Paul Lee believes it’s quality, not quantity, which wins in the end.
Case in point, Lee drove in only eight races last season yet had the best production he’s experienced than previous seasons where he’s had more shots at the track.
This season he’s running 15 races, largely due to an influx of Primary Associate sponsorship cash from Global Electronic Technologies.
“It feels great to have a major sponsor to help with the funding, to help us really run the car the way we want to run it,” said Lee, whose companies FTI Performance and McCleod Racing will fill in as primary sponsor for three of the events. “Jim Oberhofer and I, and the team, when we go to the race, we want to be competitive, and it takes finances to do that. So, it’s really great that they’re part of our family.”
It’s not hard to see Lee is brimming with excitement for the upcoming season.
“I’m more excited about this year than I’ve ever been,” Lee said. “I mean, last year at our first year back with our own team, we did eight races, and I have to say I had more fun last year than I’ve ever had racing in my life even though we didn’t win a lot of rounds, just the getting the foundation together with racing with Jim O and the rest of our team and working with straight-line strategy group. It was just a lot of fun. So now we want to amp up that fun with round wins.”
Lee represents the changing face of nitro racing where part-time nitro teams are becoming commonplace, as well as satellite teams for the multi-car operations.
“I want to prove what some of these other part-time teams want to prove and that is a part-time team can be a contender,” Lee said. “The Torrance family proved that. Yeah, they were part of a bigger team obviously, and to a lesser extent, we are part of that Don Schumacher racing DSR, kind of a satellite team DSR.
“So we do get help from them. And it made a big difference. We ran well; we qualified well. We only ran eight races, and we made less than 40 runs last year, and we’ve finished in the top 10 of the power rankings, which was kind of a good feeling to know that we made less than 40 runs, but we went down the track a lot.
“We didn’t smoke the tires very rarely, and we ran fast. So we just want to capitalize on that foundation that we built last year into 2020 racing more races.”
Lee believes the opportunities are much greater today than it has been for the satellite operations.
“When you join a bigger organization, they have economies of scale in not only the parts, the depth of the parts that they have, the intellectual property, which is the brains of the racing operation, not just the car but the whole organization,” Lee said. “I think being part of a bigger organization such as DSR has been a total benefit for us. We wouldn’t have been able to run as well as we did last year without the help from DSR.
“I think it’s smart for these operations like DSR. You’re seeing [satellite teams] pop up now. Tasca was really the first guy who did that, and then we did it. Now you see Antron doing it. So I can see the benefit of it and more teams should think about, more of the bigger teams should think about that. It’s actually a profit center that they have, and they don’t even know it. Some of these teams don’t even know they have a profit center. Don [Schumacher] is a smart businessman.
And for Lee, the situation makes it easy to choose quality over quantity.