The Thompson brothers show’s focus is 100 percent local racer.
Through the innovative use of in-car cameras the Grassroots crew brings Saturday night racing into living rooms throughout Kansas and beyond. "There is nothing boring about the racing. It is not follow the leader lap after lap and pass somebody in the pits. This is honest to goodness fender rubbing, bumper tapping, slide job, slingshot grassroots racing at its best."
Co-host Roger Thomspon stated, "I wish a show like this would have been available when I first started racing. It is fantastic exposure for the local racer. It gives the local racer a chance to showcase his/her racing to more than 730,000 households per week. What an excellent marketing tool for any local/regional race team."
The Grassroots Racing Show strives to bring the fender banging action into the room every
Dennis Weese of Eagle Cable Communications believes in what the Thompsons are trying to accomplish, "Roger and Doug are well known for their racing exploits. Doug and his wife own the Kansas Auto Racing Museum and he is an attorney and judge in our area. We thought the show would be a good fit to be the anchor program on our Eagle Cable System. It has exceeded our expectations and we are delighted with the quality of the program and the response from the viewing audience. We look forward to a long relationship with the GRS show."
The show production manager is Glenda Renz who is responsible for taking the racing action filmed by the crew and editing that footage into a 60 minute program which includes commercials.
The show is geared to bring the family friendly joy of short track racing to the forefront
"I wasn't a race fan when I started on the program but I am now," she says. "I am proud of the program. To me it is far more exciting than watching a NASCAR race on a Sunday afternoon. The GRS has Late Models, Sprint Cars, Midgets, World of Outlaws, MLRA, USMTS and a number of other series not normally viewed by the television audience. My boss tells me to show the best racing on the program. If it's the Late Model feature program, that's great, if it's the Street Stock or Hobby Stock feature that's the most exciting, then I highlight that race instead. Every local racer needs a chance to be on TV."
Renz added, "The Thompson brothers don't use a script. They know the racing game forwards and backwards and know just about everyone involved at any level in the sport. We do phone interviews with both the local racer or those involved at the higher end of the sport such as Bob Bolles of Circle Track or Dave Marcis, former NASCAR driver."
The Grassroots Racing website at www.grassrootsracing.org features commercials done on the show as well as bloopers and on-air blunders. Show owner Doug Thompson said, "There probably hasn't been two or three times in all of the shows that we have done a retake. I tell the crew, my co-host and those appearing on the show, "it is what it is, we are racers in front of the camera. We're not actors talking about racing. We are racers talking about our sport."
Thompson would love every track to see this kind of attendance and he says that promotion
For 2013 the show altered its format to a 60 minute program to accommodate a larger viewing audience. The first portion of the show will emmulate Sportscenter and concentrate on highlighting racing action from four or five tracks throughout a four state area. The rest of the program will continue to provide excellent racing footage from field reporter, Mike Kraft or David Chavarria with at-track interviews and in-car racing action.
In addition to the format change, the show will expand from its present television audience of 730,000 households to continue to broaden its base on the internet but also develop a radio program across the Eagle Communications, Inc. radio network.
Grassroots racing is the backbone of our sport. Without the support of the grassroots racers and fans there would be no major league racing. Manufacturers of racing products would not exist without the support of the thousands of grassroots racers purchasing racing products. Grassroots racers across the nation build the fan base audience for major league racing. Fans are interested in the sport by reason of its development at the local level.
The show will continue to concentrate on grassroots racing. Thompson is quick to point out that they are not interested in promoting the top levels of racing. Each of the major racing series has full access programming to promote their series. The grassroots racer has very little in the local or regional media. Many of the racers are very good but race in relative obscurity. In talking with him you can truly tell that he and his crew take their jobs very seriously and have a genuine passion for showcasing the grassroots racer. Perhaps their show could become a model for other areas of the country to promote the local racer.