Growing in tradition with each passing Florida Winter Tour season, the Dan Wheldon Ambassador Award was given out this past weekend at the final round of the Sofina Foods Florida Winter Tour. Following the podium celebration on Sunday evening, Mike Maurini and Chris Wheeler gave away the annual award to this year's winner, Garett Potter.
New from previous seasons, the 2016 award winner was not a driver, team owner or a competitor, but it is a member of one of the hardest working staffs in all of karting. Dubbed as one of the toughest jobs in karting, the former multi-track operator and manager has now taken the reigns and is the front line of not only the Florida Winter Tour, but the US Open series and the United States Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Nationals. Organizing a staff of 20+, Potter has a hard working team behind him with years of knowledge and experience in the industry.
Garrett Potter has over 25 years experience in the racing industry. Switching from motorcycles to karts in 1999, he quickly caught the karting bug. Working for over 16 years specifically in karting, Potter has participated in every aspect of the industry - from racing and coaching to officiating and promoting. Operating two of the largest karting facilities in the country, Miller Motorsports Park and the NOLA Motorsports Park, Potter's move to the MAXSpeed crew proved pivotal in the success of Florida Winter Tour after Bill Wright's retirement.
"His passion for the sport, hard work ethic, willingness to help out at any time, and desire to see everyone at the track with a smile on their face are truly representative of Dan's attributes, which makes Garett the perfect recipient for this year's award," explained Mike Maurini. "The list of award winners from previous years include Jim Russell Jr., Alan Rudolph, Jorge Arellano and Ben Cooper and now we have added another name to this tremendous list of people in Garett Potter."
"I only had a chance to meet Dan a few times but no matter the situation I saw him in, he always would leave with respect and a smile," explained Garett Potter. "Our industry is in dire need of Dan in our paddocks these days, and I think we all need to take a page from his book each and every day when we are at the track. I will be doing my best to think of this everyday when I show up to work."
With plans already in the works for the 2017 edition of the award, announcements and details will be forthcoming.