Speedway partners have come and gone over the past 68 years. Some have made a big impact quickly, then disappearing just as soon as they get noticed. Others tend to stay small, doing small things, and being happy just as they are. Very few have started small, and work their way up the ladder so to speak, to become a major partner not just for the speedway, but for the competitors and fans as well.
As a third generation business owner who has just recently crossed into his sixth decade of operation, Phil Viveiros has found the business plan that has continued to grow year after year.
When he took over Phil’s Propane from his father in 1985, the business was selling about 250,000 gallons of propane each year. Now, well, he has 60,000 gallons of storage to keep his fleet of trucks going five to six days a week, and a staff that has grown to over 15 people, with many of those being there for over 15 years.
With his love of fast cars, he got involved in racing at Seekonk when Jimmy Helger, who worked for Phil at the time, competed here weekly. After a few years, Jimmy moved, and Kevin Casper, who also works for Phil, partnered up with his Formula 4. When Kevin moved into the Sport Trucks, Phil followed him, and started to help others.
They stayed together in the Late Models, but when Kevin was being forced out of owning a stock car due to finances, Phil took that next step and became a car owner, continuing with the same team he had been with for several years.
They moved into the Pro Stocks, and started to work their way toward the front, eventually finding Victory Lane.
While all of this was happening, Phil continued to bring his employees and guests to the track on his night, Phil’s Propane night each year. Even when he wasn’t sponsoring his night, he could be seen walking around with his Phil’s Propane shirt on, talking to people, creating personal relationships.
The partnership was growing from a small sponsor, to a small partner of the speedway. He was growing the relationship in the same manner he grew Phil’s Propane, and Phil’s Propane Racing, one step at a time, slow and steady.
He became the track’s Official Propane Provider, and the relationship between Phil’s Propane and Seekonk Speedway continued to grow.
Over the years, Seekonk held their Mid-Season Championship for the competitors, but they wanted to do more, more than a one night celebration. Phil’s Propane allowed that to happen. In 2013, Seekonk announced they were partnering up with Phil’s for the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown. This was a 3 race series for all 9 of Seekonk’s divisions, Fast Fridays and Saturday’s divisions. The double point’s added excitement, but it was the opportunity to win that Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Championship that pushed the drivers to be at their best.
When he isn’t working, he can be seen speeding around Tiverton in his Roush Mustang, or on the water relaxing with Rosemary, his wife of almost 10 years.
Phil’s partnership with the speedway showcases the opportunity a company can create when they open their eyes to the details. What does the future hold for the relationship between Phil and Seekonk Speedway? No one knows, but you can rest assured that whatever happens, Phil will be there with a smile.