Owners of Texas-based media entities the Revved Up Sports Show (RUSS) and RaceOnTexas.com have announced the first recipient of the newly-created Texas Short Track Promoter of the Year Award for 2020.
The news was announced during Wednesday's RUSS program.
Owen Pittman, General Manager of Texana Raceway Park in Edna is the recipient of this year's prestigious award.
Pittman and his staff transformed a track struggling with low car counts and fan attendance into a thriving, popular facility where "B" mains were often needed in qualifying during Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series events.
“This means a lot to me, and comes as a huge surprise,” Pittman said. “This state is full of great promoters. I worked hard at our place this year, just like all the other promoters did to keep racing alive. I think survival is key now. This is honestly very humbling to me.
“We all have the same passion and want the same results, to keep the sport growing if at all possible. Even with the pandemic this year, we saw growth across the board. What helps is that tracks are more aligned than ever right now, working together for one goal. I'm very grateful to receive this award.”
Pittman has an extensive background in the organizational and promotional side of the sport. Texana wasn't the first oval he's saved from extinction. His passion for racing has driven him for many years.
“I ran the old Corpus Christi Speedway for two years in the early 2000s,” Pittman explained. “Then I jumped into racing promotion with both feet and ran South Texas Speedway for the next 10 years after that. I had a good time at CC Speedway—the asphalt track was really fun for me and I enjoyed it a lot.”
As a man who travels statewide to work at races, Rodney Rodriguez knows chemistry when he sees it.
“Owen and his staff did some amazing things down there in Edna this year,” said Rodriguez, the founder and co-host at RUSS. “When you look at their car counts, steady crowds and a successful karting program that gets kids active in racing, I feel those efforts meet our criteria and are exemplary of great promotion.”
Members of the selection committee—each with many years of involvement in the racing industry—held their discussions in November to make nominations, deliberate and cast their votes. While there were lively discussions on several good candidates, the final vote count was undisputed.
“I thank the members of our committee for their hard work in this annual task,” RaceOnTexas.com owner Chris David said. “I know they put a lot of thought into it, and I feel they chose an excellent recipient. Owen has done a great job of rebuilding Texana Raceway in 2020 and deserves recognition for that.”
To follow the Revved Up Sports Show, go to revvedupsportsshow.com. To become a subscriber at RaceOnTexas.com and start enjoying some great live streaming action from tracks across Texas and neighboring states, go to raceontexas.com.