The Race to Promote 9-

The Race to Promote9-1-1

by Ron Harris

CORDOVA, Ala. – Most people think it’s a littleinsane to drive a car in excess of 150 miles per hour. Not DannyBagwell. He loves it. In fact, the faster he drives the better helikes it.

As a driver on NASCAR’s Goody Dash Series,Bagwell’s success depends on speed and endurance and everythingworking properly.

Now he’s hoping to use his name recognition andthe car he drives to help spread the word on how important using9-1-1 is.

Bagwell now tools around some of the most famousrace tracks in the country with the 9-1-1 logo and the words”One Nation, One Number” on the back of his car. Hissponsorship will hopefully spread the message that using 9-1-1helps save lives.
“Anytime you can help somebody I think you’re doing theright thing,” Bagwell said. “And that’s what 9-1-1 isall about … helping people.”

Placing the logo on the back of the car costBagwell and his team valuable sponsorship money because the logois placed on what some consider prime advertising space on thecar. But he doesn’t look at it as costing him money. He insteadprefers to look at it as helping out where help is needed.

“When you do something like this, most ofthe time it comes back to you somewhere down the road,” hesaid. “But that’s not the reason we put it on the car. Thereason is mainly because E9-1-1 director Roger Wilson called andasked me if I would help out in some way. Everybody needs to beaware that you can call 9-1-1 in our area and get whatever kindof help you need.

“With TV and radio and newspapers and trademagazines for this kind of racing, I don’t know how many peoplewill actually see this every year. But it is a tremendous amount.It’s an enormous number of people.”

Spending his weekends at tracks across thecountry gives Bagwell and his racing team an excellentopportunity to spread the word of just how important 9-1-1 is.
“We’ll be going all over the country so there’s no tellinghow many people will see this on the car,” Bagwell said.

“Danny built his shop and was needing anaddress for it so he could get phone service,” Wilson said,”so he called me and we got together and named the road PitRoad. About an hour later I called him back and asked if we couldput 9-1-1 on the car. He agreed to do it and said it wouldn’tcost a dime. I give credit to Danny and his team for doing this.He’s been real supportive of us and he’s let us use this spacethat he could probably use for revenue for his racing team. He’sa community-minded person and was real willing to do this forus.”

Bagwell first got hooked on racing in 1984 whiletooling around the small track at Sayre Speedway just a few milesfrom his home. That first experience was the beginning of whathas become a true success story.

“We didn’t do real well our first year, butthe second year we came back and got better and started winning afew races,” Bagwell, now 35, said. “The third year weran at Sayre and out of 19 won 14 of those and won thechampionship in that series two years in a row. We then graduateda little bit up the line and kept doing better. And as long asyou’re doing better, there’s no reason to stop.”

While he’s now on the Goody’s Dash Series,Bagwell admitted that one day he would like to step up with thebig boys – the Winston Cup Series. “I would love to be aWinston Cup driver and make a living doing that,” he said.”But I’m not going to die tomorrow if that doesn’thappen.”

Bagwell’s primary sponsor is Primestar by TCI.Associate sponsors include Ford SVO, Lane Automotive, FontanaAutomotive, R&H Performance, and Blake Fuel Systems. Hisfather, Wilson Bagwell, serves as his crew chief. Crew membersinclude Shawn Herald, Don Wilson, Grady Wilson and Chris Sherer.

Bagwell was named the 1992 Rookie of the Year inthe Goody’s Dash Series after posting a win and two Busch polepositions. In 1993, he finished 10th in the points standings andwon two pole positions. In 1995, he won two races and finishedsixth in the points standings.

In the first race of the season at DaytonaInternational Speedway, Bagwell finished 20th after starting therace in the 16th position. Since then he’s finished second threetimes, third twice and fourth once. His standing in the pointsrace peaked when he was first after a May 4th race at Nashville.He finished the 1996 NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series fourth in thepoints standings.

Ron Harris is a reporter for the Eagle,a Jasper, Alabama, newspaper.