|Racing with a 'father-son' tradition|
|The Press - Sports|
|Written by Bob Gerard|
|Wednesday, 10 August 2011 14:41|
Two weekends ago NASCAR journeyman Paul Menard won his first ever Sprint Cup race at none other than the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway. One of the first things he did after getting the checkered flag was to say into his microphone, “Thanks, Dad. This is for you.”
Menard’s dad John had worked on cars all his life and taken young Paul into the garage when he was an infant and later bankrolled and worked on his cars every day, including the one that took him to win the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis.
Kevin Davis of Macclenny could certainly feel a kinship with the Menards that day. Davis, who owns Davis Golf Carts, has been around racing “since I was knee high to a grasshopper.” Like Menard he lived and breathed racing from the day he was old enough to stand.
“My dad Leonard raced since the early 80s,” said Davis, “and I grew up at the track.”
Like so many other local racers, Davis started racing go-carts as a kid and made his mark before moving to dirt tracks.
“I guess I started racing go-carts in 1993 or ’94,” said Davis. “I didn’t really switch up to cars until 2005 or ’06.”
He races primarily in Lake City at the North Florida Speedway, but also travels to tracks in Waycross and Volusia County. Davis races in the Sportsman’s division and has notched a couple of wins this season at NFS, most recently August 6.
Last weekend Davis won the division’s heat and feature races to post his third win of the season.
He placed second in the July 27 heat race, but went into the wall early in the feature race. He also took the checkered at NFS on June 18.
Kevin Davis has many fond memories of his racing, but two stick out in his mind. North Florida Speedway often inverts the field, making the top racers start at the back of the pack to keep it competitive.
In 2008, racing street stocks, Davis went into the last race of the season with only 3 points separating him from second place. NFS inverted the top seven racers, which meant he had to work his way through the pack to secure the win and the 2008 championship.
His first race this season was particularly sweet. His sleek blue No. 86 Snow Brothers racing car won the first race of the season, but what made it particularly memorable was that his son Bristol (a great racing name, by the way) was there to watch his daddy take the checkered.
For Davis it was a moment of déjà vu back to the days when he’d stand in the pits and watch his father Leonard take the checkered in the same fashion.
Now Leonard is the car owner and Kevin is the driver. It was a fact that was not lost on the successful driver.
“I guess I’ll keep racing until Bristol boots me out of the driver’s seat,” he said.
|Last Updated on Friday, 12 August 2011 07:49|