However, the story of how this came about can be a long one, with a lot of work done by a lot of people behind the scenes over a long period of time to get this event underway.
There are many faucets to every deal that is done, every driver that competes and to every race meeting that is conducted and it is for this reason that this will be a two parted story, with the second half to be published a little later today; just one of the many stories behind the sport we all love, Speedway.
One of the five Americans that is competing this year is none other than Jeff Roth, an experienced campaigner who is coming down under to compete along with teammate Joe Godsey in the twin USA#14 machines.
The set up for these two to complete in this tour though is a long story, having started some nineteen years ago, when Late Models were just getting off the ground here in Western Australia and the great Ray Godsey came over to compete.
Simon McNab tells more of the story:
“I contacted Joe (Godsey) earlier in the year,” he recounts, referring to 2017. “We have kept in touch for a few years now after initially losing contact upon his return to the States after his first foray here with his Grandfather Ray nearly two decades ago.”
In those formative years, Late Models were lucky enough to have some Americans come over to help the division in a number of ways, teaching the locals the ins and outs of the division and assisting with the development of the local cars, bringing equipment and assisting with setups. Those drivers included, apart from Godsey, Ron Miller, Rody and Todd Schroyer.
“Ron Miller and the Schroyers was a subsequent deal that worked well mainly because they bought all their gear with them,” recounts Simon. “Ray and Joe however had gear supplied by myself and Alan Nylander and all involved would have to admit it was substandard and didn’t allow them to fully showcase their abilities. It was a gallant attempt that failed and for me, putting it right has always been a wish.”
As has been detailed previously, Joe Godsey is now here in Western Australia and has even competed at the Perth Motorplex, getting laps under his belt at the Boxing Day Show, something that McNab is thrilled with.
“It is great to see Joe back here and competing,” he says. “Ray Godsey these days lives speedway through his grandson and will travel a few hours just to see him race. There is no doubt there is a special bond between these two and I think the timing of this trip is really special also.”
Indeed, Joe is driving a car as part of the Roth Motorsports team, alongside teammate Jeff Roth who has his own story to tell and is intent on getting some results as well as having a good time.
“Jeff and Randy Roth own Roth Motorsports,” says McNab. “They both drove for the team, but Randy has since stepped aside and Joe has his seat, which is why when I called, the whole team jumped at the chance to join us.”
When we say the whole team, we literally mean the whole team, with a large group making the trek to the land of Oz for this trip, such is the closeness of the entire Roth Motorsport team, something that we will touch on next.
Release by DTN Media.
Pics Courtesy Allan Baker.