CELEBRATING THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF RON BOUCHARD’S NASCAR CUP WIN AT TALLADEGA:
Updated: Dec 28, 2022
A racing legacy is rooted in GROWTHco's Mission and Values.
"Most of you know, I spent eight months working with the people at NASCAR to put together an event to memorialize and celebrate Ron Bouchard’s 40th anniversary of his Cup win at Talladega in 1981. We even had Dale Earnhardt, Jr. completely excited to drive the 47 car! Without hesitation, Paula Bouchard spent money to buy anything and everything the 47 car needed to run one pace lap before yesterday’s race. Just one lap. Bob “Bergie” Bergeron worked on the car for weeks and even traveled to the Carolinas and back for required racing equipment and motor parts. Joann didn’t see him for days! We all took off time from work and families to make this one lap possible. Hmmm…there’s that word again, possible. Remember, I wrote the children’s book “From Impossible” to make sure everyone knew how much of a role model Ron was to me and to make sure others knew of the impact he had on my life. So, imagine our initial disappointment when Mother Nature forced NASCAR to cancel our one lap. After all we’ve done. During my 26 hour ride back home (after sleeping in the back of my Jeep for four days by the way), I started off disappointed. But then, I reflected on all of the good that happened this weekend. Paula, Joann, Bergie, Mary, Joe, and I met hundreds, heck maybe thousands of people. Some never heard of Ron and were impressed to learn about his accomplishments. Others stopped by to share personal stories and share their appreciation and admiration. By the end of my ride back to Groton Massachusetts from Talladega Alabama, I came to peace that we did what we went to do. We honored Ron Bouchard and educated the next generation about who he was, what he did, and how we are keeping his legacy alive. I thought of one boy who spent time with me at the 47 car in the Garage Experience display on Saturday at Talladega. When I told him about how Ron inspired me to chase my own goals, I could see him light up with hope for himself. I gave him a copy of my book. You see, Ron is still making an impact today…because we went to Talladega. Not because we got our one lap. And then, well…I got home. I immediately turned on the pre-race broadcast and saw the video and brief commentary that was added by the tv network and I felt proud. The media personality described Ron’s win as “always a possibility”. There’s that word again. And then, magic. When the race ran on Monday, while I was driving home, Bubba Wallace became only the 2nd black racecar driver to win a NASCAR Cup race in history. He became emotional during his victory speech and told kids of every ethnicity and background, “anything is possible if you believe and never give up.” Sure, I didn’t meet Dale Jr. Yes, it would’ve been very cool to get that one lap. No doubt. Did we accomplish what we wanted to in preserving Ron’s legacy, educating new fans about this great man, and experience another example that anything IS possible? We sure did! Thank you Talladega, Russell Branham, Stuart, Jason, and Mitch for rolling out the carpet for our team from Fitchburg Massachusetts. Home of the 1981 Talladega 500 winner and a man who continues to inspire all of us, Ron Bouchard."