Every major sport has a grassroots program that has allowed many to participate with a few select individuals reaching the pinnacle of success. These sports have very delineated pathways to the professional levels. Many kids have played little league baseball, Pop Warner football, volleyball, soccer, and basketball. Many continue to play these sports in middle school and high school. Naturally, as you reach the collegiate level, the numbers participating drops significantly and only a few are selected to participate in the professional leagues. However, as these kids participate in the various sports programs during their teen years, they, their team and their sport are promoted through the school paper, local newspaper, radio broadcast and, depending upon the size of the community, local television. Once they reach the college level, the promotion of the sports program and the individual members of the team grows even further. In many situations the coverage becomes regional and national.
The Grassroots Racing Show and Night at the Races turn local racers like this Deer Creek S
Those involved in auto racing have a much more difficult task. There is no set promotional structure and even some major national touring series struggle for media coverage in the face of the juggernaut that is NASCAR. At the local level teams are comprised of family and maybe a few friends. While people helping those teams know the type of money and commitment it takes to field a car at the local track, most of them toil away and race in obscurity. While many in the community can tell you the score of the high school football or basketball game last night they have no idea who won at the racetrack. In some areas, local residents are surprised to learn there even is a racetrack in their town.
In a four state region in the Midwest, the "Grassroots Racing Show" strives to fill that void. As Doug Thompson puts it, the show is owned by the Good Lord and Doug and Connie Thompson. His brainchild, inspired by a deep faith, the Grassroots Racing Show is a weekly motorsports program that concentrates its programming for the local grassroots racing fan and promotes the local racer and racetrack.
The show airs weekly on the Eagle Cable Communications System across Kansas and is filmed at the Kansas Auto Racing Museum in Chapman, Kansas. It's also broadcast on TVOK Network from Enid, Oklahoma, and is available online at www.grassrootsracing.org where fans can view both current and previous episodes.
In 2012, the show featured a 90 minute format divided into two programs that are essentially blended together. The first 30 minutes of the program concentrates on racing updates, human interest stories and technical information. The first segment also sets the stage for the second and remaining 60 minutes of the program which is the "Grassroots Racing Show—Night at the Track." To create this segment, the show's film crew has filmed the entire racing program at one of the local tracks in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, or Oklahoma. Thereafter, the footage is edited into a 60-minute program for distribution as part of the Grassroots Racing Show.
The Thompson brothers film the show in the laid back down home atmosphere of the Kansas Au
The show features co-host brothers Doug and Roger Thompson, both experienced racers. Doug raced Late Models on dirt, before migrating to asphalt and climbing into cars in both the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series and the Craftsman Truck Series. Roger raced Sprint Cars in the NCRA Series and Late Models. Each has won hundreds of feature events and track championships. They also own Whiskey Lake Raceway, a 3/8-mile track located between Manhattan and Junction City, Kansas, at Ft. Riley.
Circle Track first met Doug Thompson during last year's AMSOIL Great American Circle Track Tour. That's when Bob Bolles took a side trip to the Kansas Racing Museum where he met Thompson who among his many accomplishments is also credited with developing the Mini Stock class which over the years has evolved into one of the most common Saturday night divisions in oval track racing today.
Racing divisions aside, Thompson is passionate about the television show, "I like the 'Grassroots Racing Show' and 'Night at the Track.' Both shows highlight the local racers in a four-state area. We have excellent at track film crews who provide professional interviews and racing footage." Thompson said. "If I was sitting at home flipping channels and came across the 'Grassroots Racing Show' and 'Night at the Track' I would watch the program. The racing is excellent, film work is excellent and our at-track crew led by Mike Kraft does a broadcast quality job with the interviews."