Silver Mixes Business with Pleasure at Summer Shootout
While some Charlotte-area business executives may slip out of the office early on a summer afternoon for a round of golf, employees of Concord-based Racing Electronics know their president and CEO, Bruce Silver, is enjoying a bit faster form of entertainment when he leaves early.
Silver is among the more than 200 racers who compete each Tuesday night in the 15th annual Quaker Steak & Lube Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"Racing is so much more fun than playing golf," Silver said about his unique way of mixing business and pleasure.
Silver started Racing Electronics, a manufacturer and supplier of racing communication products and accessories, 20 years ago when he learned about a growing demand among race teams for reliable two-way communication equipment.
Today, Racing Electronics offers a complete line of communication equipment for drivers, pits crews and fans, including a variety of scanners and the popular Sprint FanView. The company has stores in Concord and Pleasantville, N.J., and its trailers can be found at most major motorsports events across the country.
With the typical demands of running a thriving business, Silver believes it is important to make time for relaxation.
"I put a lot of time into my business and because of that I have to make some free time for me," he explained. "I think the Legends Car program is an outstanding way for a man like me to have a great time."
This is Silver's sophomore season in the Quaker Steak & Lube Summer Shootout where he competes in the Coke Classic Legends Car Masters division which features drivers ages 40 and over. His No. 53 Legends Car is prepared and maintained by Kyle Beattie Racing.
Silver credits a lot of his initial Legends Car training to SPEED Channel broadcaster and longtime series participant Bob Dillner.
"Bob said, 'Monday nights we practice and Tuesday nights we race.'
And I said, 'What do I need to practice for? I just want to run the car around,'" recalled Silver, who quickly learned he didn't know as much about racing as he thought.
"I understood the business of racing and what we do, but I didn't understand it from the driver's seat. I'm learning and I've still got a long way to go," he added. "It's much different than getting in and just going around really fast. When you have 28 race cars all trying to get to the same corner first, it offers a very unique viewpoint."
Many of the younger drivers in the Quaker Steak & Lube Summer Shootout hope to use the series as a stepping stone to an auto racing career. For those like Silver, it's simply an opportunity to have fun, but he admits it can get pretty competitive on the track.
"I have to go to work tomorrow, so I can't afford to drive it too hard and make some silly maneuver that's going to put me out of commission," Silver said. "This is my hobby, I know I'm not going to do this much beyond what I'm doing here."
Even though he lives on a golf course, Silver hasn't played since he began racing a Legends Car. "I just plain hate golf," he concluded.
The Quaker Steak & Lube Summer Shootout runs each Tuesday night through Aug. 12.
Admission is just $7 for adults. Children 6-12 are admitted for $3 and kids under 6 are free. Tickets are available in advance at the speedway ticket office and at Gates 4 and 5 the night of the event. Parking is free.
Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with preliminary action at 5:15 p.m. Feature racing begins at 7:30 p.m.
For information, visit http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/summershootout/ or call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.