Earlier this summer, the Kent State Football Coach, Doug Martin, was the featured speaker at the Chamber luncheon. Like all great coaches, he has a great knack for simplifying those things that everyone else likes to complicate. In particular, he talked about building a winning attitude. He said that talent, speed, and strength are certainly important, but you can’t win unless you believe you’re a winner. That’s the hardest part about turning a losing football program around — getting the players to believe they can win. Once you do that, good things happen. I don’t know the last time that Carl Picelle (owner of the Franklin Square Deli) ran around a football field, but I do know that everything he does, he does with an expectation to win. He always brings his A-game, and it shows in the success of the Deli, Main Street Kent, and even in his personal life where his reputation as a champion car racer grows each year. This guy’s a winner, and I’m glad he’s on our team.
Have you noticed the 55 new trash cans downtown? Guess who took the lead to make that happen (Carl).
Have you seen what downtown business always stays open to support night events on the plaza? (Carl).
Have you seen who has been successful as a local business owner competing and beating the big chain restaurants at their own game? (Carl)
Have you seen what business always donates food to community causes? (Carl)
You get the picture — the success of the Franklin Square Deli is no fluke. It’s what happens when you bring a winning attitude to everything you do. It’s contagious, which is why Kent is so lucky to have him.
And here’s the thing — this guy does all this stuff while still running his day-to-day business. He’s not an absentee owner. He’s in the store every day, hustling from customer to customer, but he still finds time to pitch in on community projects. I’ve found Carl to be a no nonsense, matter of fact, whatever it takes to get the job done kind of guy — which is probably why he’s a winner at whatever he does.
As further proof, here’s a short summary of his raceteam’s results for 2007.
Carl’s Race Team: CARVAL Motorsports 2007
by Carl Picelle
Although it was a bit of a designed “sleeper season”, CARVAL Motorsports managed to qualify for the NASA National Championship taking two wins, two 2nd place and two top ten finishes in the regular season. The number of events was by design, as my wife and I planned on other activities and responsibilities. Nonetheless, before the car rolled out this season, there were extensive changes to the running gear with major updates at the suspension level and a newly balanced Porsche twin cam motor in place of the prior single cam motor.
All enhancements were immediately felt while in the driver’s seat, and data showed that we were attaining new top speeds and significantly better lap times. But, as we find out every year, most every top running operation will enhance their efforts as well, and this is what we found at the National Championships.
Mid Ohio Sports Car Course – Sept.13-16, 2007 NASA National Championships
Although we held the GTS-2 class race lap record (143.050) from last year’s Championship, first practices showed that we were eclipsing that mark by a full two seconds. But also, we were made aware that there was a full selection of competitors, at least ten, that were within a half second of each other and the competition was going to be fierce. The format was the same, a heat race on Friday and Saturday and a Championship race on Sunday. In both heats, we managed a close 3rd place in class, same winner, and same 2nd place in each race. Sunday’s Championship race was under blue skies, but chilly conditions, perfect for the cars.
Although we had higher goals, CARVAL managed to once again retain the same 3rd place finish after a furious nose to tail fight for the last 7-8 laps, often just inches, bumper to bumper around the entire 2.25 mile circuit. Our cars were split apart at the finish line by just .7 of a second! Jim Child of Ohio won the Championship; Jeff Curtis from North Carolina took second. I made sure on the Victory Podium celebration, that they both were drenched in cold Champagne! We did manage another race lap record, a 1.39.299!
Thanks to all of you that inquired as the summer passed as to what we were doing and how the racing was going. 2008 will return to a typical year, and work on complete sponsorship and assistance starts immediately, as is the case with racing.
Carl and Valarie Picelle
PS: We had the car on display this past Saturday during the Wine and Cheese and Kent Art Walk. It was a huge hit with the children, and drew a lot of attention… especially when I drove it up Main Street to the waiting trailer!