This much is certain, the management of the Valenti Modified Racing Series will have a difficult time finding a new series director that brings as much to the position as Scott Tapley did in his brief time with the division.
Whether one agrees or disagrees with the officiating or competition management styles or philosophies Tapley brought to the table, there’s no denying in any way that he brought mounds of major positive change to the series, in multiple different facets, in the brief time he served as series director.
Tapley today RaceDayCT on Monday that he has left the series, effective immediately. There has been no official announcement from series management.
Going back to his time as the race director for the Waterford Speedbowl from 2011-2012, Tapley developed a style of officiating that put consistency of call making at the forefront, with no fear of making the unpopular call.
And it was the same style he brought with him to the Valenti Modified Racing Series when he began as series director in November 2012.
Unfortunately, that determination to remain consistent with all decisions being made overseeing the series was likely what led to his decision to walk away.
Though, in just over a year and half as series director, Tapley changed the face of the Valenti Modified Racing Series in many ways.
His biggest contributions came in the realm of public relations overall for the division, which is celebrating its 11th year in operation in 2014.
For the first nine years the series ran, public relations and media relations within the division was never a focus in any way. And as the series grew up and grew out and made big leaps into the Connecticut short track scene, it was without much fanfare, in a lot of ways because series management put no emphasis on getting the word out.
As social media grew and became a necessity for any type of entertainment entity looking to attract fans, Valenti Modified Racing Series management essentially ignored it in every way. At one point a series Twitter account was opened and then sat dormant for over a year.
The series website was long a mess. It was rarely updated and more often than not promoting out of date material for months on end.
Tapley arrived and changed it all. Creating a new website for the series that not only became timely, but also offered an immeasurable amount of quality information for competitors, teams, fans and the media. Tapley also put together a full series history of statistics, which essentially didn’t exist before his arrival.
Before Tapley’s arrival with the division, at most events it was difficult to event get a roster lineup sheet for that day at the track or printed results after a race.
Tapley took the seeming blackout of information distribution that plagued the division for years and turned it 180 degrees by creating the division’s first full fledged media guide prior to this season. Never before had all the needed present day and historical information surrounding the series been compiled and offered to fans, competition and the media.
And Tapley, who also serves as the racing director at Thompson Speedway, made sure the series used tools like Facebook and Twitter to not only promote the series, but also to keep the information flowing to fans during events. He embraced social media for a division that before his arrival had, for all intents, totally ignored it.
And when it came to competition, Tapley was a force for change in helping to improve the product that fans see at the track. In his first year he instituted changes that made heat races – that had essentially turned into glorified hot laps – competitive and interesting for the fans again. He also worked to ensure the fans showing up to events got to see their ticket value’s worth of competition and not just events where racing didn’t start until 80 percent of the way through the distance of the event.
Again, no matter what anybody thoughts are on Tapley’s style, aggressive nature of officiating consistently or overall management philosophy, there’s no denying that his positive force of change within the Valenti Modified Racing Series made the series world’s better than before his arrival, and he’s to be applauded for that fact.