Brad Davis has always been one of the top Super Stock drivers in east Tennessee but in 2017 the Tazewell, Tenn. racer is putting together one of the best seasons of his racing career. As a matter of fact, the driver of the No. 88 machine has won so many races at Tazewell Speedway that he had a bounty put on him during the mid-season on that high-banked track.
The 48-year-old couldn’t be happier with how his season has played out with the exception of an engine glitch that sidelined his efforts for a couple of weeks in early July. However, Davis would not be off track for long as he returned to racing just over two weeks ago and returned to victory lane this past Saturday night in Tazewell.
He attributes much of this year’s success to a new car that has been in the making for some time now.
“It’s been awesome,” Davis said of his 2017 season in an interview with InsideDirtRacing.com. “We started on this project with this new car, it’s an SS Chassis out of Pennsylvania, in May of last year. We rolled it out this year and we got a new Phantom motor. We had a little engine trouble, but we’ve got it back now. We stuck our little motor in it last week just to come out and go ahead and get rid of that bounty so we can start travelling and going to other race tracks. We’re going to start running with the KDRA up in Kentucky and all that stuff.”
The bounty had reached a total of $610 before it was finally collected back on July 23rd. Newport’s Kurt Owens took the checkered flag and split the money with a lucky fan.
Davis was flattered by the fact that a bounty was placed on him and he realized the real benefit from the additional payout was to bring in more Super Stock cars to compete at Tazewell.
“I thought I had a race car before, my old leaf spring car, but I’m telling you it’s amazing what this car can do,” Davis declared. “To be able to get to that point, we’ve got to get a different field of cars here because they’re struggling with different classes, but we’ve had success at 411 and Bulls Gap. It’s just that we’ve got to get more cars. It makes you feel good and you know you’re going in the right direction when you get a bounty put on you.”
While some drivers are not enthralled by racing on the high speed track located in upper east Tennessee, Davis relishes the opportunity.
“I started racing here back in ’96 and then quit in ’98,” the driver recalled. “I came back in 2001 and really started working on suspension and handling. It ain’t all about the motor here. Everybody knows Tazewell is a different animal than just about anywhere you go. I love this track because it’s just so fast. This track right here is always going to be our home track because I live just right over the hill.”
So just how much does racing at Tazewell affect a driver’s racing style when he ventures out to other facilities?
“It ain’t no big deal,” Davis insisted. “About the first two laps in hot laps you get the feel for it. It’s all dirt and it’s just a few spring changes and shocks. It’s all the same stuff. When you get out there and you’re running the track in you just look for the best spots on the track and decide where you want to run.”
Davis hopes to branch out in the coming weeks to race with the Kentucky Dirt Racers Alliance in some of the big events that organization has planned for his class.
“They’ve got some big races coming up. Them guys are probably the best guys I’ve ever raced with. They’ve been supportive and helped us with this new chassis. You can’t knock the KDRA guys. They’re a different breed of guys. We’ve been talking about going up there and racing with them and they’ve been down here racing with us. If we can win our next three races, and that may be just a dream, we’re going to go up there.”