How a simple business plan and good values can change the face of NASCAR

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In 1997, David Carrington was running a small software company when he purchased That's Racin', a NASCAR memorabilia store in an Alabama mall, as a test site for his specialty retail software. Before long, the business was seeing such growth that David was able to set up three more locations and change the name to RacingUSA.

Shortly thereafter, the Carrington family suffered a grievous misfortune. David was diagnosed with cancer. Rather than looking at his illness as a tragedy, he saw it as something positive. "I had a great advantage... because of that event, I was able to take a step back and decide that I was out of balance." He found that between running his four NASCAR stores and a software company, he had little time for the things that truly mattered in his life. A chance seminar in Los Angeles introduced him to the idea of starting an online portal for RacingUSA. By 2000, the website was netting more income than the four brick-and-mortar stores combined. At this time, David was able to streamline the business and close the physical locations, which enabled him to have more time for family.

With his cancer now in remission, David has been able to grow his business using a simple business model based on a close connection with customers. RacingUSA.com is now the most frequently shopped, independently owned NASCAR memorabilia store in the world.

Submitted by: Amy Musick, David Karr, and Morgan Stone of The University of Alabama at Birmingham, winners of the Take an Entrepreneur to Lunch contest, Global Entrepreneurship Week 2008.


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