Frank joins us to talk about horses, his 44 years in motorsports with some version of BF Goodrich and all things in between. It’s a great listen, Frank knows more about motorsports and marketing than most, come along for the ride by listening on your favorite podcast app.
5:45 – When you can ride it, I’ll get you a saddle and bridle
15:45 – I got hired into BFGoodrich as a tractor-trailer driver
22:09 – I chauffeured a van full of ladies any place they wanted to go
34:15 – SCORE person of the year
44:56 – the start of my own business
54:23 – full circle with BFGoodrich
1:26:43 – the 49th running of the Baja 1000
1:43:47 – The next chapter is Champs Offroad
2:00:44 – my #1 passion
2:12:33 – become a voting member of the Offroad Hall of Fame
We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.
Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.
All Automotive with Matt Clawson
[00:00:06.370] - Big Rich Klein
Welcome to Conversations with Big Rich. This is an interview style podcast. Those interviews are all involved in the offroad industry. Being involved, like all of my guests are, is a lifestyle, not just a job. I talk to competitive teams, racers, rock crawlers, business owners, employees, media and private park owners, men and women who have found their way into this exciting and addictive lifestyle. We discuss their personal history, struggles, successes and reboots. We dive into what drives them to stay active and offroad. We all hope to shed some light on how to find a path into this world we live and love and call off road.
[00:00:53.790] - Advertisement
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[00:01:20.590] - Big Rich Klein
On today's episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Frank DeAngelo. Frank has spent 20 years with Jackson Marketing and Motorsports and Events. Most everybody will know that's listening to this will know him from that and his association with BFG through that he is also a two-time winner of the Baja 1000 in stock full class. He is an Ormhof inductee in 2013 and that's the Offroad Motorsports Hall of Fame. He was a SCORE Person of the Year in 2016 and he's now competing in the American Ranch Horse Association. And from what I understand, in 2021, he may have won a Championship or a national title with them, but we'll get into all that here in just a second. First off, I'd like to say, Frank, thank you for taking the time to come and sit and talk and have this conversation and share your life with our listeners.
[00:02:22.750] - Frank DeAngelo
Well, Rich, thank you very much for the nice introduction there. And as I'm starting to slow down, I've got more time on my hands and I'm doing a lot of the things that I like. And when you reached out to me and said, hey, I'm doing this podcast that would really like to spend some time with you, hearing about your life story. I was graciously accepted, of course. And since that first time we talked and today I got to thinking about it and I thought, I don't know that I've ever really shared my life story with anyone. So this could be very amusing to some, very interesting to others, and shocking to yet others.
[00:03:17.350] - Big Rich Klein
Well, I'll tell you what, I do edit these. So if you say anything that I think that people don't need to hear about, we'll cut that out. I've done that with a few people. Where I go, wow, people don't need to know that. Don't worry. Just be at ease and tell your story and this will be fun. I'm looking forward to this. I always find out more. I try to do a little bit of research on everybody that I've interviewed. And just doing the research, I found out quite a bit about you. And I can't wait to hear all the rest that got you to where you are today. So let's start with the first question. And where were you born and raised?
[00:04:01.870] - Frank DeAngelo
Well, I was born and raised in northeast Ohio. Born in Youngstown, moved the next town over when I was too young to remember to Warren, Ohio. And if you look at that area, it is about 15 miles from the Pennsylvania state line and about 30 miles from Lake Erie. So definitely northeast corner of Ohio. And later on, I actually had moved a little farther north to a little town called Bristolville, which was right inside the snow belt. Okay. So spent most of my years in the Warren area and grew up, went to high school in Holland, which is like a suburb of Warren, Ohio, if you will, wasn't in the town or city but wasn't in the country. But we had a little bit of land. And I got my first horse when I was five years old and a little bit of a funny story there. The girl down the road from me had ponies. And I used to go there and ride with her when I was like five years old. And so I wanted a pony. And my dad was adamant there was no way. And my mom was adamant, oh, yes, there is.
[00:05:45.070] - Frank DeAngelo
And after about a year or a year and a half of going back and forth, that's all I ever wanted was get your horse. And my mom saying yes. And my dad saying no. My dad came home with a pony and said, here you go. And handed me this pony. And boy, I was happy. And then I asked him where the saddle and bridle was. And he said, when you can ride it, I'll get you a saddle and bridle come to find out it was a two, almost three year old pony that wasn't broke.
[00:06:24.640] - Big Rich Klein
[00:06:26.650] - Frank DeAngelo
Yeah. And so after school every day, the girl down the road that had ponies would come down. She'd hold the pony. I'd get on it. She'd turn it loose. It'd go bucking and throw me off. We'd go catch it. She'd get on, I turn it loose. It would go bucking and throw her off. And that went on for about a month. And finally, after about a month of hitting the ground, I don't know how many times, we got it broke. And so then my dad had to go out and get me a saddle.
[00:06:58.000] - Big Rich Klein
[00:06:58.770] - Frank DeAngelo
And that really started my horse career. So I was, I don't know, probably around six years old when all that happened. But had horses from then until now still have horses today. So that's been kind of, I guess my hobby, the thing that I like the most. And with the horses I showed when I was younger, and then I had a family, met my wife. She was in the horses. We trail rode a lot in quite a few different States. And when I say trail ride, it's kind of liken it to four wheeling, if you will, you're kind of out in the middle of nowhere. We're camping, saddle up each morning and follow trails for about six, seven, 8 hours each day and end up back at camp until the next day. So I did that for years and years. As my daughter came up, she started in the horses. She didn't really have much choice. I think, from when she was two years old on I get my horse out, get ready to go for a ride, put her on front with me, and off we'd go. But she finally decided she needed her own horse, and we got her that.
[00:08:29.810] - Frank DeAngelo
And then she started competing, became very successful showing and actually continued to grow her show career to the point where she was showing in the AQHA, which is the American Quarter Horse Association. Right. And actually qualified, went to the world and did real well. And those years I was actually working, and I'll talk about that here in a moment. I was actually working. And then every weekend that I was home, her and I were traveling together to the shows. So we got to spend a lot of windshield time together all through her teen years, if you will.
[00:09:21.200] - Big Rich Klein
Well, that's a good way to raise your kids.
[00:09:25.250] - Frank DeAngelo
Yeah, it really was. We became very close. So at any rate, went to Holland High School, and when I was 13, my mother passed away. My dad was raising me. He really wasn't a very good person. By the time I was 16 years old, I was living with the neighbors in their basement and just trying to figure out what I was going to do, who I was going to be, and so forth. And the neighbors on our road were everybody knew everybody. It was a time when nobody locked anything. You looked out after one another, helped one another, and had one neighbor that really helped me a lot and lived with them while I was 16 and 17 years old. And when I got to be 18 years old, I started working at a horse Ranch, riding horses, cleaning stalls, and doing whatever I could to make money and at the same time saving money so I could go to College. And my goal in College was to get a degree in criminal justice and become a lawyer. And I have no idea why, but that's what I pursued. And as I was going to College part time, I'd work.
[00:11:09.520] - Frank DeAngelo
And then when I saved up enough money, I'd go to College. And then when I run out of money, I'd drop out and work some more and probably took me four and a half years to get a two year degree.
[00:11:24.150] - Big Rich Klein
[00:11:26.070] - Frank DeAngelo
Because it just wasn't easy and I wasn't going to go in debt. And I don't know if anybody would have loaned me money anyways.
[00:11:33.690] - Big Rich Klein
Nowadays they would.
[00:11:36.390] - Frank DeAngelo
Yeah, today they would. But back then I'm not so sure, at any rate. So the way that I got into racing is kind of interesting because it was through horses. I was 18 years old and had moved up to this Ranch that I was working on part time and staying there and had a horse that a friend of mine wanted to buy had always bothered me about buying. And he was pretty good horse, pretty good size horse. And I needed money for College. And I had two other horses. So I went ahead and sold him this horse. His name was Big Mike. And so he buys the horse. In the meantime, I go through working and getting through College. And while I was in College, one of my friend's father worked for the local Sheriff's Department. And so I went to the police Academy, which back then was all of about 50 hours. And they hired me on as a part time deputy. But because I was young, they didn't want me patrolling the road so much, they wanted to use me under cover to buy hot stuff from criminals. I did that for a couple of years.
[00:13:07.810] - Frank DeAngelo
And he was telling me once I get my two year degree, they'd hired me in the Sheriff's Department. Well, Lo and behold, after four years, I get my degree and go down to the Sheriff's office for the interview. Oh, let me back up one another way to make money. I ended up going through Farrier school, which is learning how to shoe horses. Right. And I did that in the summer of my junior and senior year. So when I wasn't working at the Ranch, I started shoeing horses, started a little shoeing business. At any rate, when I went down to the Sheriff's office to get this full time job, and my goal was get the full time job, because then as long as your career was in law enforcement, they would pay for you to go back to College. And then I was going to pursue a degree in law so that I could become a lawyer. Well, I go down to the Sheriff's office. They make me the offer to hire me. And the offer was I think it was $86 or $8900 a year. And I said, wait a minute, wait a minute. I'm making that working part time jobs.
[00:14:30.090] - Frank DeAngelo
There's just no way I'm going to continue working for that amount of money and especially in that line of work. So I declined. And then I didn't have a clue what I was going to do. And about two weeks after I declined that offer, the guy I had sold the horse to calls me back and says, hey, you want to buy that horse back? And he was a really good horse. And I said, sure. And we negotiated same price and everything. Well, I go to pick him up and him and a gentleman by the name of Don Minton, which is a guy that I grew up with, are both over there. I go over there to buy the horse back. And I'm asking Big Mike, why are you selling them? He said, Frank, I got a job in Colorado on a cattle Ranch, and they've already got three horses for me to use on the cattle Ranch. So I really just don't need them. I said, okay. So then I started asking what he had been doing for the last couple of years, two or three years. And he and Don Minton tell me they're working for BF.
[00:15:45.650] - Frank DeAngelo
Goodrich. I'm like, really? What are you doing? And they said, we are driving tractor trailer. Bfgoodrich just got into racing. We do off road and pavement racing, and during the winter months, we haul their show cars around. Well, that's pretty interesting. Sounds like a pretty good job. And Big Mike said, well, yeah, I'm leaving. So they're looking they're looking for someone. Why are you interested? I said, well, as a matter of fact, I am. I'm looking for a job. So long story short, I got hired into BFGoodrich and started driving tractor trailer for him. Awesome. And, yeah, it was pretty interesting. There were only three drivers and only two tractor trailers at the time. And Don Minton, who has also been involved, and his name will come up again a little later in this story. But he was one of the tractor trailers myself. And another gentleman called Bud Anchorum, at any rate, drove tractor trailer, didn't really even know what racing was, if you can believe that. I mean, I never watched NASCAR. I never watched IndyCar. I just didn't follow racing. I was very seldom on TV or watching TV.
[00:17:15.630] - Big Rich Klein
[00:17:16.070] - Frank DeAngelo
You had a different interest.
[00:17:17.570] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. You were into horses. Absolutely.
[00:17:19.900] - Frank DeAngelo
Horses, yeah. Then I was going to get involved more in law, at any rate. So during those three years driving truck, a couple of things happened that I guess made me kind of stick out to the bosses at BFGoodrich. And they decided they were going to load the cars up in the tractor trailer with tires, all the team tools, everything, shipped the tractor trailer over to Europe and do these two races. So they happen to pick me to be the driver that would go do this for him. And so if you can imagine a young guy that's like 22, 23 years old, his assignment for the summer is to drive this tractor trailer around Europe and attend these races.
[00:18:33.550] - Big Rich Klein
And so you're taking a full size American semi truck and trailer, probably. Did it have a sleeper on it? You're well, in excess of probably 65ft. And you're going to Europe, which has, for the most part, pretty narrow roads, correct?
[00:18:57.170] - Frank DeAngelo
Yes, it is. Yes, my experience really was just the two years prior to this driving in the US, and, of course, down to Mexico for the Baja 500/1,000. And when they selected me to go, I actually drove to the race shops, picked up the two cars, all the tools, everything else, took it to New York, put it on a large ship, and then came home. And six weeks later, I flew over to Amsterdam to pick it up. And again, I'm like 22 years old going on 23. Right now, I'm thinking I got the world by the tail. It's just pretty awesome. They had an interpreter meet me there. And we finally got the tractor trailer off the docks. And because we were taller, wider, longer and heavier than anything over there, we had to get permits to go on the roads that we went on. And in many cases, he ended up it might be an eight hour drive to get to a destination that was 60 miles away, and it's because we wouldn't fit under certain bridges, so we'd have to drive out and around. Wow. My first trip, Rich, was from Amsterdam, where I picked it up to go to Nurburgring, Germany.
[00:20:47.050] - Frank DeAngelo
And so we only had one border to cross, and we're supposed to get there hopefully within one day. But once we figured out all the permits and the route we had to go, there was not going to be any way to do it. What happened was we got out of town, we got to the border, and we pulled up to the first station, and they measured our width, and they said, you're too wide, park it over there, run in town and get a width permit. Well, that happened four times because we did that, got that passed, went to the next place, you're too long, park it over there, go into town. We couldn't do it all at once. We actually got stopped at each of these. So the plan changed pretty radically, and we ended up having to spend the night there at the border with the truck park right there. And my interpreter found a little boarding house that we spent the night in, got up the next morning and went the rest of the way through the border and then on to the track. Once we get to the track, we're having a team meeting.
[00:22:09.110] - Frank DeAngelo
By now, all the big bosses from GoodRich had flown in the race teams, their wives and everybody's there at the track. And my job, once they got to the track, was to unload the track to a trailer, Mount up all their tires. And then I was pretty much done until it was time to leave, upon which time I would load everything up and go on to the next track. Well, we're standing around, and the ladies decide they need to go sightseeing and they need to go shopping and so forth. And so the big boss at Goodrich is looking around to see who might be able to take them. And there's yeah, I'm standing back there with my hand up in the air like, oh, yeah, I can do this. For three or four days leading up to the race. Then I was chauffeur a band full of ladies around to any place they wanted to go see in the area and shopping. And again, I'm 22 going on 23 years old. So being able to experience that was very cool. And then at the same time being able to see the area and the history and so on and so forth and so spent the better part of a summer doing that.
[00:23:31.050] - Frank DeAngelo
And because BFGoodrich was just getting involved in the pavement and trying to get their brand known real well, this pavement event Nurburgring, actually, it's an endurance race. It was 24 hours. We had two cars. Each car had three drivers. One of the drivers was James Brolin.
[00:23:54.010] - Big Rich Klein
[00:23:55.510] - Frank DeAngelo
Yeah. The movie star and actor. So I got to know him and his wife pretty well. At any rate, the brain trust that Goodrich decided they needed to document this. So the whole time we're over there, they got a film crew following us around, and they made a film called 24 Hours of Nurburgring. And it was basically to send out to the dealers and a host of other people to promote the fact that we were over there racing this big endurance race on street radial tires. So that was quite the experience. We also did Lemon that year with the two cars and the team and similar stories to that. And then when it was all over, I drove the tractor trailer back to the dock and put it on a ship and picked it up when we got back here. And then they called it the performance team at BFGoodrich. And there was anybody involved in the racing program. And as it started to grow a little bit more every year, I was there. There was a new offroad manager, and there was John Gillespie and then Rick Beaver. And then in 1982, there was Bob Bower, and I was the truck driver for the off road program.
[00:25:37.500] - Frank DeAngelo
I was the mainstay there. And there had been talk for about a year or so after I got back from France that I really wasn't a truck driver. While I could wheel it and get it down the road pretty good, I was probably a little more involved, passionate, and smarter than the typical truck driver, if you will. And they said they needed to find a position for me. Well, this whole time that I'm driving truck and getting more and more into motor sports rich when I get involved in something, I dive head first into it. And I did that with racing. I started teaching myself through books and stories and listening. I started teaching myself about motorsports marketing. Why companies spend money to go racing, what they get out of it, how they utilize it, how it works, studied various programs that were very successful or not and why they were or not, and just really became a student of the sport, if you will. So as we move forward, in 1982, towards the end of 82, Goodrich had a hiring freeze where you couldn't hire anyone inside the company. And at the same time, Bob Bower had served a year in the off road program, wanted to get back to the West Coast and made them aware he was taking a field job within the company and moving back to the West Coast.
[00:27:33.010] - Frank DeAngelo
So Gary Pace, the head boss, had always had his eye on me. Anyways, he's the one I went to Europe with. He wanted myself. And Bob highly recommended that they hire me as well because the previous couple of years, every time someone new came in off road, I was introducing them to the people, giving them ideas on new things we should be doing and how we should be doing it and how to grow the program and so forth. So Bob basically told them, if you guys don't bring Frank in, you're crazy. And they were already wanting to. But long story short, at the beginning of 83, they hired me into the office to manage their off road race program and other light truck programs. By that time, they were starting to expand to a lot of grassroots racing, both pavement and offroad, starting to do things like Pikes Peak, Hill climb, Moab, Easter Jeep Safari, and just starting to get involved in all those things as well. So hired me in 83 and I stayed working for them from 83 through 89. The big boss had left the guy that I'd gotten along with so well, they had a couple of other bosses at BF Goodrich.
[00:29:16.430] - Frank DeAngelo
The motorsports programs continue to grow. So we started to get Specialized. And I was at that time then running all off road, all offroad grass roots and so forth, using some of the field guys, like a Jeff Cummings that would go out and do programs with the grassroots off road organizations. And about that time I got married, I had a daughter, had started a family. And so in 1988, I started telling my boss that I needed some help in the office and I didn't want to travel as much as I had been. And back then, Rich, we travel. You've traveled a lot? I travel a lot. But back then I was traveling like probably 40 weeks out of the year, right. It was a pretty hot and heavy schedule. So I told him I wanted some help. Well, on the pavement side, the guys that were running the pavement program, they ended up having three people run their pavement program and left to have a helper. And there I am by myself trying to keep the off road program going. At the Parker 400, my then Big Boss came out to the race and was learning about it and so forth.
[00:30:46.070] - Frank DeAngelo
And I pulled him aside at that point, and I said, hey, by the end of the year, you need to have hired some help for me. I would like an assistant. And I was pushing for Don Minton, the other tractor trailer driver that drove when I drove and continued driving after that, after that weekend, I thought I made it very clear to him that I wouldn't keep going unless I got some help. And I gave to the end of the year. Well, behold, we get to September. And he had not done anything. And so I decided I'd had enough. And I was leaving. Didn't know what I was going to do, but I was leaving. And so I put in my notice, and it was kind of funny in that he didn't know what to do, how to handle it. Told his boss, who was a VP of vice President, who I knew pretty well, vice President, came to me and said, you can't do this. What's going on? Why are you leaving?
[00:32:10.010] - Big Rich Klein
I always love when companies tell you you can't quit.
[00:32:13.790] - Frank DeAngelo
Yeah, well, they were getting kind of nervous. And during that time, and I heard you mentioned Score Person of the Year, right. In 2016. Well, if you look back far enough, I think I also won it in either 85 or 86.
[00:32:35.180] - Big Rich Klein
[00:32:37.010] - Frank DeAngelo
Yeah. And the reason I ended up getting it then and again, I could probably talk forever, but we had Score International doing six races, maybe eight races a year. And then we had Walt Lott with High Desert Racing Association doing off road races in the States. And they were competitors. And sometimes their race dates would be very close to one another. There was manufacturers coming and getting involved in the sport in a big way. And everybody was fighting for the sponsor dollar, for the racers to race their series and so on and so forth. And I thought, this is ridiculous. So I've had some individual conversations with Sal, and then I've had some individual conversations with Walt Lott and about, what do you guys think? Have you ever worked together? Could we make something happen where there weren't conflicting race dates and there wasn't this and there wasn't that. And so I felt like, yeah, if there was some value in it for them, they would do it. So from there, I called a manufacturer's meeting because I was still working for BF Goodrich and well thought of and the brand was because we were expanding and growing the programs and so forth.
[00:34:15.240] - Frank DeAngelo
And so I called a manufacturer's meeting together and had a couple topics on my mind. One was getting the series to work together, and another one was having a class that the manufacturers could hang their hat on that ended up being trophy truck later on down the road, at any rate, was able to put some things together. And the following year, the offroad schedule came out and it was Score High Desert together. Oh, wow. Yeah. And so it combined the series. So people were now running one big off road Championship. And so I was recognized by Score with Person of the Year. And then I think it was Ron Cats, a California assemblyman provided me with a resolution for bringing them together and getting everyone to work together. And you know what, Rich? To me, what needed to happen was just common sense. I am not the brightest person in the world, I don't think. But I think I have a lot of common sense. And that's all I was looking at was what makes the most sense for the sport to grow, and it's for those two to get together.
[00:35:40.710] - Big Rich Klein
[00:35:41.500] - Frank DeAngelo
[00:35:45.190] - Big Rich Klein
In Rock Sports, there was an attempt to do that same thing, and it just wasn't going to work out because of Ideologies. I hate to say it.
[00:36:02.340] - Frank DeAngelo
[00:36:02.950] - Big Rich Klein
And the purposes behind why they were doing it and the purposes why I was doing it were completely opposite. So it was never going to mold. Even though I tried, I had a much better chance when it was Arca and us than I did when it became you rocking us. But that was just ideological differences. But I'm glad that HDR and Score did that. I didn't realize I wasn't into the off road scene like that back then, so I didn't even realize that awesome.
[00:36:45.890] - Frank DeAngelo
Yeah. And with the Rock Sports, I lived it as well. Knew all the various promoters. And I hear what you're saying, and I think rock sports came on and it was rock crawling. To be clear, there was no rock racing back then, but it came on the scene so quickly and so fast. I think that everybody thought this is the next golden goose and everybody could run their series. And so I certainly understand when you say, hey, tried to get everyone together, but very different personalities, very different thought processes, and everybody was going to be the next best thing since sliced bread. So I totally hear what you're saying. Yeah. So Score and High Desert get together, and it's one series. And then pretty soon, a few years after that, Walt Lott ends up passing away and Sal or Score end up purchasing HDR, and then it just becomes Score again. But going back to that Parker race where I talked to my boss about, hey, I need to have some help starting a family. I need to be home more and so forth, I don't know if they thought I was kidding or what, but the payment side of the business got help and I didn't.
[00:38:36.460] - Frank DeAngelo
So in September, I put in my notice, it gets up to the vice President. He comes back to me and says, you can't do this. What's it going to take you to stay so on and so forth and I said, you know, I don't know what I'm going to do. I'll figure it out. But if every time I needed something, I came to you guys and threatened to quit in order to get it, it wouldn't take very long. And you're not going to like that. That's not who I am. And so no, I am leaving. So then he asked me to help him find someone to take over the off road racing program. And I said I would do that. And he asked me not to leave with my two week notice but to stay till the end of the year. So I told him I would stay to the end of the year and help the new person as long as the new person was someone that I had approved of. And he agreed. Well, the person that I chose from inside the company was Dan Newsom. And Dan and I had become good friends.
[00:39:53.470] - Frank DeAngelo
Dan was an advertising. In fact, I think he was leading the advertising Department, doing really well, had lots of interest. And then later on passion for off road. And so we were not allowed to tell anyone who it was going to be. And Dan started splitting his time between advertising and off road racing with me. And he went on his first pre run with me that year to help Mark Pitts and set up the program and to do all those things and including contracting our drivers for the following year. So Dan comes in in 1989 and ends up running the program for the next ten years. And Dan is very well known, very well thought of in the industry also. And there isn't anyone that could have been a better choice than Dan. Dan just had to drive, had the passion, was that person that wanted everything perfect and would work the extra time or hours to make that happen. That was how Dan came about. But I think my memory is a little foggy in some areas. But when did rock crawling really get big and hot and heavy?
[00:41:27.130] - Big Rich Klein
The first event was 98.
[00:41:31.750] - Frank DeAngelo
[00:41:32.200] - Big Rich Klein
And then 99 2000 when the series Arca got started.
[00:41:40.990] - Frank DeAngelo
Okay, got you. So Dan is running the off road program. I leave BF Goodrich without a clue in the world of what I was going to do. And all of a sudden word on the street gets out that I've left. And so people are calling and offering me jobs and so forth. And when that phone started ringing, Richie, after about, I don't know, eight or ten calls, I said, I don't need to go work for someone. I'll start my own business. So that's what I did. I started my own business and I decided I was going to do motorsports marketing and got a couple of small programs, but was very fortunate in that Ford Motor Company was looking to develop an off road program. That was something they didn't know what, but was something that would be the biggest thing that had ever happened to offroading. And I knew a couple of folks at Ford Motor Company and they were sending out RFPs requests for proposals from marketing agencies that wanted to take over their off road program and do something different, special and big. And they decided they'd send it out to three companies because of friends at Ford and people that knew me, I was going to be one of the three that would get a chance to bid on this.
[00:43:30.020] - Frank DeAngelo
Let me back up from that. It wasn't only because of that, it was because of a guy that was involved in off road racing that also owned two Ford dealerships and his name was Dick Lanfield. Right. And he had this idea of what a forthcoming out with this super team, if you will. I didn't know what it would be called, what it would look like, but just had the concept of board can race in all these different classes, all under the same sponsor umbrella, and thought that would be the biggest FlashForward to make. And by the way, we know who you should ask to bid on that. And that would be Frank DeAngelo. So Lo and behold, I get one of the three requests for proposals. I took a great deal of time putting it together on who, what, where, when, why, how, the whole nine yards and put that together and send it to him. And ended up getting a call from Ford and saying, hey, you need to get up here to Dearborn. We want to sit down and talk with you. So I did. And at that time, living in Northeast Ohio, gosh, I was all of about 3 hours from Detroit.
[00:44:56.010] - Frank DeAngelo
So went up, met with them and met at that time, Michael Cranafus and Lee Morris, who were the top two people Ford racing. And I guess they liked what I had to say. They had some folks that asked questions, asked for opinions on certain things. And anybody that knows me knows I'm pretty transparent. I'll tell them what's on my mind and I did. And most of the time they were in agreement with it. There were a couple of times that they thought maybe I was a little far right or far left. I'm not sure which, but at any rate left there. And they called me up and hired me. And my plan was that while we would take direction from them, I needed to manage everything. I needed to manage the sponsorship and what the sponsors got. I needed help with designing the look and the feel, but I wanted to have input into it and I would decide when it was right or wrong and wanted to have my fingerprints on everything, basically. And so they finally agreed and we put the program together and started with five vehicles the first year. And all common sponsors, all painted the same, pulled all the resources.
[00:46:34.190] - Frank DeAngelo
So we had our own network, did communications. We did all the media. I hired a lady from the West Coast that had been around forever that I've been really good friends with for a long time and admired her work. That was Madeline Boldman, and she actually moved back to Ohio. I couldn't believe I'd get her to move back, but she did. And that was my first client for my business. And then from there I got other smaller clients, and then BF Goodrich hired me back to consult, and so had a pretty good successful business for ten years and ran it out of a little office building close to my house. As that business grew, I needed a partner because I didn't want to necessarily deal with the day to day operations. I wanted to be involved in the planning and the strategic thinking and planning for the clients and that kind of stuff. So the guy that I've known for a long time, that I told you earlier his name would surface again, Don Minton. Don, by the way, when I left BF Goodrich and they hired Dan Newsom, they also hired Don Mitten, who was still driving truck form, and brought him in the office as well, which is.
[00:48:10.980] - Big Rich Klein
What you had asked for.
[00:48:12.910] - Frank DeAngelo
Yes. So they didn't give me any help. But when I left, they had two people doing the same job and then hired me to consult as well. So I felt pretty good about that, although thought, guys, why did you just do what I asked? When I asked exactly. I called Don up after I was in business for a year, year and a half, and said, Don, this thing's growing like crazy needs some help. How do you like to become a partner? He said yes, gave him his notice for the end of the year, and then joined me. And you couldn't find probably too many people that would be 180 degrees opposite the other. But that's what Don and I were. I was the serious guy. He was the joke teller in Frankster. And you probably met Don maybe early on in one of the pits or whatever. I won't remember what year, but I can remember you coming down and working a pit, and if I remember correctly, it was a Southern pit and probably in San Juanico.
[00:49:31.130] - Big Rich Klein
First time I worked a pit was in 2003, and we were outside on the road Catavina to Fish Camp, and that was with Jack Sypol's crew.
[00:49:50.190] - Frank DeAngelo
[00:49:50.740] - Big Rich Klein
Yes, because I owned Vora at the time. And so I had met Jeff, and then Sypole was out there. Jack was out there at our races doing support for the BFG drivers and the association. And I asked about Baja, and then that's when I went down. That's the year they shot Dust to Glory.
[00:50:16.510] - Frank DeAngelo
Okay. Got you. Wow. Yeah. Jack would have had a pickup truck and been pulling his Goosenet trailer, and you would have been in a big big box truck with all the spares and stuff, am I right?
[00:50:40.360] - Big Rich Klein
Yes. Spares and gas and fuel cans, dump cans.
[00:50:45.390] - Frank DeAngelo
I remember. Wow. As I get older, there's some things I get a little foggy on remembering and then there's other things that just stick out to me, like last week. But, wow, that was a long time ago. That was almost 20 years ago.
[00:51:08.010] - Big Rich Klein
Yes, real close to that.
[00:51:10.840] - Frank DeAngelo
At any rate, I ran my own business then for ten years from 89 to 99 and did the Rough Rider program. Was involved with some of the owners when they started the NASCAR truck program. Help facilitate that and get that over to NASCAR. I'll tell you, I had a pretty amazing career up to that point. And had, I guess it would have been 20 years of involvement in the sport, and if it would have ended, then I would still have been happy and felt like I'd accomplished a lot, made a lot of friends, a lot of contacts in the industry and seen a lot. But what happened was all of the BFG trailer drivers. And by that time there were nine of them. Wow. They were always contracted by an outside agency. They were never hired inside of Good, Richard, Michelin. They were like with leasing companies and trucking companies and so forth. But all of them were very unique individuals, as you're probably aware. You got to meet most of them that have been around and they all had passion for what they do. And when you can find workers that have passion for what they do, you want to hang on them forever.
[00:52:51.510] - Frank DeAngelo
At any rate, Herb Johnson, who was then running motorsports for BF Goodrich, was going to lose some quite a few of the drivers. And so he approached Darryl Jackson at Jackson Marketing and said, hey, would you hire these tractor trailer drivers in we'll run them through your business. He started a motor sports company and hired the nine drivers in and watched all of the BF Goodrich and Michelin tractor trailers coming and going to different types of events. And went back to Herb Johnson and said, Herb, these trucks going back and forth, I suspect they're going to raises and events. Yeah, well, how do I get more of your motorsport business? And by that time, my company had bid and got a lot of the BFGoodrich work for special events and their training program, all and stuff and putting drivers on the road and so forth. And her told them, well, you need to hire someone that knows motorsports. Darryl asked him, do you know of anybody? And he kind of chuckled and pointed towards me. So Daryl and I had several conversations and by that time, my partner, Don Mitten, had decided he didn't want to travel as much.
[00:54:23.370] - Frank DeAngelo
And one of our clients had a manufacturing facility close to us and he had been offered a job with them to run their plant. Basically and so after about a year of conversations and talking about it, Don decided he was going to go and do that. And I decided I was going to cut back the size of our company because we have grown it to about 15 full time employees and we're doing a lot. We're staying plenty busy and so forth. I was looking to slow it down a little bit, be more involved in the individual programs rather than just chasing new business. And Don wanted to stay home more. So we went in that direction. We kind of split and I downsized the business. And he went to work for one of our clients. Well, I get a call from Darryl Jackson. We talked about everything. And so I ended up down in Greenville. And Jackson marketing is very close to where Michelin resides and basically says, we'd love to have you have you down here running our motorsports business and helping us grow it. We've got the nine drivers, we think there's more potential and so on and so forth.
[00:55:47.520] - Frank DeAngelo
And I told him I'd think about it. And then I talked to my wife about it and she said, no, wouldn't move want to stay. She had family in northeast Ohio and so forth. My daughter was 16 at the time, so couldn't take her out of school then. So basically told Daryl, no, that's not going to be able to happen. But then met his dad and met another gentleman that helped run the business, Kevin Johnson there. And they were pretty persuasive. And, you know, after I got done talking to his dad, I felt like this is a company that I would be good working for in helping grow that business. I could tell that Daryl's dad, Larry is his name, was a good Christian man, very strong ethics and treated people the way you would want to be treated. Went out of his way in so many ways with the business to have it be a really good place to work. And so came down a couple of other times, visiting them and so forth. And finally we made a deal that I could stay in northeast Ohio for now and I would join their company.
[00:57:25.550] - Frank DeAngelo
I'd bring the business I had already with me. And so we did that. We did that at the start of 99. And when I did that, that meant that the BFP motorsports stuff and events stuff that I was doing was coming with me. So Jackson automatically kind of inherited that business. And then Dan Newson calls me up one day and says, I'm moving along. I'm going to get involved in some pavement stuff that Michelin has going on, BFG has going on, and would like you to take the off road program back over. So I did actually. That happened probably before that happened a little before I signed on with Jackson. So basically my role at BFGoodrich was ten years as an employee, then ten years as their main motorsport agency and doing everything for them that I could with Dan Newsom running the program. And then, Lo and behold, I'm back in the fold and I'm actually the face person again for BF. Goodrich. So it's kind of funny how it went full circle. Yeah.
[00:58:51.210] - Big Rich Klein
That is because of who you are.
[00:58:55.350] - Frank DeAngelo
Well, yeah. Rich, I have a saying that I've never worked a day in my life and it's because I don't think it's work when you love what you're doing. And I'll tell you what, I have loved what I've been doing for the last 44 years. There is nothing that I would change. The experiences, the people, the organizations, the challenges. And I love challenges and trying to come up with innovative ways of making things happen. So it's all been really good. So I end up going to work for Jackson, but I've got the BF Fitters business and then a couple of years later, or maybe around that time, rock crawling hits. Yeah. And it hits in a big way, as I mentioned earlier, I mean, I can remember seeing things on special shows, like a talk show or programs to talk about what's going on in the world and so forth. I mean, it came on so big, it was unbelievable. And it kind of had everybody watching it. And with BFGoodrich, it had them looking at it. But the whole time that they're looking at it, which was only a few months, they're getting farther and farther behind.
[01:00:37.660] - Frank DeAngelo
There's other tire companies, Goodyear for one, that jumped in with both feet. They've seen it coming and jumped in early and some others as well. And pretty soon, if good, it has little to no involvement. We signed up like one or two competitors. We're kind of still learning and checking it out. And we called him the Whiz kid that got hired into marketing at BFGoodrich. And his name was very appropriate and he kind of studied what was going on in like truck, motor sports and events and different things. And he went to management and sold them on the fact that they were way behind, that the next best thing was going to be rock sports and specifically rock crawling and that we needed to turn our focus and attention towards that. So I got the message. It's like full speed ahead and it's locksport. So we got someone to start designing tires. And Jeff Cummings, who had been forever in the field and doing whatever needed done. I mean, he's had lots of different jobs, from training to sales to putting programs together to managing grassroots programs to helping me Mark the course in Baja, you name it.
[01:02:10.660] - Frank DeAngelo
And I called upon him and between him and I, we figured out a plan to get involved in the rock sports or rock crawling as it was back then and jumped in with both feet and BFGoodrich's involvement early on. Once they figured it out and had a product. We tried to hit every event we could. We tried to provide the top teams with tires and just kind of jumped in with both feet. And it's different today than what it was back then. Absolutely. In terms of the sport and everything. But anybody that was involved early on for me. And remember I told you, I'm a motor sport. None. I'm very passionate about all forms of motorsport and follow just about all forms. People can go look at a rock race today and truly be amazed. There's no doubt about it. What those vehicles do out there is they shouldn't be able to do. Right. It's very impressive. Very impressive. But I got to tell you, when I went to my first few rock crawling events, I was absolutely blown away at what these competitors were doing with their vehicles and the courses that the promoters like yourself, would set up.
[01:03:47.590] - Frank DeAngelo
I mean, you could look at some of those things and say, There is no way that vehicle is getting over there. And some people go, yeah, that was like watching paint dry. Well, you know what? It's because you weren't passionate. You didn't understand the talent, skill level and type of vehicle. You had to have to get through some of those things and over some of those things. I don't know. I was just blown away at the rock crawling and then as it evolved into rock racing, that was just as impressive. I was fortunate enough that Dave and I believe it was. It Jeff, his partner. Yeah. Okay. When they invited me out the first time for a Koh plan or run, it was after their first initial one that they did with twelve people. I was out there for the next one helping them with the course and so on and so forth. And again, very impressive. And to see how rock crawling had evolved into now, rock racing, if you will, to me, was just as impressive. But I certainly remember the years when I want to say that there was three or four or five rock crawling series, maybe all at the same time.
[01:05:10.730] - Big Rich Klein
There was seven.
[01:05:12.570] - Frank DeAngelo
[01:05:13.160] - Big Rich Klein
A couple of them were just in their own parks, but they had complete series. I mean, they didn't necessarily was run by the park, it was run by somebody else. But all the events were at that park type thing.
[01:05:26.890] - Frank DeAngelo
[01:05:27.890] - Big Rich Klein
And then there was the four traveling shows.
[01:05:32.790] - Frank DeAngelo
Yes. I don't know. Excuse me. It grew so darn fast and so quick and so big in such a short time. It was amazing. It was just amazing. I mean, I'm still a fan. I don't follow all the rock sports as much. In fact, I don't follow all the motor sports as much as I used to. But to me, that was one of the things that came on the scene in a big way. And it's still pretty cool.
[01:06:09.750] - Big Rich Klein
I think one of the things that helped that was that at that point you could take your trail rig, things that you were going rock crawling on extreme trails and camping with, and you could compete in it. There's very few types of racing where you can take your daily driver and go out and race it. They're specifically built vehicles. That's what rock crawling and rock racing has turned into now. It's specifically built vehicles. So there is that wane from the old days where you could just jump in with anything to getting to where we are now, where to be competitive you have to have something that was specially built. And I think that's why there was such an explosion and so quick. It was kind of like street drag racing. Everybody was doing it. But you'd only see that the drag strips on like Wednesday night, grudge night or whatever.
[01:07:22.350] - Frank DeAngelo
Sure. Yeah. Well, now I think there's still a few couple rock racing series and then still some rock crawling series. But today all motorsports is competing with so many other opportunities for consumers to be a part of or watch or spectate or what have you. That is just very challenging to attract sponsors as well as competitors and fan base and so forth. But I think we probably live during the peak of all that. I think since that time when motorsports, any form of motorsports was like the hot ticket for sponsors, competitors and so on and so forth. I think you still have the competitors that are trying and wanting to do it. But I think in terms of manufacturer support, sponsor support, there's so many other opportunities for them that we've seen a little bit of a decline from that peak time. And I don't know that we'll ever see that again. But you and I are probably pretty fortunate to have been involved and lived during that period, not to say it's all dried up and gone because it's not it's still all very popular. Any form of motor sports, of course, has a good following, but I think what we seen was a very special time.
[01:09:06.340] - Big Rich Klein
I agree 100%.
[01:09:12.050] - Frank DeAngelo
Go ahead. No, go ahead.
[01:09:13.440] - Big Rich Klein
I was just going to say that one of the things that is hurt, I think off road in general, rock crawling, rock sports, off road racing, shortcourse and all that is television. And I mean that in a good and a bad way. We've gotten exposure, but I don't think that we've gotten the kind of exposure that builds lasting relationships with our potential spectator. It's all the shows want to be result driven. They show thing. And then here's your trophy. They show a race. They show a couple of rollovers and a rock crawl and one or two good runs and then which are spliced just to the hard parts. And then they go, here's your trophy. And what that does is it's semi satisfying for those that are competing in it that know the sport, but it doesn't help the other potential spectators out there that might get involved in businesses as well. Because it doesn't tell why. Why do people do this? And I mean, that whole mentality of why people are out in the dirt, why are people out in the rocks, out in the middle of nowhere doing this? It doesn't tell that story.
[01:10:55.670] - Big Rich Klein
And that's been the thing I've tried to do with television and trying to find somebody to tell our story was to get involved with the why, not just the results.
[01:11:10.570] - Frank DeAngelo
[01:11:11.210] - Big Rich Klein
All the television ever wants now is results, or they want to fake it and it becomes Ice Road truckers, American Chopper and swamp people all in one show. And that surely doesn't do anything for the integrity of the sports.
[01:11:28.510] - Frank DeAngelo
Right. Well, it's to be. And I'm sure you remember it used to be that the way you measured the success of your event or events and where you stood in relationship to other motorsport events and activities was if you got television.
[01:11:56.040] - Big Rich Klein
[01:11:56.530] - Frank DeAngelo
It was like, first of all, you didn't go after a big sponsor unless you had television. And then when you finally were able to put together a television package, you made it your series or your event was now something that was very attractive to everyone. And in today's world, that is simply not the case.
[01:12:19.480] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. Television doesn't really exist.
[01:12:22.550] - Frank DeAngelo
No, I mean, people don't watch it. They want the information now. They want to see it live and with sponsors. And many of them that had been involved in motor sports for so many darn years that maybe you don't see them as involved or involved at all is there are so many opportunities now for them to purchase advertisements on different social media platforms. And so some of those motorsport dollars are being shifted to the various social media platforms. And I'm jumping ahead of myself here. But today in the series that I am the series director for, which is Championship Off Road, when we started three years ago, 2020, everyone said, you have to have television or you will fail. And I said, we do not need television, we have it today. But that was secondary. I said, what we need is all the social media platforms being present on them. And we need to have a great live feed production and let people know about it so that people can tune in and watch what they want for however long they want and then tune back out. And that's what we did with Camp Off Road.
[01:14:04.890] - Frank DeAngelo
And in our very first year, it caught on like you can't believe. And it was because we produced a really good live fee program. We did things that had not been done before. Example, we hired a professional drone pilot out of Texas to come up and fly during our closed course races. I mean, he was down on the track. Those types of tracks lend itself to fans spectators and television being able to see the whole thing. Right. And then to bring a drone into that element and be able to fly between two cars racing and write down on the deck. I mean, the footage was stuff that had never been anything like that had been seen before, and the numbers just shot up to be stupid, crazy. Well, then a network came to us the following year and said, hey, that's really good stuff. We want it for television. And so now we are on television. But live feed came before the television, and the television is something that while it's good, while we love to have it, it's not something that everybody will tune into these days because people want to know results right away.
[01:15:32.550] - Frank DeAngelo
They want to see the action. They don't want to hear about an accident. They want to see it. They don't want to hear about who won. They want to see it. And if you can provide live feed, that's entertaining in real time, people are just attracted to that. So, yeah, it's changed from when if you didn't have TV or you measured your success by when you did get TV to now it not being as important. Right. So any series out there that can't create that type of show and be able to get it out there to the fans real time and have it make sense to them, they're going to struggle. I think they're going to struggle with sponsorship and a fan following. Yeah, I jumped ahead there.
[01:16:27.030] - Big Rich Klein
That's all right. But racing provides something that like a trials type competition, which is rock crawling, or the motorcycle trials can't. And that's that start finish in a short period of time. The green flag to the checkered flag, whether it be 20 minutes or 1 hour of action, constant moving where you have multiple cars and camera angles to check one course. Rock crawling doesn't have that. Motorcycle trials doesn't have it. Now, is there the same kind of drama? Yeah, I think there is, except that it's a lot harder to portray that. Plus, everybody understands green. Go, checkered, stop, start, finish. People don't understand trials. And so putting that story together is a lot more difficult than just having the drone down amongst the cars, which is really cool and gives you some great action and stuff. But it's basic finish.
[01:17:51.800] - Frank DeAngelo
[01:17:52.430] - Big Rich Klein
In a short period of time. And that's what lends itself to television.
[01:17:57.450] - Frank DeAngelo
[01:17:58.380] - Big Rich Klein
And that's the thing we've always fought with Rock Sports, whether it's the racing or with the because even when I was doing Dirt Riot, the races, we were on anywhere from three to seven mile tracks, and the races would be an hour to 2 hours long. Well, you can't cover that kind of stuff with three cameras and one drone.
[01:18:29.790] - Frank DeAngelo
[01:18:32.070] - Big Rich Klein
Where are we at it's definitely Rock Sports is more of a niche, but it also has the appeal that how many people own four wheel drives. So the potential for those people to become enthusiasts beyond just driving in their mall or to and from work in their daily driver Jeep or Toyota or whatever they're driving is the potential is there to grab them if we can get out to do it. And that, again, like you said, is social.
[01:19:15.810] - Frank DeAngelo
Yes. Well, you know, the thing about it is Championship Offroad was fortunate enough to, you know, one of the companies that they have is a production company.
[01:19:31.660] - Big Rich Klein
[01:19:33.310] - Frank DeAngelo
They're fortunate enough to bring a television truck out to each event with the producer, with announcers, with the cameras around the track, and then the live feed with the pre recorded commercials. So what they're producing in their live feed is action all the time and something that looks like a television show. Okay. With lots of excitement if you consider what golf does. And to me, I like to play once in a while as long as I can have an adult beverage with me. But if you look at pro golf and what they do there, they are covering all 18 holes at the same time. And they've got announcers that are talking about the players, which would be competitors in our case and where they're at and what they just shot. And here's their latest shot. And they're packaging that kind of as a television program. So my point being is for rock crawling, to be able to have that super great live feed would require more money than what most would be able to afford. Because like you say, you've got all these different obstacles. You'd have to have cameras on all of them. You have to have a truck that's mixing all of the input, and then you'd have to have people that are constantly talking about it and know all the competitors.
[01:21:11.560] - Frank DeAngelo
And it would be a major production to do that. And that would be extremely expensive. And then if it's a good live feed like that, you will get sponsors that want to be a part of it, but you've got to make the live feed happen before you can sell the sponsors on the commercials and the coverage on that social media platform, if you will. Exactly. So it's really like a catch 22. If the sponsors would come forward trusting, you can do it and then you do it. You're all well and good. But most of them are kind of like show me, and then I'll consider doing it. Some sports like that is in a very difficult situation where they could make it better live feed and make it like an exciting television program if they had the money to fund all the cameras and the announcers and the live feed stuff and the television truck and all that kind of stuff. But yeah, overall, the social media is where it's at today, I think.
[01:22:21.090] - Big Rich Klein
I agree 100%. Well, let's get back to Frank. So let's talk about you're talking about up to Jackson in the years there probably hit some more of the stories. But now, is your next phase the champ?
[01:22:43.070] - Frank DeAngelo
Well, no, actually, we left off about not quite the middle of the Jackson days because I'm still living in Northeast Ohio. My daughter now is in College and I end up getting a divorce. And at the same time that I'm getting a divorce, Daryl Jackson is playing more of a role in the company and he happens to be going through a divorce and together we're comparing notes and so forth. But at any rate, the motorsport business is growing and doing really well. And Daryl tells me after my divorce that he has an opportunity again for me to move down to Greenville, South Carolina and run their motorsport business, basically. And so I'm thinking, well, new chapter in my life and what the heck, nothing keeping me in Northeast Ohio. My daughter graduated and doing her thing, so I accept and I moved down to Greenville, South Carolina. Once I'm down there, then take over and help manage not only the motor sports business, but the event marketing business. Any traveling marketing displays anything to do with events marketing and even have a couple of account people that report up through me. And we were fortunate that we just continued to grow the business.
[01:24:48.960] - Frank DeAngelo
When I left Jackson, which would have been three years ago, I had 21 years with them. All of that time was with BF, Goodrich as a client as well. So if you think back about what I told you, ten years working for Goodrich, ten years as my own business and contracted to Goodrich, and then 21 years with Jackson, also with BFGoodrich and Excellent as a client. So that's 41 years involved in motorsports and was very pleased. When I joined Jackson, I was the motorsport employee. When I left, there were over 70 full time motorsport employees. The people that we were able to get to work for us were people that were passionate. They had a certain level of freedom to think outside the box. In fact, we're encouraged to the entire team was just amazing and worked really well together. And I think we assembled such a great group of people for a lot of reasons, some being that they were passionate about their work, had good work ethics and all those standard things. But the other thing was that Jackson was just a good, solid company to work for and really took care of their employees.
[01:26:43.350] - Frank DeAngelo
The turnover rate was very low. We had lots of creative people and just a great company to work for. So I really enjoyed my 21 years with Jackson, which got me up to 41 years in motorsports. During that time. You mentioned some of the things that I was able to do and would love to take a moment talk about those two Baha 1000 victories. Absolutely. That was probably one of the most memorable things I ever did and is probably one of the proudest things that I ever did. For years and years, I talked about going down to Mexico and mapping the race courses and GPS, making the notes, putting together the BFG map books, planning all of the personnel for pitting and all that kind of stuff. So spent a lot of time in the dirt, always had a pre runner to drive or a semipree runner that we built for doing just that, getting in the dirt and being self sufficient and so forth. And had done that for years and years. And I get a call prior to the 49th running of the Baja 1000. And I get a call from Rod Hall, who is the only man at that time who have started all 48 of the previous Baha $1,000, right.
[01:28:30.430] - Frank DeAngelo
And out of those 48 starts, he had 23 wins in one class or another. And I did a call from him and we're talking and he reveals to me that he has this illness, that they're still trying to figure everything out, but that he's not going to be able to race the Baha $1,000. And his goal always been to be the first man to do the first 50 and he'd be the only one and of course, get as many wins as he could. So he was calling me to say, I want you to drive for me. I was blown away. And he said he would be driver of record. He'd get in for the start and finished as a rider. And as long as he did that, that qualified him to be driver of record. And his son dad, who is also a very accomplished racer and probably had seven or eight Baha 1000 wins in various classes, would be the other driver, said, basically, it's you. I want you to do this. And I immediately went to making excuses of why I might not be able to and really wondering if his mind wasn't also affected a little bit.
[01:30:14.710] - Frank DeAngelo
And my first excuse was, Rod, I got to work the event. And he said, well, you have Nate. Now, you've done a good job of bringing Nate along. And we can jump back to talk about that here, too, hopefully. At any rate, he said, I'll call your boss. I'll call Darryl and ask him, let me do that. But first, Rod, why would you want me? Why in the world would you want some guy that's really never raced to race for you in a race that's that important for you to start and finish? And he said, well, I've got three reasons. And I was like, okay. And I'm thinking to myself, anybody that knows Rod Hall, what a character. I mean, a real character. And I'm like, this ought to be good. Okay, Rod, tell me your three reasons. And he goes, well, number one, you've been going down there for close to 40 years, helping to map the course, and you go down in a truck. And to my knowledge, you've always come back and you've never had to have the truck come back on a hook or being towed. Correct? I went, yeah. And he goes, well, that's one reason.
[01:31:35.040] - Frank DeAngelo
He said, anybody that can go down, do the entire course, maybe do it a few times and come back without tearing the truck up. That's the kind of person I'm looking for. Okay, great. What's the second reason, Rod? And he said, with all that travel down there and the travel you did with South Fish and everybody else, he said, Is there anybody that knows Baja better than you? And I thought about it for a while, and I said, well, maybe a couple. There might be a handful that knows it as well or better. And he goes, well, that's the second reason I want you. And I said, okay. And I said, Well, Rod, what's the third reason? And he said, Frank, you deserve it. If you want to do it, you deserve it. And you once told me years ago that was on your bucket list that you wanted to race with the team that knew how to get to the finish line. Well, my record speaks for itself. We know how to get to the finish line. And he said, So that's the third reason. And that made me feel so good coming from Rod that he felt I deserved, which I don't believe I did, but I was extremely honored and so talked to my boss, and my boss said, Absolutely, just get everything set up so they can run it on race day, and you're free to go.
[01:33:10.150] - Frank DeAngelo
And so I did. And the first year we raced, there were quite a few vehicles in the class. We were running his Hummer H one, I knew Chad really well, and we had always gotten along really well. So when he went testing, he had me out to drive, make sure I could get the job done and do all those things and get familiar with the vehicle and so on and so forth. So we did all that. And race day comes, and we had like six, seven, eight other vehicles in the class. And that was the year that there were two Mopars, there was a Raptor or two a Toyota, I mean, some really good competition. And Lo and behold, we win. And we had pulled out a pretty good lead at one point. But then the truck on the way back towards the finish line, Chad was in it, and they started having problems. Didn't know what they were. And so we were going way slower than everybody else. The bottom line is we won by 2030 minutes. And so that gave Rod his 49th Baha 1000 race and his 24th win. And I was really proud of that.
[01:34:40.110] - Frank DeAngelo
So the following year, it's a point to point race for the actually, my bucket list item was to run and finish the Baja 1000 but in a point to point race. But I wasn't going to say anything to anybody. Well, he called me up again and says, are you ready for the was like, you've got to be kidding me. And he said no. He said we got her done last year. I'm sure you can this year. Do I need to call Darryl? I said no, let me talk. So I did. We went down there. The race didn't start off well. Chad pulled into the pit on the first driver change ten minutes behind the leader, and I get in and then they found a broken CV and I sat there for an hour, hour and a half. And so we were way behind but got moving again and made up quite a bit of time. And pretty soon our competitor that was leaving, we see him parked on the side of the road working on it and we got by him and from there we never looked back and ended up winning Rod's 25th win in 50 races.
[01:36:04.770] - Frank DeAngelo
And to be a part of that. And it's when Rod was making the film, One More Win. I don't know if you've seen that rich or not.
[01:36:14.940] - Big Rich Klein
[01:36:15.910] - Frank DeAngelo
Okay it's when they were filming that One More Win. So to be able to spend time with Rod Reminiscing in La Paz about having been the only guy to race in all 50 and to come away with 25 class wins was really special to be a part of that. That, along with a couple of other racers races has me with a record that is probably second to none. I have 100% wind ratio because from there his son Chad was working on that Chevrolet program for desert races in the US. And because I was able to hold it together and help him find the finish line down there for three years, he had me come up and race the Vegas Arena with him in the Chevrolet that they had been racing. And we didn't have any competition, but we started and finished all three, thereby giving us the win. And our goal each time was to beat the previous year's time that the Raptor had set. And we were able to do that all three years at any rate. So I got three Vegas Torino wins and two Baha 1000 wins in five tries. In five tries.
[01:37:55.680] - Frank DeAngelo
So you can't do better than that. No. But never thought of myself as a racer. But the two with Rod and Chad were just very special. Want to regress a little bit about my 21 years of Jackson. During that time when I lived in Northeast Ohio, I had an assistant that would help me with some of the BFG stuff, another business that I had going on there. Then when I made the move to Greenville, he did not. And so once I got down there, I was looking for another person to help me with the off road program. And there was a gentleman that worked for us working for Jackson that I hired. His name was Victor Angond, who I think is still around. I think he has something to do with the offroad fabrication school, correct? At any rate, hired him and he was going to be the heir apparent for when I did finally retire or start doing other things at Jackson. Lasted a couple of years and then decided he was originally from the West Coast, decided to move back there, and we couldn't have the job be on the West Coast. It needed to be right there with us.
[01:39:20.250] - Frank DeAngelo
And so after that period of time, I had a guy that had worked for us for a long time, was part of our Michelin program. His name is Nate Hunt, which is very familiar now. He did Michelin programs, and then he did some ride drive programs with one of our other clients, BMW. And then I used Dean to work the media center at a couple of the larger events like the Baja 1000. And I realized that Nate was number one, a very hard worker. He was extremely intelligent, way smarter than I'll ever be. He was very passionate and had a pretty good sense of common sense, which is how I feel I've always operated, is just having good common sense and surrounding himself with good people. And I really felt he was a good person. And so actually hired him on as the off road assistant and started him out doing some rock sport events and closed course events and slowly moved him into the desert and had him under my wing, I'm going to say for probably directly under my wing for probably eight years, but still work closely with them for the past two or three years.
[01:40:56.790] - Frank DeAngelo
And now, as you know, he's running all of the BF Good Rich Motorsports program, which is a little bit of pavement and then the off road stuff. And Nate is one of those guys that gives 110% all the time, has been a great relationship person. And as you know, Richie, part of being able to be a long time in this industry is having good relationships with people. And Nate has all that. I believe he's really well respected and he's just the type of guy that you want to be around. And so I feel like as I was leaving Jackson three years ago, leaving that program to him, I felt very good about it. I knew that he would carry on and do it in a way that would more than live up to my moral and ethical standards. And he definitely has accomplished that, right?
[01:42:07.020] - Big Rich Klein
I think he was a great fit.
[01:42:09.390] - Frank DeAngelo
Yeah. I mean, I'm not sure Jackson nor BF Goodrich realized what they have in Nate Hunt. He's one of the best of the best, and he would be that way for any program that he was managing right now. It's off road, and it's been off road for ten years. But in anything he does, he's going to do it to the best that it can be done. And if he doesn't know how, he's going to figure it out, because he is, as I mentioned, pretty intelligent but have the highest respect for him. So 21 years goes by and Larry Jackson is retired and Darryl is running the business. And I'm told that they are retiring me. And I was like, guys, I'm really not ready to retire. Well, you know, business had changed. A lot of things have changed with the company and so forth. And they were making way for new people and new things to happen. And so they retired me well, I come home, we had discussed it months in advance. And at first maybe I wasn't okay with it, but I've never been that type of person that looked back or had a vendetta or anything like that.
[01:43:47.530] - Frank DeAngelo
So I just figured again, another new chapter in my life, right. And while I wasn't ready to retire, I was ready to start working towards retiring and not working as hard as I had been, and so moved my business home, put the word out that I would be available. And Jackson was kind enough to talk to BFG, and they decided they might want to keep me around a little bit longer on a contract basis. So I contracted with Jackson to help them with anything and everything and mainly pertaining to BFGoodrich in Michigan. So I knew I had some business there. And that year that I ended up leaving Jackson, I was sitting around up in a crane in Wisconsin for the Labor Day event. And the big talk at that point in time was how Lucas had pulled out, how the tracks in the Midwest were looking for a new sanctioning body to come in and sanction their events and create a series and continue on what had been tradition back there for years. And there's a group called ISOP that produces Snowcross events, world class, no cross events. And they also do television live feed.
[01:45:20.110] - Frank DeAngelo
They have other services that they provide, and they were actually providing a live feed production for Cranton. And most of the tracks have got to know him a little bit and approach them about becoming the new sanctioning body in the Midwest. And basically he was interested but didn't know anybody that knew off road. And this was the last event of the season. There were a lot of the other track owners that were at this event. And one by one, they kept pointing their finger at me that if Carl wanted to find someone to help him, I would be the person Carl and I talked for about three months before I finally agreed to take on that role. And that role is I am the series director for Championship off road. And what makes this such a great fit is Karl and his group do a great job with the TV production. They do a great job with knowing how to run an event, keep it on schedule. They have people that can do entries and do the first payouts and do all of those kinds of things that you need when you're running a series like that.
[01:46:51.830] - Frank DeAngelo
And so my role as the series director was twofold. One, it was to come in and try to get some sponsors support. Right. But also more importantly, direct the series for the future. And it took me about three months, but I finally agreed to it, made everybody aware this was not going to be anything that would happen quickly. There are certain things we just had to change and do differently, and that I needed to have a pretty strong voice in the way that we ran those things and the things that we did. And once that was agreed upon, the first thing I did was I hired a tech director. That, to me is probably, if not the smartest one of the smartest guys to ever be a tech director. And that was Bill Savage. A lot of people don't like him because he's DQD. A lot of people. But I needed someone that I could go to and say, here's what I want the end result to be. You tell me how to get there, right? I could tell him what classes I wanted. I could tell him I wanted him to stay stock or not.
[01:48:12.580] - Frank DeAngelo
I could tell him whatever it is I wanted. I could bounce things off of him. And so we brought him on board, which was huge, very large in terms of getting the rules and everything in place. That first year that we started the series, then the Pandemic hits somehow someway and I don't know how, but we managed to pull off five events.
[01:48:44.050] - Big Rich Klein
How many did you have scheduled?
[01:48:46.810] - Frank DeAngelo
We had five scheduled. Oh, perfect.
[01:48:49.130] - Big Rich Klein
[01:48:49.780] - Frank DeAngelo
We had five scheduled at four different tracks.
[01:48:53.000] - Big Rich Klein
[01:48:53.900] - Frank DeAngelo
Well, we were able to pull off all five weekends, which was ten rounds of racing at three tracks. So we circled back on another track. So that was a success. It was pretty funny, Richie. And when I called around to let people know I was doing this and it was going to be it would be successful and was trying to get support from many of the manufacturers or sponsors. Almost to a word, I got pulled the same thing. Closed course racing is dying. It's on a steep decline. And we've heard your story a thousand times. That how you're going to take it to the next level, how you're going to do this, how you're going to do that, and so forth. And it was more like, show us, we'll pay attention, and then we'll consider for next year. It was like, fair enough. So the challenge was thrown for sure. And I think we only ended up with two or three sponsors the first year, but we immediately started doing some things. My philosophy with everybody, both our team at Champoff Road and the tracks and the racers was all the same. And I was very transparent on what that was.
[01:50:28.630] - Frank DeAngelo
In order for this to succeed, we had just formed a partnership. And while it wasn't official, what I meant to say was we had to all be on the same page. We had to all work together and our decisions on what we would or wouldn't do while we would be making most of them. When we made a decision to do something, it had to be good for the track, it has to be good for the racer, and it had to be good for the series. Right. And so a lot of the decisions and things we did, that is how we approached it. And the first major thing that I did that really upset some companies and some people was the cost of racing. In a lot of these classes I've gotten out of hand. One of them specifically was Pro Two and Pro Four, where at one point in time they were running pure race tires. And so the only tire companies that would get involved were ones that could make that race tire and make one that was competitive after that got launched quite a few years ago. Pretty soon, Lucas, I think, was the first one to say, okay, well, you can only have that tire in Pro Four and not go to, but they were still allowing it in Pro Four.
[01:51:56.450] - Frank DeAngelo
By that time, only a couple, two, three, maybe four tire companies were running and building race tires. And my first rule was no more race tires. We are going all dot tire racing. And so one of those companies that was making race tires was BF Bidrich. Yes. And they basically told me how stupid I was, as well as how that would be a big mistake, that it would not go anywhere, so on and so forth. And other companies that were making the race tires shared those same thoughts. Well, here we are two and a half years later, and we have six tire companies supporting the series. And I don't mean just supporting a few racers in the series. I'm saying supporting the series and the racers and attending every event with tractor trailers and activation and everything else. We have a real dot tire war going on, if you will. Excellent. It's unbelievable. So a couple of those companies that said we were silly or got involved, Bfgidrich has not. That's probably another story because it's probably more about the personnel steering the shift right now than it is anything else because they're losing out.
[01:53:30.730] - Frank DeAngelo
They have no idea what's going on there and they're losing out. The series in two and a half years is way farther along than what I thought it would be the first year we did our live feed. And as I mentioned had the drone pilot come in. Our numbers were about 160,000 viewers each weekend. Last year, we were at about 180 or 190,000 viewers each weekend. Wow. Yeah. And this year we had changed it up and went to an organization called Flow Racing. And Flow Racing is a paid view, but they have over 2000 events, all motorsports that errs on their programming. And they guaranteed us at least the same number of viewers that we had been getting, which was already substantial. So we're looking forward to this year to see how that shakes out. We think it's going to increase our viewership by another 30%, so we think we'll be over 250,000 each weekend. The live feed production has been good enough that CBS has picked us up, and this will be our second year in a row that will be on CBS. Our racer count at the events is spectacular. I mean, numbers that if we ever seen them before, it wasn't for long and it was quite a while ago.
[01:55:27.710] - Frank DeAngelo
Sportsman classes are full, probably averaging 30 competitors a class. The pro classes. This Prolite has grown to approximately 20 entries, which is unheard of our pro two. Last year we had a high of 26 or 28, I think a low of 19 or 20. At the end of the Midwest and West Coast series, they were down to two or three pro. Four Z. Right. We're now at ten to twelve. So the racing has been spectacular. The racer support has been good. Sponsors have come on board. The series is running really well. And when I took the role, I said I'd give them three years and hoping we could have it in a direction that would show that it's going to continue to prosper and grow. And we've surpassed my expectations. We added an event weekend last year, so we went from five weekends and ten rounds to six weekends and twelve rounds. And now for next year, we've got a letter of intent to race in Georgia that will be outside the Midwest, and that will raise us to seven weekends with 14 rounds. And my goal before I finally hang it up and retire, is to have us at eight weekends and 16 rounds.
[01:57:15.490] - Frank DeAngelo
Wow. Yeah. So I talked about moving down to Greenville, South Carolina. And when I made the move and came down here to Jackson, I brought my horses with me. I've always had horses, and I touched upon that a little earlier, I think. But I always having horses, people with teeth and say, oh, so you're a cowboy. And I never thought of myself as a cowboy because I always thought a cowboy is one that messes around with cows and can hurt a cow or cut a cow or rope a cow or whatever. So about six or seven years ago, in addition to trail riding, I decided I was going to be a real cowboy and wanted to start doing that kind of stuff with horses. So bought a young horse and found a trainer that I went to and said, I don't want you to train my horse. I want you to train me so I can train my horse. And he'll tell you now that it probably would have been easier just to train my horse, but he helped me so much and I learned so much. I understand I'm a guy that's been riding for 55, almost 60 years, so already was pretty well established in terms of being able to ride and handle a horse, but didn't know anything about this Ranch horse competition.
[01:58:54.290] - Frank DeAngelo
But for the last six or seven years, and especially the last three since I've been working towards real retirement, I've been doing Ranch horse competition, and I got a horse that didn't cost as much as a lot of the other horses that I compete against and kept working and working and working and ended up going to the world show a couple of years ago and got in the top ten a couple of times and was really inspired by that. Went back two years ago and won a reserve world champion, which means you came in second and came away from that saying, you know what? I just got to work harder and I can win a world Championship. I just know it. Well, Besides being good, like with racing, you have to have a little luck on your side. In this case. You have to draw the right cows, and your horse has to be on that day, and you have to be on that day, and it becomes your day. And lucky for me, last year I had a goal of going and winning a world Championship, and I get there and I did, and I won it in Ranch roping, and Ranch roping is where you go get a cow out of the herd and rope it.
[02:00:20.230] - Frank DeAngelo
And I won. And then two days later, I'm competing in another class where you're basically cutting cows. And I won another one. So you mentioned it earlier that I was accomplished or a national champion. Yeah, I actually won two world titles last year.
[02:00:39.900] - Big Rich Klein
[02:00:44.450] - Frank DeAngelo
That's my passion today. I mean, I still love the challenge of motorsports and what we're doing at camp off road. But if I was going to say, what's my number one passion right now? It's American Ranchoise competition and being a cowboy. So I'm on Facebook. I don't post a whole lot, but every once in a while I'll give a mention of what I just did or where I just came from. But I'm starting to gear up to go to the world show this year, which will be in Florida the middle of July at the World Equestrian Center.
[02:01:21.150] - Big Rich Klein
Florida in the middle of July.
[02:01:23.850] - Frank DeAngelo
I know, but this World Equestrian Center air conditioning, the stalls, the arena, everything is climate controlled, perfect. So once we're inside, we're good to go. That's good. One other thing that I'm doing that I think is worth mentioning because I'm really proud of it. I talked about how I got a divorce and moved down to Greenville, South Carolina. Well, after being down there for about three months, my daughter calls me and says, hey, dad, do you think you got room for a horse than me? And I said, sure. And she moved down with me. So she's had horses all her life. Also. She joined the Air Force Reserves here about six or seven years ago. She wasn't where she wanted to be in life and left the animals with me and joined and did her basic and did her training and did all that and then got quite a few assignments. I think she's pretty good at what she does. She just got back from a six month stint abroad and come home and is enjoying going back to being just a reserve and not active and got a civilian job where she still works on the Air Force base doing what she does.
[02:02:53.090] - Frank DeAngelo
But her and her husband about two or three years ago, bought two years ago, bought a 35 acre farm in Florence, South Carolina. And I've been living up near Greenville and had a little 13 acre Ranch. It's all set up for horses and everything. And she called me last year and said, hey, you said, when you are getting ready to or when you retire, you're selling your place and want to travel with your horse a little bit. I said, yeah. She said, Why are you going to wait until you retire? I said, what do you mean? She said, well, the market is pretty stupid crazy in terms of what they're getting for places you ought to sell now while you get the most. And then I said, well, then what would I do? She said, well, you could move down here and build a little place in the back of our property. And I thought about it for about four or five months. And I thought, why wouldn't that be fun, to go down and live on their property, help them with that. But as they start a family, I can spoil the kids and then send them home, maybe make a cowboy or cowgirl out of one of them.
[02:04:07.510] - Frank DeAngelo
So I did move down here. I'm staying with them right now, and I'm building what they call a barn Dominium.
[02:04:14.590] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, that's my goal, too. Barn Dominium.
[02:04:18.230] - Frank DeAngelo
Yes, they are so cool. Well, Rich, I'm about 30 days out from moving in.
[02:04:25.420] - Big Rich Klein
[02:04:29.790] - Frank DeAngelo
As I mentioned before, life has been really good. I've been really blessed. And I don't think now that I'm closer to retirement, I still don't think I've worked a day in my life because I've always loved what I'm doing and I'm still loving what I'm doing. But now I'm doing more of the horse stuff than I ever have before. And it's everything I thought it would be excellent.
[02:04:56.280] - Big Rich Klein
And you have grandchildren? I got eight.
[02:05:08.470] - Frank DeAngelo
You have eight?
[02:05:09.660] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. Shelley, between us, we have five kids and eight grandchildren.
[02:05:16.090] - Frank DeAngelo
That is awesome. Now, are any close to where you're living?
[02:05:20.250] - Big Rich Klein
No, they're spread out. We have kids in Minneapolis. We have kids in the Southern Utah, and then we have kids up in Idaho. So we get to be the cool grandparents and swing in and spend time with them, tell them stories. We send them postcards from where we're at. And we're the cool grandparents because we're the ones that kind of like not jet set, but that kind of a thing. We just appear and then we're off again to go do more adventures. And now that the grandsons are getting older, our oldest, Jacob, he's 13 now. This will be his 6th year of being on the road with us. And then I hope to get the second one, Austin on the road with us this year or at least next year. And he's twelve. So it'll be them traveling with us for a few weeks at a time. It'll be pretty cool.
[02:06:28.750] - Frank DeAngelo
That is awesome. That is awesome. And yeah. To them, not only are you these grandparents that kind of pop in and out, but the things that you do and the types of events that you go to are very different, which make them very cool to those kids out there.
[02:06:46.580] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. Because we're not sitting at home like the others. There's nothing wrong with that. But they get to see them all the time so that when they get to come with us, we get to shoot rifles, supervised, of course, shoot pistols and drive the Jeep and do the off road thing and all that kind of stuff in which they don't get otherwise. Yeah, that's pretty cool.
[02:07:20.040] - Frank DeAngelo
Yeah. Wow. That's very cool. One thing that I didn't mention, and just to tell you something that I may or may not end up doing here in another year or two, I ended up buying the pre runner that we used to Mark the course they were getting. Nate building him a new one.
[02:07:49.190] - Big Rich Klein
[02:07:50.710] - Frank DeAngelo
Yeah. And the old one that I've been using is a 93 model. I thought, you know, one day I'd probably like to go down to Baja and get lost for a few months and be able to relax and spend time in places that I simply went through and never had time to stop and smell the roses or check the place out. So I bought it, had some work done on it, and it's sitting out there all prepped and ready for me when I'm ready to make that trip to Boston. So I think one of the first things I'm going to do when I'm fully retired is I think I'm going to call up a few friends and say, hey, I'm heading to Baja. Don't know for how long. Here's what I'm going to be doing and where I'm planning on going and exploring. And if you want to tag along for all or part of it, please come join me. So I am planning a Baja trip in the future, probably next fall, and who knows where that will take me. But I've always been intrigued with Baja and love it. And during the Baja 2000, and I tried to route the course so many different ways, and some of those were denied.
[02:09:21.790] - Frank DeAngelo
But when we went down there and ran through those areas, they were areas we'd never run through before and didn't have time to explore them much other than to go through. So those are some of the areas I want to go back and check out when I do fully retire.
[02:09:39.070] - Big Rich Klein
Well, put me on that email list because I would love to come down and hang out. I know that back in the day, probably ten or twelve years ago, I threw out there to you and to Jeff and then to Nate when he started was let me help with the course marking. And I know that was pretty difficult to make happen and stuff, but I understand that. But I love to explore and I love to go places I've never been. Every time we go across the country, if we're not driving the semi truck, if we're driving the Raptor or the Jeep, we always take back roads. We went all the way from just outside of Minneapolis, all the way to Laramie, Wyoming, back roads and offroad. And then we ran out of time and had to jump on the highway to get to Vegas so that we could get started with the Rebel rally because we staff that those are the kind of things that we like to do. We pull our adventure trailer and we just go park wherever we want to out in the middle of nowhere if there's no state parks around or anything like that, and set up and continue on the next day if we need to.
[02:11:07.570] - Big Rich Klein
If you're at least give me an agenda or something and I'll find you somewhere.
[02:11:16.190] - Frank DeAngelo
Well, I will definitely do that. Rich thinking about, oh, my gosh. In this conversation, we covered a lot about who I am, what I do and my career and all that kind of stuff and information. But, you know, the one area and I could probably kick myself that I didn't talk about. And it's also an area that you have been gracious enough to promote on some of your podcasts. And I know this because I've heard it. Okay.
[02:12:01.010] - Big Rich Klein
[02:12:01.570] - Frank DeAngelo
And so if you will allow me, I would like to take a few minutes and talk about the Offroad Motorsports Hall of Fame.
[02:12:10.090] - Big Rich Klein
Absolutely. Because it is dear to my heart. And as I wind down, I want to get more involved. I want more people to join this great organization that's going to record in the various different ways our history, and we need to promote it well, very good.
[02:12:33.220] - Frank DeAngelo
Well, as Rod Hall was resurrecting the hall of Fame that he bought the rights from early on. He had Bob Bower on board and Bob and him unpacked the boxes and got a few other people involved. Rod really felt strongly about it. In fact, Rod funded it solely by himself for the first few years. And as things started picking up and moving forward, he asked me if I would consider sitting on the board of directors. And so I did. That was gosh, I don't even remember. But several years ago, maybe as many as nine, eight or nine, I'm not sure. Well, yeah, it's been at least that long. At any rate, been on the board of directors that long. The board now has it's a little bit larger board, some very sharp individuals from the industry. The off road motorsports hall of Fame has done a tremendous job of capturing the history of our sport and starting to promote it. And we do all that through there's only two ways of funding. One is our membership drive, and anyone can be a member from a $25 voting member to a bigger I think they call it winter Circle member or corporate sponsors.
[02:14:07.010] - Frank DeAngelo
So that's one way we fund it and then the other way that we fund it is through our one event each year, which is the offroad motorsports hall of Fame induction ceremony. And we do a silent auction there, and it's a fundraiser to raise funds for the hall of Fame. And in fact, I'm just back from last Monday. The voting committee met, and I'm sure a person on the voting committee, and there's 20 people that are voted in to be on the voting committee, and we reviewed 40 I believe it was 46 or 48 packets and chose the inductees for 2022, which will happen. We'll probably announce it mid July, 1 August, and that'll be the class that we induct this October in Las Vegas. I didn't mention that or my role in that, but even after I retire, if they want me to continue sitting on the board, I will do it because I have such a passion for off road and want to see the history preserved and want to see it continue to grow. And I have listened to a couple of your podcasts and really like them and then the two that I think I listened to, you promoted it both times.
[02:15:46.670] - Frank DeAngelo
And if for no other reason than that I was willing to jump on one of your podcasts, I thought that was really cool of you to do that and really appreciate it. So I did want to mention I have an involvement in it and have a passion for it and want to promote it as best I can.
[02:16:06.670] - Big Rich Klein
That's awesome. I do have a passion. That's why I've been in this as long when I figured out I could do something to get involved Besides being a manufacturer or a driver racer and became a promoter. It was because I loved the sport. I loved being an enthusiast and trail riding. I loved watching the rock crawls to begin with and then getting involved and helping judge. And then when I moved back to California, I decided to start Cal Rocks. And then it changed into We Rock. And I just kept doing it and had a chance to own Vora did the same thing with Dirt Riot. And it's all because of this passion of being outdoors motorsport, but also because of the people that are involved across the board in offroad motorsports, whether it's rock crawling or desert racing, it's just a unique community. And I really want to see the history. Rock crawling is now 24, 25 years old, and my goal is to get more of the rock crawling known. The only way I'm going to be able to do that is by pushing the membership for the enthusiasts to get involved with the Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame as a member and to find out what you know.
[02:17:45.570] - Big Rich Klein
And so that's my goal. Over the next thing, we put together some magazine articles for Low Magazine, the magazine that we publish as well, and then announcing it, trying to talk about it as much as I can here on conversations and then at our events as well, try to push it. And for years now, I was there when you were inducted, and I've been there well, since I think 2010, I've made every one of them and that they've had. I'm going to continue doing that until I can't anymore. Because of the just the people that are involved.
[02:18:38.890] - Frank DeAngelo
[02:18:39.390] - Big Rich Klein
And the whole ideology behind it.
[02:18:42.250] - Frank DeAngelo
[02:18:45.970] - Big Rich Klein
So I agree it needs to be promoted, and that's going to be my next thing is to really push on it. So, yeah, everybody that's listening to this become an Arm Hoff member. Like Frank said, a voting member of $25 a year is a great way to get started. And you get a chance to vote on those names when they come up for not the hall inductees up to seven they can bring in, but into the Impact Awards that are given out at the same time, which are industry and everything from media to promoters to land use to racers.
[02:19:31.990] - Frank DeAngelo
[02:19:32.920] - Big Rich Klein
[02:19:34.130] - Frank DeAngelo
[02:19:35.230] - Big Rich Klein
Well, Frank, I want to say thank you so much for spending the time and talking about everything. I know that we could probably talk for another 2 hours and really delve into a lot of storytelling and stuff like that, but we'll have to save that for when we get together in Baja.
[02:19:52.450] - Frank DeAngelo
That sounds wonderful, Bud. And I will remember to let you know when I do that Baja trip. And I certainly look forward to seeing you again. And if not before, at least at the Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
[02:20:08.990] - Big Rich Klein
Yes, I will definitely be there. All right, Frank, thank you. So much for coming on.
[02:20:14.830] - Frank DeAngelo
You bet. Thank you for having me.
[02:20:16.880] - Big Rich Klein
All right. Talk to you later. Bye bye.
[02:20:18.890] - Frank DeAngelo
Okay. Take care. Bye bye.
[02:20:22.030] - Big Rich Klein
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