20 Questions with Davydd

1. How long have you been involved in motorsports?

This will be my 9th year of competition in Motorsports. I started in the street stock division at Thunder Road in the 1995 season at the age of 17 as a junior in high school.

2. What is your earliest memory in Motorsports?

My earliest memory of Motorsports was back in the late 1980ís and early 90ís at Thunder Road watching Big Daddy (Don Lahue) and his racing caddy, Spuds Mackenzie and Rosaire Cyr battling it out in the old tiger division, and then Steve Miller, Robbie Crouch, Burger Blake, Kevin Lepage and the gang going door to door in the late models and the original ACT tour. They were more like the heroes of racing then anyone in NASCAR was to New Englanders at that point.

3.Do you see motorsports gaining in poplularity or will it start to decline as people get bored with it?

It still amazes me the amount of people from Barre, VT who have never been to Thunder Road, and donít even know where it is. I believe that the popularity is still going to grow (especially if more marketing was done for local short tracks), but not at the torrid pace that it has in past 10 years. Eventually itís going to plateau, but unless major changes are made to the sport, itís going to continue itís fan base just like every other major sport in the world today.

4. What is the best race you have ever seen live?

I think itís nearly impossible to narrow it down to one great race of all time that Iíve seen live, but I would say that almost any race ever run at any of the local short tracks has to fit into that category, and especially some of the battles in the Late Model division in the 90ís, like the infamous dump of Chuck Beede by Pete Fecteau on the last lap of a feature in a tight points battle, that left Chuck last, and Peteís win demoted to a second for his blatant dump, but still giving him the precious points to win the championship that year.

5. Do you think NASCAR running Winston Cup races has an effect on the attendence of local short tracks across the USA?

Yes, I do think NASCAR has had a major impact on the attendance at local short tracks all over the country. With the major exposure of racing on TV, people now view local tracks like minor league baseball or college basketball, where you can possibly get a chance to see the next Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon or Richard Petty, before they get their break. Every town loves to claim fame to a local hero.

6. If you were in charge of NASCAR but could only make one change, what change would that be?

Restrictor Plate Racing. That has to be the most boring racing in the world. I hate watching Daytona and Talledega, Iíd rather watch paint dry. In my opinion what NASCAR should do is develop a motor similar to the busch or truck engines that run lower horsepower and stick them in a Winston Cup car. Then you will bring back the real racing to the so called ďsuperbowlĒ of auto racing.

7. What advice would you give to a young driver looking to get into racing?

The first thing I would suggest is getting with an already existing team and learn as much as you can about the cars and tracks as possible as well as the financial and time commitments it takes to run a team. Then depending on what you plan to do in racing, I would suggest starting in a division like the strickly stocks at Riverside that give you a full sized V8 car that will give you seat time in a car similar to the next level as well as letting you keep using some of your existing equipment instead of having to make the huge jump from a four cylinder uni-body to a full framed V8 racecar.

8. How did you get invovled in motorsports?

I actually did it on a whim one day. I happened to have seen a for sale sign on a street stock about halfway through the season, and I was like ďhey that looks like funĒ, so my Dad and I went down to the pits after the races, more as a joke then anything else to find out the price. When we got down there we talked to the driver (John Adams, The Birdman), and he offered the car right there and then with spare parts, spare car, and he would haul the car to the track for us and stay on to help work on the car for $500.00. Well you canít pass that up, and the rest as they say, is history.

9. In your honest opinion... whats the best race track in the world? What is the worst?

In my opinion I think you canít make an all time best track. I think you have to have a best track in each kind of category of track. As far as short tracks go I think Bristol is a phenomenal facility, but I really like the wide open close racing at Atlanta for the 1.5 mile cookie cutter tracks of today. I think historical tracks have to have their own category too, and I think Hickory speedway in Hickory, NC is a really great track for that. Of course personally I love the high banks of our own Thunder Road compared to any of the other tracks I have ever raced on.

10. Do you think the internet has helped people get information about racing or do you think it is just a vast wasteland of sites full of rumors and lies?

I think the internet has definitely helped people understand and also enjoy racing much more. Itís so hard to actually find out a lot of information about racing just by going to the tracks, but with the internet you can go in and usually find information on the track, drivers and other things that you never would have known otherwise.

11. You can have dinner with anyone in motorsports ( living or dead) , who would you chose? Why?

Richard Petty, I would just love to meet the king and talk to him in depth about his career and how it compares to todays racing.

12.What is your opinion on "bending" the rules and working in that grey area of a rulebook? What about out and out cheating and disreguard for the rules?

The grey area of the rulebook has become a very important part of todays racing, because that slight difference in interpretation of the rules can make the difference in finishing first of finishing twenty-sixth. It would be very hard to write a book that outlined every single piece and part on every single different car without actually putting in part numbers, which would be a huge undertaking by any organization. I applaud the people who are able to walk the fine line of cheating and winning. However blatant cheating is 100% wrong in my book. There are certain things that are spelled out in black and white that people break all the time and I do feel they should be punished for that.

13. Its the last lap of a dream race.... who are the drivers and at what track would you like to see them battle it out?

I would like to take the cars and rules of the 1980ís and put some of todays new young guns (Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson) against some of the old guys (Bobbie Allison, Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough), put them on either Rockingham or Richmond and see who comes out on top when you take away the wind tunnel tests and the high tech shocks and just run driver vs. driver in itís purest form.

14. What is the one thing you wish more fans would know about motorsports? How could they possibly learn that one thing?

Itís not just driving in circles like a Sunday afternoon cruise after church. It really is a high competition sport that requires great conditioning and mental preparation. I think the best way for anyone to learn more about that is to participate in a racecar driving experience like the one through Hanaford Associates (www.603youride.com)

15. How do you think racing has managed to keep a somewhat wholesome imagine while other major sports have what seems to be endless scandals involving drugs, crime, etc?

One of the biggest reasons I believe they have been able to do that is because of corporate sponsorship and what I like to call ďthe no job security clause.Ē Sponsors want someone to represent their company in a positive light and arenít going to stand for an alcoholic or drug addict driving their traveling billboard in front of millions of people. Also I think drivers realize they canít afford to have anything effect their reaction time in a racecar and arenít willing to take the chance of losing because they arenít 100% in the game. In NASCAR if you donít keep up high performance thereís no contract saying youíll be in the car next week, unlike every other major sport with itís players union that allows every drug addict sports icon play for way too much money and show our kids that itís okay to be a junkie, because you can still make money, and I think NASCAR shows thatís not true.

16. What could be done in racing to get it more diverse as far as minority involvement?

I donít see that anything has to be done to help it. I believe that itís something that just has to happen like in everything else. There are opportunities for minorities to get into racing and itís just a matter of the minorities having interest in getting into it.

17. What do you think about Imported car manufactors getting into major league auto racing in the USA?

Itís kind of a sticky situation, because it will be totally different then the traditional racing of the past, and itís hard to imagine the import manufacturers building V8 cars to model Winston cup cars after, but then I think none of the American made cars come in a V8 anymore either. I also think that with the addition of imports that the sponsorships in racing will increase dramatically from big companies like factory backing from Toyota and Nissan and they will bring with them other overseas companies that might have otherwise stayed away.

18. Your choice.... one ticket to a big league NASCAR race or a seasons pass to your favorite local short track... which would you chose and why?

Season pass to a local track. NASCAR is alright, but I think the best racing is on the local short tracks. The local short tracks are a throw back to the original days of NASCAR where image isnít everything and you still get the occasional fist fight in the pits after a heated battle on the track.

19.Where do you see yourself in 5 years as far as motorsports goes?

Thatís a tough question. If everything was to go right, I would be in the Late Model Sportsman division running for a championship, but realistically speaking I donít see myself able to financially keep racing that long especially if the economy continues like it is and keeps potential sponsors from putting money into the sport.

20. When you want a break from the world of motorsports, what are some of the things you like to do?

When I want to break away from racing itís usually the offseason, which means itís time for hockey, snowboarding and snowmobiling. If I get a chance in the summer I also enjoy boating, softball and just relaxing.