & lenders.   Med__21_Star_Mod.jpg

We are sad to be exiting the sport of oval track racing, but proud to be doing so not owing anyone money. We want to say thanks to all our friends & supporters. Your hundreds of messages & actions are much appreciated. 

Med_K_N_Midget_Keegan.jpgIt has been an interesting, fun & rewarding journey.  RSWC had a great run with young drivers we developed testing with Cup Teams in 2009 (Roush & Gibbs). They didn't have sponsorship and the economy had just turned bad.  Prior to that, drivers didn't need to bring sponsorship. We just missed the timing of the economy. 

Med_Joey_Licata_Daytona.jpgDrivers we developed from 2009 through 2012 were focused on getting big sponsors we could take to Cup Teams. Joey Licata Jr almost won Daytona in the Penske's ARCA development team (CMS). 

So far, five of our drivers have made it up to NASCAR's K&N Pro Series, two in ARCA, one to NASCAR Camping World Trucks &  we introduced our first major sponsor to Roush Fenway Racing & Joe Gibbs Racing in 2012 ... signing with Joe Gibbs racing for 2013.  I have four young stars that I am still advising on the next steps for their careers. 

Med_Randy_Jeff_Oleen_Win.jpgI was fortunate to have a great friend along for the ride.  Randy Chastain was there from day one until the very end.  The stories we tell range from scary to hilarious.  Some can not be told during family hour.  My passion ... and Randy's passion ... was seeing young drivers learn, grow, develop, improve and achieve successes.  The wins were good, but we enjoyed seeing these young people learn and become capable of winning, more than the winning. 

Med_Modifeds_Star_Banner.jpgThe wins themselves were just report cards on the students' progresses. The overwhelming amount of messages of support from hundreds & hundreds of great people in the sport has been very special. The emails, texts & calls from friends around the corner and all over the country expressing care & concern ... and that we will be missed ... means the world to all of us that were a part of Ron Sutton's Winner's Circle.  

Med_Romano_Focus_Champ.jpgAs you may expect, we all went through a range of emotions at the closing.  My team was living the dream ... working in the sport they love ... racing with talented young drivers ... helping them learn and develop ... and winning races.  I had to chuckle that our team was upset we didn't get to 500 wins.  We were close at 498 main event wins & 22 Championships.  The last year (2012) wasn't our race team's best year ... with only 3 wins ... where we won 18 races in 2011 and 24 races in 2010. 

I feel very fortunate to have been in racing for 35 years ... built many wonderful relationships ... and had the chance to race competitively most years. But more than the wins, I really treasure many of the relationships that developed over the years.  These will provide us with great heartfelt memories for years to come, and those are the ones we will focus on.  I'm not done by any means.  There are many more chapters to write. We're just closing out this chapter. 

Thanks for the memories, Ron & Kim Sutton

Some fun photos from the past few years ...

clarkmedium3.jpgrunyanmedium.jpgMed-M-Hill-FF1.jpgMed_RSWC__7____21_GAMs.jpgMed-Joey-Licata-ASA-Truck.jpgMed_RSWC_Midgets.jpgMedium-Porter-FFCar-Flag.jpgMed-Focus-Race-Action.jpglicatamedium7.jpgMed-Brunelli-Trophy-Dash-Wi.jpgMed-Beau-DeBard-Trophy.jpgMed_BMR__20_Napa.jpgMed-Ian-Team-Trophy.jpgMedium-Porter-Bobby-Strappi.jpgMed_Chris_Keller_Natl_Champ.jpgMedium_Juan_StockCar.jpgMedium-Porter-Bobby-&-John-.jpgMed_Jace_Meier_Win2.jpgclarkmedium1.jpgMed_Bobby_Runyan__9.jpgMed-Jessica-Brunelli.jpgMed_Tony_Hunt_1.jpgMedium_Benny_StockCar1.jpgMedium_Benny__3_Crew_in_WC2.jpgMed-A-Schuttte-FF1.jpgMedium-Porter-FF-Grid.jpgMed_Romano_w_Trophy_Girl.jpgMed_Ron.jpgMed-T-Merrill-FC3.jpgMedi-Nik-in-Winners-Circle.jpgMedium_Porter_Smith_21.jpgMedium_Benny_StockCar_Rig.jpgMedium-Bobby-Western-States.jpgMed_Jace_Meier_56.jpgMedium_Porter_Smith_WC.jpgMedium-Memo-Coaching-Merril.jpgMed__21_Modified.jpgMedium_Ron_Benny.jpgMedium_Randy___Ron_2.jpgMed-Ian-Team-Kissing-Bricks.jpg walmermedium3.jpgromanomedium1.jpgMedium-McAnally-StockCar.jpgMed-Drivers-Team-Reps-3.jpgMed-Drivers-Team-Reps-Car.jpgMed-truck-girls-1_1.jpgMed_Store_Display_24.jpgMed_Store_Display_15.jpgMed_Store_Display_32.jpgMed_Store_Display_33.jpgMed__21_K_N_Modified__Star_.jpgMedium-Memo-Coaching-Mike.jpgMed-Jace-at-Irwindale.jpgMed-Focus-Midget.jpgMed_Romano_Team_Win.jpgMed-Jace-Vegas-Win2.jpgMed-Bobby-Grewohl-win.jpgMed-Benny-Ron-Crew-Chief.jpgMed_Beau_DeBard_SkippyCar.jpgMed_Bobby_G___Paul_Trophy.jpghelmuth___Medium2.jpgMed-M-Hill-FF2.jpgMed_BobbyG_TrophyGirls.jpgMed-Pushy-Car.jpgMed-Daniel-Alder-Win-1_1.jpgClark___Medium2.jpgMed-Focus-Race-Action2.jpgMed-Joey-Licata-Win.jpgMedium-Jace-in-Winners-Circ.jpgMed_Randy_Chastain_Trevor_H.jpgkrzysikmedium1.jpgcotemedium1.jpghuntmedium3.jpgMed_James_Edens.jpgMed_Jessica_Clark__44b.jpg

End of page contents. Jump to Accessibility Menu