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Scooter Brothers may not be a household name to many of you but it should be. The President of Comp Cams, he was one of the first to recognize the “street legal” drag racing movement and was the president of the NMCA before he sold that sanctioning body. He partnered with Hot Rod Magazine to hold the first big time “street legal” races at Memphis Motorsports Park. The Comp Cams companies have been involved with NASCAR, NHRA, IRL and many other major auto racing series at the highest levels. Comp Cams and its other companies have always been major contingency sponsors returning millions of dollars to their customers over the years.
Mr. Brothers is the newly elected Chairman of SEMA. Last October, DRO Editor Jeff Burk had the chance to sit down with Mr. Brothers at his Comp Cams office in Memphis for a wide-ranging interview.
: I guess my first question would be is what do you see as your role as SEMA’s president and how does SEMA affect drag racing?
Scooter Brothers: Well, you know one of my criticisms with SEMA is that they don’t realize there’s any other kind of racing besides drag racing. The founders of SEMA basically were drag racers, and (NHRA) drag racing and SEMA kind of grew up together back in the ‘50s.
I think my challenge as the chairman of the board of SEMA is to direct the resources and energies of the association and its members to keep racing healthy, because healthy racing keeps the SEMA members healthy. So if racing and SEMA can both grow together then we can all stay healthy. So my role, more so than many people who have been very involved in SEMA, is to support and grow drag racing and all forms of racing. I am going to be much more intent about supporting all types of racing than some of them are. Because of my background and experience. I’ll probably be able to focus a little bit more on those specifics that most of those guys just let fly by.
: What can SEMA do to make racing in general better? We’re in tough economic times here; a lot of companies are having issues. How does SEMA go about helping those guys?
SB: Well one of the biggest things that comes to my mind right now is there’s a huge push within SEMA to encourage our members to take a kid to a race, or take a kid to a car show -- an awareness program with youngsters. That’s a seed that you have to plant at a young age with kids. Certainly we were all infected with it very young and it grew through our whole lives. And it’s a seed that you plant today that may not grow for several years, but for the long range health of racing, I think you need to get kids out and let them see what it’s all about. It’s a not a video game, it’s not Rock Band or some of these things they get themselves into, but if we can show them what it is, get them involved, that’s a great thing. Subsequent to that, I’m very involved with SEMA as far as their student outreach programs, and we do a lot of things with students -- high school, vocational, and university students -- to try and make them aware of our industry and the fact that we need young minds to come up with new products, and from a marketing standpoint to tell our story better and so forth. So, trying to get talent in the industry is, in my opinion, just as important as getting butts in seats at races.