Through Irish Eyes: Southern Racing Culture
"O yea you guys are going to have a great time, its going to be a lot of fun"
Racer and Instructor Dale McDowell is also no ordinary driver.
Shawn Lanier and I struggled with the basics including ear pieces and helmets
After just a few lessons we were thrown onto Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold and i was readjusting back to driving a stick shift.
"So you crank it into gear" said champion racer and instructor McDowell
I asked racers for advice before my big race against Shawn Lanier.
"Start young, learn everything you can from the older guys and listen with your ears"
With my ears tuned to listening mode i asked Shawn had he any last words before we took to the track.
"I am going to win that is the goal to win, not sure if i am going to win" said Lanier.
After a few laps i got excited and while there was no video evidence of me totaling my car into a wall on lap 3 this photo did pop up online.
To my disgust Shawn driving slow and steady ended up finishing second while i made a new friend with the tow truck man.
"Its fun i get to watch everybody screw up" he said.
I got to ask if racing could be a viable career option for me.
"There’s actually 300 guys out there who do this for a living, they travel and race and it pays anywhere from 20 to 50 to 100,000 dollars"
Joking around and family support are just part of what is a kind and welcoming racing community in Ringgold and across the South.