Like many professional drag racing sanctioning bodies, the NMRA and NMCA will now have official starters on the starting line at every event. ProMedia’s Competition Department announced that TJ Bailey will be the official starter for the NMRA and NMCA events, and Donie Butts will serve as the official starter for the NMCA WEST series.
"Both of the seasoned veterans will handle start line, pre-event parking, staging and track prep duties at their respective events," said Rollie Miller, ProMedia National Event Director. "Part of the ProMedia ProPledge initiative, TJ and Donie are committed to providing high-quality customer service at all levels."
According to the NMRA, “TJ Bailey has been part of the drag racing scene for over nine years. He started his career at the Texas Motorplex, was part of the NHRA start line crew for six years and worked with ProMedia for the past five years as part of the staging, parking and ground operations team. Based in Dallas, Texas where he is the Operations Manager at Clampitt Paper, Bailey is looking forward to working with his friends in the NMRA and NMCA circuits.”
"I am excited for the opportunity to work with the tracks and the racers in order to offer the best experience possible," said TJ Bailey, NMRA and NMCA series official starter.
Donie Butts has over 30 years of experience in drag racing as part of the NHRA Safety Safari and as a starter for the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS).
“His experience with NHRA, where he assisted in track prep and emergency services, along with his time on the start line at LVMS has given him the skills he needs to handle the duties at NMCA WEST,” said the NMCA.
Butts is from Hawthorne, California where he works as a Logistics Technician at SpaceX. "I have a great rapport with the racers and the crew,” said butts. “They like me on the start line because I'm fair and I will work closely with the track operators for consistent track conditions for the best possible set up for the racers."
This move is part of the ProMedia ProPledge initiative, which according to ProMedia president Steve Wolcott, is “a dynamic commitment to the NMRA, NMCA and NMCA WEST racers and fans designed to improve their experience at all ProMedia-produced motorsports events. ProPledge is integrated into the fabric of the company, improving upon the already strong reputation of NMRA, NMCA and NMCA WEST. The program includes more racer appreciation events, safety programs, and additional support for all racers, fans, and sponsors. ProMedia is a family that shares a passion for performance with our racers, fans and sponsors. ProPledge is a way of life at all ProMedia events.”