An interview with Michael Emery of Lucha Libre Racing

Recently we were able to interview the spark behind Lucha Libre Racing; Michael Emery. Lucha Libre Racing has participated in Mexico’s famous road race, La Carrera Panamericana, since 2006. You’ll find out what drives Lucha Libre Racing, Mr. Emery’s passion for Mexico, Lucha Libre, and how he and his team are helping the children of Mexico along the route (and how you too can help).

Crossing the finish line at the end of the day

MexicoVisitor: What is Lucha Libre Racing?

Lucha Libre Racing: Lucha Libre Racing is my mid-life crisis. In 2006 two monumental events occurred, I turned 40 and a dear college friend was diagnosed with brain cancer. As his prognosis turned to terminal, I decided that life may be shorter than one thinks.

Michael Emery

Five years earlier I was living in Zacatecas, Mexico and a vintage car race came through the town. I thought then that some day I would compete in that race. Fast forward to 2006 and the event’s that I described; the time had come. The idea was hatched. A 1967 Datsun Fairlady was bought and slowly turned into a race car. A friend was talked into giving me three weeks of his life to drive to the bottom of Mexico and navigate my racecar for 7 days and then drive back to the US.

When we arrived at the starting line; we had the least amount of experience, the least amount of horsepower and ultimately, we finished dead last. We had the time of our lives. The entire drive home was spent jacked up on energy drinks strategizing our return.

MexicoVisitor: What is La Carrera Panamericana?

Lucha Libre Racing: The La Carrera Panamericana is a modern interpretation of one of the greatest racing events of all time. Originally run each year from 1950 to 1954 the Carrera was the fastest most dangerous race in the world. Nearly all the great racers of the era competed and marques like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Ferrari made their reputations in winning La Carrera.

Now a grueling, high-speed vintage car race. More concisely it’s a Time Speed Distance Stage Rally. Approximately 100 cars from Europe and the Americas gather in Chiapas to race 2000 miles in 6 days to a northern border city in Mexico. The cars are sent one at a time 30 seconds apart over timed stages. Stages run 2 to 25 miles long. The fastest cars have touched 200MPH on public roads that are temporarily closed to traffic. The race ends each day in the heart of a Colonial City.

Proud students with their school supply bags

MexicoVisitor: Why bring school supplies to kids?

Lucha Libre Racing: Why bring school supplies to kids? In 2008 I was fortunate to be able to race La Carrera again. I wanted to give something back to the people that allow this great event to take place. After I learned that school supplies are often in short supply and with three elementary age school children of my own, I decided that we would outfit as many kids as we could carry supplies for.

MexicoVisitor: What’s your best  La Carrera Experience?

Lucha Libre Racing: My best Carrera experience was driving across the finish line in 2006. The entire ordeal is on our website: www.luchalibreracing.com You’ll have to look for the entries from 2006 to read all about it.

2010 map of La Carrera Panamericana route

MexicoVisitor: How can people follow you? How can people contribute to the kids?

Lucha Libre Racing: Our website: www.luchalibreracing.com is a good place to follow our progress through the race. I’ll update the new section each night with a short write up of the days adventures. People can also find our fan page on Facebook by searching Lucha Libre Racing and we are on Twitter under “luchalibreracin”.

100% of the proceeds from our Lucha Libre Racing bling and all contributions go to purchasing school supplies. Thanks to Steve Tarpin of www.Manosdemexicanos.com who has donated the 350 school supply bags. We also encourage individuals to get involved and contribute to the school children by purchasing more tote bags and supplies by donating to our Paypal.com account at michael@luchalibreracing.com or simply contact me direct. Lucha Libre Racing hats, Tshirts, decals and Canvas totes are available on the website.

It’s also important to note that some of our sponsors are supporting our cause. If you get a chance to visit their websites, let them know Lucha Libre Racing sent you! They include www.losabuelos.com and www.bajabound.com among others.

Editor’s Note: You can follow the Lucha Libre team each day on the race by becoming a fan on their Facebook page or following them on http://www.twitter.com/luchalibreracin

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2 thoughts on “An interview with Michael Emery of Lucha Libre Racing

  1. HELLO, I’M VERY EXCITED ABOUT STARTING IN CHIAPAS, BUT I HAVE A QUESTION, IF EVERYDAY YOU ARE STAYING IN THE HEART OF A COLONIAL CITY, WHY YOU START IN TUXTLA INSTEAD OF SAN CRISTOBAL WHICH IS VERY COLONIAL, AND IS COSIDERED A MAGIC TOWN??? WHAT POSSIBILITIES ARE OF SPENDING AT LEAST ONE NIGHT IN SAN CRISTOBAL??

    • Adriana,
      Unfortunately the 1st La Carrera Panamericna in 1950 ended in Tuxtla. In 1951-1954 the race was begun in Tuxla and ended on the border with the US. I would love to visit San Cristobal. It is known as one of the most beautiful Colonial cities in Mexico

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