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Clarkton team preps for second season at Dublin Motor Speedway

Most dirt track race fans watch the action and wonder what it would be like to turn laps on the track. For two Clarkton men, last year was the time to quit watching and start racing.

Jimmy Mize and Billy Marsh got behind the wheel last season, sharing the driving for races at Dublin Motor Speedway. Their best finish in a race was fourth place, but the pair are looking for better results this season in their No. 211 Mote Forestry Chevrolet Camaro. They compete in the super street division.

Billy Marsh, left, and Jimmy Mize
Billy Marsh, left, and Jimmy Mize

“We’re still new drivers,” said Mize, who is 27 years old. “We’re still trying to get some seat time to get better. We expect to get better this year. I think we’ll do pretty good. We’ll start out slow the first of the year and we’ll get better as the year goes along. Hopefully, we’ll move to the front.”

The No. 211 team — which stands for 2 brothers, 1 car, 1 dream — was among about 30-35 teams Saturday taking part in a practice session and car show at the 4/10th dirt track dubbed the Rattlesnake.

Shirley and Richard Bailey are in their third year as co-promoters of the track that got its beginnings in the early 1980s as a half-mile high-banked track. The track was closed for several years before opening again in 1995.

“We hope it will be a good year,” Shirley Bailey said. “Each year, it’s gotten a little better. It was kind of rough the first year. We had a lot of repairs to do.”

Dublin’s first race is scheduled April 4, offering $1,500 to the winners in open wheel and late model. The Oren Taylor Memorial race is set June 20. The Ultimate Super Late Model series is scheduled for two races: June 27 and Oct. 10.

“We had a good group of drivers last season,” Bailey said. “This year, we upped our late model and open wheel modified pay scale. We’re hoping that will bring some more drivers.”

For the No. 211 team, Saturday was an opportunity to start their second year of racing.

“I’ve always loved racing,” said Marsh, who is 24. “I’ve always wanted to race. We had an opportunity come up from a friend and we jumped on it. It’s been the best decision of our lives.”

While the Clarkton team seeks better results this season, neither man will forget their first time behind the wheel last season.

“It was pretty surreal,” Marsh said. “You sit on the front stretch and they sing the national anthem. You could feel your heart beating out of your chest.

“The first few laps you’re kind of just sitting back and seeing how the car will do. I put it to the floor after about three or four laps, and it was on. Unfortunately, I got caught up in a wreck with somebody and ended our night early. It was better than anything I’d ever dreamed of. It wasn’t that scary. When I got out, i told my dad I felt like I was driving a go-kart, I was having so much fun.”

Mize had much the same reaction to his first race and compared driving a race car to riding a roller coaster.

“My heart was beating harder than it’s ever beat before in its life,” Mize said. “They finally dropped the green flag and I pushed it to the floor, and the whole time I was nervous becuase I was worried about wrecking and (Billy) trying to kill me.

“I didnt’ know what to expect. It’s pretty nerve wracking. The best way I can explain it is like a roller coaster. It was scary while I was doing it, then after I was done, it was like ‘man that was awesome.'”

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