Time to induct a couple of well deserving individuals into the Racingkc.com Hall of Fame. Most Hall of Fames have a form to complete and they ask questions like what role the nominee was involved in racing, such as a racer, a promoter, an announcer, a mechanic, etc. These inductees have raced, have been on radio, have run a website and built a few websites, have successfully promoted a racetrack, have announced races, worked for touring series, served as officials, yes you could say they have done it all. Sometimes they have led the way and others followed, sometimes they have followed knowing when to play copycat, but above all they have been successful in the world of racing.
I can tell you one of their ventures provided me many hours of angst several years ago. I would sit behind my computer write a response and then, and then, and then, choose to take the high road and hit delete. Felt better, at least the computer knew how I felt, but anyway back to these well deserving individuals.
When Marc Olson talked Ted Carlson into putting dirt over the asphalt at Lakeside Speedway it opened the door for one of the best teams in racing history. Yes, many call the early 2000s some of the best days of racing because of the team at Lakeside Speedway. Three distinct class of cars, none looking similar to the other, and a show that usually ran in 2.5 to 3 hours. The individuals being inducted into the Racingkc.com Hall of Fame were part of that team.
These gentlemen got started in racing at Thunderhill Speedway. They had a passion for racing which led to a radio show in Topeka Kansas. Before we had social media as we know it today we had websites with forum boards. These boards were a great place to hide behind a keyboard and fake name (maybe they deserve credit for the start of fake news, such pioneers). In the late 90s, early 2000s, if you wanted news, confirmed or otherwise, the place to head was InthePits.net, the number one site for racing news in the area at the time. Yes, the creators of the original local social media site, John and Junior Lowrey are our inductees into the Racingkc.com Hall of Fame.
When the late Bob Libbey left for the warm (according to Bob hot) confines of Arizona, Marc Olson turned to John Lowrey to be the announcer. John was the Lakeside Speedway announcer from 2006 through 2012, when Olson sold the track. Junior was behind the scenes preparing a B Mod to race and creating websites for numerous race car drivers and their teams. Occasionally, John would voyage out and announce for the Midwest Late Model Racing Association (MLRA) and the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS). John loved working for Harriet and the MLRA, loved the Late Models. Junior, besides the radio show, has also served the racing community as the track announcer at Thunderhill Speedway.
Also, in 2006 the Lowrey Brothers became the promoters for Heartland Park Topeka Dirt Track, racing on Sunday night following the Lakeside Speedway rules (copycats). Wow two tracks with the same rules, what a novelty of thought putting the racers needs ahead of themselves. Their hard work put Heartland Park Topeka Dirt Track on the map, the pits were full and the stands were too, for a Sunday night fun race night. Unfortunately, success can get in the way sometimes and the Lowrey brothers and track owner Raymond Irwin made the decision to part ways. The Lowreys returned to promoting Heartland Park when a new owner, Chris Sale, was found for the track.
For a few years inthepits.net was home to my blog and last check several of my stories can still be found on this website. As the years have passed and racing has changed at one point or another we must move on from the sport we love! We are after all just caretakers for a short time. John would return to announce at Lakeside Speedway in 2015 through last season. Junior has taken a stronger position in family activities. During their active years they were a force in our local racing community, working behind the scenes moving the sport forward. Now they are returning to the role we all started, that of race fan. I look to see them at a race track near us watching the races they choose to attend, in the meantime, THANK YOU John and Junior for your contribution to our sport. As a side note, John stated this sport and their work brought the brothers closer together as family – Congratulations John and Junior on your induction into the Racingkc.com Hall of Fame.