TRAVIS BOLAND T&D Sports Editor
After a two-year hiatus, Super-Sod CEO Jim Roquemore decided it was time to bring back his annual fundraising event to help the Boy Scouts of America.
“I grew up in the Boy Scouts,” Roquemore said. “My grandfather gave the group a camp in south Georgia (Camp Patten) and my father always gave to the scouts. I felt like it was time to step back up and see if some of my friends might come and raise a little money while having have a good time.”
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This year’s event was headlined by race car driver Ryan Newman, who talked about his time in scouting, his NASCAR career and his future in the Superstar Racing Experience.
“This is just another way for me to give back,” Newman said about taking part in the event. “I was a Boy Scout, and I understand there are kids that look up to me. To be able to give back and make a difference is important. I’ve got good friends that give me the ability to come down here and be a part of this.”
Newman recalled his time in scouting, and the lessons he learned including how to be a good leader.
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“One thing we are missing nowadays is true leadership,” Newman said. “I feel (Boy Scouts) taught me to be a leader by learning how to follow. Learning leadership is one of the most important things in life.”
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Newman began his NASCAR Cup Series career in 2000 in Phoenix. Over the last 21 seasons he has accumulated 18 wins and nearly 270 top ten finishes. He called Darlington his favorite Cup race track.
“I’m a fan of any race track where you can use both pedals,” Newman said. “Tracks like Talladega and Daytona are wide open and you’re driving with one hand. The more influence you have as a driver, the more I like it.”
In March, Newman announced he would take part in the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX), a six-week series of races that features an array of drivers.
“(SRX) is for racers like me,” Newman said. “I wouldn’t say has-beens, but people who have made something out of something. It’s made-for-television racing and a lot less political than NASCAR.”
SRX is entering its second season and features former NASCAR drivers Michael Waltrip, Bill Elliott, and last year’s SRX champion Tony Stewart.
“I watched a little bit of the series last year and it looked like it was a lot of fun,” Newman said. “There have been a lot of good reviews from both the drivers and the fans. It’s more late-model racing with all the cars equally prepared.”
Despite not having a car this season, Newman has not announced his retirement from NASCAR.
“Am I done racing full-time in a Cup Series? It probably looks like it, but who knows?” Newman said. “I could go out and win all six (SRX) races and get a call from a team. Everything happens for a reason, and I will take that for what it’s worth.”
Roquemore’s friend Hank Jones was instrumental in bringing Newman along with actor/comedian Bill Murray to the event. Murray shook hands and took pictures with those in attendance. Both men were presented with engraved hatchets from the local Boy Scout troop.
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“I’ve made a great friend in Jim Roquemore,” Murray said when asked about his attendance. “My accent gives me away. I’m obviously not from here, but I have met some extraordinary people through Jim Roquemore. Some amazing, accomplished people who are kind and brilliant.”
Roquemore said he hoped to raise $115,000 with the event that featured nearly 100 in attendance.
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“(Scouting) teaches you while still being part of a unit independence,” Roquemore said. “You learn how to meet goals, and it takes a sacrifice. My grandson is a Cub Scout, and this is just my way to give back to this very important program that teaches values, patriotism and other characteristics people need. I just want to play a small role in helping.”