As many of you know Speednet Direct since 2003 has been the choice to publish results for local racetracks. Before the 2003 season began Marc Olson handed me a compact disk with this race management program. I took it home and gave it a test run, and wow it was everything we had been looking for in a race management program and it was free except for the requirement to upload the race results to their website. Jerry Beetz, the software developer and Kevin Spiddle, the marketing guru for the software, had developed a marketing plan to give the software away and build a website which everyone could connect to see the race results for the tracks.
Jerry and Kevin could be found at all the various racing trade shows giving away the software, explaining how it worked, and taking testimonials. Having utilized the software for a year, Diana and I met up with them at the NASCAR Summit in 2004. We, along with the Wantlands, took them to dinner at Aunt Catfish restaurant in Port Orange, Florida. This connected us and led to many telephone conversations about the software. Working together we developed many of the add on features so tracks could personalize their needs.
Jerry was a great friend to talk with and he loved golf. Occasionally I would call him just to talk golf and not software. Unfortunately, my last conversation with Jerry was in February 2013. Jerry passed away on September 2, 2013, not only was I surprised but so was Kevin. Jerry’s passing left Speednet in a state of uncertainty, Kevin knew how the software worked but needed to find someone to replace Jerry. He did, he found another developer named Jerry in the same hometown of Jerry Beetz. Additionally, Kevin looked at possibly selling Speednet. We met for three hours in Daytona Beach at our condo and even invited Dan Robinson from Lucas Speedway to meet.
Several racing organizations wanted to purchase Speednet but to use it for their own series. Software firms looked at purchasing the software but they would have rewritten the program, taken the individual touch out, and charged track owners for every phone call, every tech question, and every penny would have been squeezed. Fortunately Kevin came up with a new plan, one which we discussed vaguely in Daytona. Speednet is no longer free but instead costs $300 a year if purchased before April 1 and $400 if purchased afterward.
At one point in time there were 450 tracks utilizing this software. Locally, all the tracks utilize the software. This software has made a scorers’ job much easier especially the head scorer. The software tracks the results, the points, and the money paid. The software when tied in with a transponder system can replace the scorers in the tower. Someone must still run the computer but computer operators are less expensive than scorers over the course of a full year.
This year I-35 Speedway added the passing point lineup add on. The add-on is another $250 but makes doing lineups so easy. It will take the heat race finishes and figure the passing points for the scorer, setting the lineups for the B features and the A features. All a person has to do in the software is tell it how many qualify for the A feature. Wilma Claxton helped us at I-35 Speedway and was able to see the software in action. Just this week Lakeside Speedway and Central Missouri Speedway requested this add on. However, there is one catch, an internet connection must be available. For the last several years I would add the hotspot to my telephone (at an additional $10 a month and not charge the track) and utilize it to process the results at the end of the night. There is no reason a track does not upload their results before leaving the track.
So something we have come to take for granted continues to improve our life at the racetracks. Thank you Jerry for initially developing the software and thank you Kevin for continuing it on.