A chronicle of the first year of Bang Racing: Exploring the team's experiences in the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. By: Thomas Chemris Part 1: Bang racing Embarks On Its First Season Alex Meshkin has a resume similar to most Fortune 500 ...
A chronicle of the first year of Bang Racing: Exploring the team's experiences in the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
By: Thomas Chemris
Part 1: Bang racing Embarks On Its First Season
Alex Meshkin has a resume similar to most Fortune 500 CEO'S.
He parlayed investments in the stock market to raise start up capital for a new Internet company, Surfbuzz. Surrounding himself with some of the countries brightest marketing executives to grow the firm into a multi-national development group specializing in software and technology applications.
With such a successful track record, the assumption could be made that Meshkin hails from the likes of Harvard, MIT or Wharton, but in reality he successfully built his company between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two, just out of High School.
Meshkin has now taken the same formula for success and applied it to the world of Motorsports with the debut of Bang Racing.
At age twenty-three, he is the youngest team owner in NASCAR, and after speed weeks in Daytona, heads turned as veteran drivers, owners and crew chiefs realized this team is for real.
Utilizing a familiar business plan, Meshkin began his journey into Motorsports by acquiring a marketable product. He signed on as one of the start-up teams for Toyota Racing Development and it's launch of the Tundra into The Craftsman Truck Series.
He then surrounded himself with the best and brightest with the likes of Larry McReynolds, and former and current series Champions Mike Skinner and Travis Kvapil.
Add to the mix solid sponsorship from Line-X and Toyota, and the group was poised to assemble tops teams and make its mark at the season opener.
In a sport that has seen many new owners who have more money than brains, Meshkin, as with most things he has done in his life appear to be the exception.
Qualifying third for the Florida Dodge Dealers 200 at Daytona, Kvapil scored a runner up finish, while Skinner, who qualified fourteenth finished twenty-eighth after being caught up in a multi-truck wreck mid way through the event.
"I don't believe we had any surprises at Daytona", noted Meshkin. "We knew we had two good teams and two great drivers. The only surprise was having Mike Skinner's number Forty-Two Toyota Tundra involved in the accident that eventually took him out of the race. But regardless, I was very pleased with both team's performances."
Bang Racing is committed to the Truck Series through 2006. Many would argue that is enough to keep the team busy while learning the ropes as the "new kids on the block".
Once again proving that he is ready to break all the rules Meshkin and company announced before the Daytona event that with support from internet giant Ebay, the team would field a part time cup effort during the second half of 2004, and a full time effort for the 2005 season.
"We're thrilled to have ebay become an associate sponsor in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and support a young entrepreneurial team's entrance into the Nextel Cup, NASCAR's premier series," said the young owner.
Not a small accomplishment. Taking into consideration that there is a current sponsorship crisis in NASCAR's premier series. It is expected that 2004 will mark the first time in years that there will be less that forty-three entries at some events, and the controversy of field fillers is already an issue. Established teams like Roush Racing and Ultra Motorsports cannot find full time sponsorship for proven winners Jeff Burton and Jimmy Spencer.
A first year team with no Cup experience scoring a multi-year sponsorship with a major company is well beyond the norm of traditional racing business.
But with Alex Meshkin, nothing is traditional.
In a sport where many drivers lament that it is better to be "lucky than good", Bang Racing is proving their success has nothing to do with luck.