Birthday? No. Appointment? No. Anniversary? Um, yeah, actually. But whose?
I'll tell you whose: Vermont Motorsports Magazine's!
That's right, one year ago today this little space was launched into the world for all to see. With a business model in place, but no real plan of action other than to take it one day at a time, VMM became the next joiner-upper in the long line of fledgling attempts at auto racing journalism. While we're not sure whether or not we've done a good job, we are still around, and we know that we have at least two or three fans.
Guys, gals, kids, from the bottom of my heart I simply can not thank you all enough.
Everyone has a dream, and being an auto racing writer has been mine since I was eight years old. I used to read the works of Dr. Dick Berggren, Bones Bourcier, Ken Squier, Lew Boyd, Dave Moody, Karl Fredrickson, Joyce Standridge, Pete Zanardi, Don Fillion, Pete Hartt, Mal Boright, Mark Thomas, Tom Herzig, and so many more, and I treated them as gospel. I had my heroes on the race track, of course, but I had so much respect and admiration for the people that got to tell their stories, and I wanted to be one of them.
I started posting on message boards and in chat rooms at about age 13, weaseled my way into a couple of writing jobs at 17, started working for the Amercian-Canadian Tour -- which, in my own opinion, biased or unbiased, is the most professional sanctioning body in short track racing -- at age 20, and eventually decided in the interest of my long-term goals and for the future of my family, to branch out on my own at 25, and I landed here.
It's been a weird ride, but it's one I would take over and over again, exactly the same way. I've been so fortunate to have met and worked with not only my racing heroes, but many of my writing heroes as well. I've seen some outstanding races (and some real clunkers), I've met an amazing number of wonderful people, I've told stories, I've shared opinions that have made people laugh, cry, get mad, or change their own opinion, I've been invited to report for television and radio, and, although I've heard that it's a no-no in the journalism business, I've made a lot of very good, close, trusted friends.
Well, I wasn't raised to not make friends with people, so too bad.
I know I did this in "The Juice" back in October, but I again want to thank all of the promoters and staff of the tracks in the area that have allowed me to work at their events and treated me so well, the drivers, crews, sponsors, and families of the hundreds of race teams I've covered, the advertisers that have believed in and supported Vermont Motorsports Magazine (RPM Racing Engines, Subway, Burnett Scrap Metals, C&S Screenprinting, and "Fifty Years of Excitement"), my own family and friends, and, of course, YOU! There would be no reason to do this if it wasn't supported, and it's all thanks to, as of this morning, all 83,000+ of you.
As a means of looking back on our first complete year, we have compiled our favorite quotes collected throughout the year and will be posting them periodically today. The quotes have been divided into six themes: Goals, Guts, Losing, Winning, Change, and The Love of the Game. As far as we're concerned, those six things are what racing is all about, and we've heard all about them from some of the best in the business.
There are a lot of big plans in store for VMM in 2010, including expansion from this little Blogger page into a full website, so stay tuned, and thanks again for the continued support of this project. Everyone has a dream, and Vermont Motorsports Magazine is mine. Because of you, I'm getting to live it.
--Justin St. Louis, Vermont Motorsports Magazine