“I sat with him for most of the race, at least two hours,” Curb recalled. “He said, ‘Why aren’t you more active?’ I said, ‘Bill, we enter cars at Daytona it seems like every year.’ But he said we should be doing something consistently and I asked what. He said, ‘We’re doing a huge promotion on diversity and on home tracks. We’re trying to build our home tracks.’ He said, ‘Why don’t you do that. You could do all of those for less than you could do a Cup Series car and it would be good for NASCAR.’
“Now, we’ve won in the Cup Series, we’ve won in XFINITY, we’ve won in Camping World trucks, we’ve won in K&N East, K&N West, the All-American late models, modifieds, southern modifieds and Grand-Am, which was owned by NASCAR.”
“There isn’t necessarily a model for what we do and there isn’t anybody we’ve copied or followed what they’ve done,” Agajanian explained. “This model is something we’ve developed over the years and found it to be the easiest, probably the most effective, efficient way to put deals together.
“Because of our mutual love for all types of racing, from the highest form to the lowest form, rather than go out and buy a brick-and-mortar midget shop, sprint car shop, champ car shop, an Indy car shop, a stock car shop, a sports car shop, this business model we’ve developed allows us to enjoy all forms of racing and help all different types of teams without all the issues that arise from having shops and people all over the country,” Agajanian added.
“So we pick certain teams that we feel comfortable with, we trust and that are honorable people. Our approach is clearly novel, but we’ve had brick-and-mortar teams off and on over the years. We’ve evolved into an organization that allows us to partner with and have some say-so and involvement with the team, more than just a sponsor that says, ‘Here’s some dollars, stick our decal on the car.’ The Curb-Agajanian name is popping up in a lot of places because we have a lot more involvement than just a sponsor.”
“The funny thing about it is we’ve had more success doing these partnerships with people that know what they are doing than we did when we were building our own cars,” Curb noted. “The last thing I said to Bill France before he died — I said, ‘Bill, I wish you had told me about this route about 40 years ago. It would have saved me a lot of time and a lot of money.’
“Basically, Cary and I are doing better now that we have partnerships than we did when we were building our own cars in our own shops. Now, we are working with people who are better than us and that’s something my father always believed in. He said, ‘I’ll know you by the company you keep, so surround yourself with people better than yourself.’
“While none of these ideas were my own, they came from people I trusted. Then, I made sure I could pay for these things; and that each one would be a good relationship for Curb Records to promote our recording artists, to promote our music. That’s really what it’s all about.”
The Curb Agajanian Performance Group’s long list of victories and championships includes the centennial running of the Indianapolis 500 with Dan Weldon in 2011, the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 with Alexander Rossi last year and the 50th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2012 with Michael Shank Racing. But when asked about their greatest achievements, both men point to the relationships they have developed.
“The real key is to have good relationships with the various teams. Everybody that we have been associated with has just been top-notch,” Agajanian said. “I stay in touch with all of the teams, like Keith Kunz and Pete Willoughby, or Bill McAnally on the West Coast. Mike and I get on the phone every so often and discuss how we’ve done and what we are going to do next year. We just love all forms of racing and a lot of it is driven by Mike’s ability, both from the sponsorship side and the Curb Records side, because it’s helpful to his business as well.
“Racing has always been our family’s business, but it’s Mike’s passion and that’s made for a great relationship through the years.”