By admin | August 10, 2011
By Richard Allen
Momentum is a key word for Mark Douglas going into this Saturday’s SRRS super late model race at the Smoky Mountain Speedway. As a matter of fact, that key word has two different meanings for the Knoxville driver as another racing weekend approaches.
First, the driver of the number 52D hopes to keep up the momentum he began to build by winning this past weekend at the Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap. Despite having had a fast car in virtually every race he has entered in 2011, Douglas has fallen victim to a myriad of troubles that had previously kept him out of victory lane.
“We won a couple of times at the end of the season last year but this year we’ve had some stuff to happen that has ruined some good runs,” Douglas pointed out. “With about twenty to go when I was sitting there leading the deal last week I started to wonder what was gonna happen this time. I was just hoping it would hold together and it did.”
In that race at Volunteer Speedway, Douglas had to hold off a hard charging Vic Hill for virtually the entire 40 lap distance. “We’ve raced against him a lot,” Douglas said of Hill. The two drivers have each won multiple track championships in Bulls Gap but the competitors share a unique relationship. “He builds my engines,” Douglas says with a bit of a chuckle.
Besides hoping to keep the momentum from winning going this week, Douglas points out that keeping the car’s momentum up lap after lap is essential to running well at Smoky Mountain. “I like running there because with the flatter turns the track requires that you keep your momentum up,” the veteran driver explained. “I feel like it really suits my style.”
And he has the results to prove that. “I actually started racing dirt cars at Smoky Mountain after I got out of go-karts,” Douglas said. “We won our first track championship there. I really kind of consider Smoky Mountain and Bulls Gap to be my home tracks.”
Much like Douglas, the Maryville track hopes to keep its momentum up as well. After closing its gates temporarily earlier this season, the facility emerged from inactivity to host a Southern All Stars race before a packed house in June. Conducting a second consecutive successful show could very well set this previously struggling venue up as a top site for some of the biggest dirt late model events in the area.
Mark Douglas was finally able to get a monkey off of his back by winning last Saturday night in Bulls Gap. The Smoky Mountain Speedway did much the same thing in June. This Saturday night each is hoping to keep the momentum up with a successful SRRS feature race.