A contingent of Amsoil employees, including Race
Program Manager Jeremy Meyer, returned recently from the Amsoil World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle
River, Wisconsin. This is the largest and most prestigious snowmobile competition in the world. It is billed
as the “Indianapolis 500 of Snowmobile Racing,” which is fitting because my long-time friend and racing legend
Bobby Unser attended. Bobby, for those who don’t know, is a three-time winner at Indy. In fact, he is the only
driver to win the event in three separate decades. He also dominated the Pikes Peak Hillclimb, with a record
13 wins. I spoke to Bobby prior to the Eagle River event and told him that Jeremy was looking forward to
meeting with him.
I have told this story before, but it bears repeating. I first met Bobby in the 1960s. He was at the height of
his domination of the Pikes Peak Hillclimb but was having trouble with his equipment. His open-wheel race car would
only make it through one or two runs up the mountain before the rear end would break. This was a huge problem at
the time because the only gear box that would work right in his car was the vintage 1940s model he was using, and
parts were not available. Bobby’s crew was continuously forced to re-machine the gears. Needless to say,
frustration set in. You don’t win races when parts keep breaking.
In desperation, Bobby began calling lubricant manufacturers in search of an oil that would protect his gears. He
found one that helped a little, but the parts kept breaking. Finally, he heard about a start-up company in the
upper Midwest that was developing some new type of technology. Bobby had never heard of synthetic lubrication, but
he gave me a call. He explained his problem, and I sent him some oil that I was convinced would work. That oil had
more film strength than any other oil on the market at the time.
Sure enough, it did work. Bobby went from repairing his gears after virtually every run to absolutely no
maintenance at all. He now made it through all his practice runs, qualifying runs and race day with the same set of
gears. Plus, that same rear end made it through the entire next year. Bobby had seen firsthand how a lubricant
could make a difference between winning and losing. The point is, Bobby became a true believer in Amsoil products
and never looked back. To this day, he wears Amsoil gear, and whenever conversation turns to lubrication he speaks
from experience. That early association with Bobby Unser established a loyalty that remains firm today. It also set
a pattern that we maintain in all of our racing relationships. The sponsorships we provide are based on more than
just handing over cash and hoping for the best. We become involved with our teams in all aspects and work hard to
build relationships based on trust and loyalty.
That is abundantly apparent with the racers featured in this issue. Each is a firm believer in AMSOIL products.
They all have stories, like Bobby’s, that convey ways in which the products performed for them in the most
demanding, race-on-the-line conditions. But more than that, they have gained a respect beyond the products –
respect that money just can’t buy. Each speaks in glowing terms about the technical assistance our experts provide.
Erik Buell, for example, had this to say: “As soon as I came (to Amsoil) and visited and started talking with the
research people, I realized I was in my territory. Amsoil is interested in solutions; passionate about what they
wanted to do and passionate about making the best lubricants. Amsoil is open to learn, listen and think – no canned
solutions. Everything is about ‘what is going on? We want to understand it, we want to look at it, we want to see
it, we want to think about it.’ Amsoil became completely engaged with us as a development partner.”
It is the relationships that we have built with Erik Buell, Scott Douglas, Steve Scheuring and all the others
that define what Amsoil is. We support our racers through good times and bad, and they know that the concept of
loyalty is not lost on us. That pays dividends for many, many years, and our friend Bobby Unser is proof of