Donald McIntosh working his way back into racing

Donald McIntosh found plenty of success driving for Blount Motorsports

Driving a race car may seem like a dream occupation for many, but for those who actually do it on a full-time basis, it can make for a difficult lifestyle. No one knows just how grueling that life can be better than Donald McIntosh. The driver who has accumulated numerous feature wins and series championships over the course of his career felt the exhaustion of years worth of racing and all that goes with it weighing down on him at the end of the 2021 season.

At that time, the now 30-year-old racer from Dawsonville, Georgia was competing virtually every weekend for Maryville, Tennessee-based Blount Motorsports. Although success had been plentiful during his tenure(2013-2021) with the Larry Garner-owned team, McIntosh had begun to feel less enthusiastic about what he was doing. It was at that point he decided that he needed to step away from the sport temporarily.

After making only sporadic starts throughout 2022, one in which he earned a Valvoline Iron-Man Series win at Boyd’s Speedway, McIntosh has most recently begun driving a Savage Chassis for Maryville’s Jason Welshan on a more regular basis.

“Honestly, I just took some time off,” McIntosh explained in an interview with “I’ve raced since I was five-years-old and I was really burnt out at the end of 2021. Racing wasn’t fun and I knew if I didn’t get away from it for a while I wasn’t going to want to come back. So I got away from it for a little while and I’ve been lucky enough to drive a few different cars here and there. I’m really excited about driving this car of Jason’s. It’s been pretty solid, it steers really well. I’m having to kind of learn all over again but I’m excited.”

McIntosh earned several championships while steering Rockets for Blount Motorsports. A 2021 Schaeffer’s Oil Southern Nationals title along with Spring Nationals trophies collected in 2015 and 2016 which sit alongside four Schaeffer’s Oil Fall Nationals banners were just some of the rewards amassed over the last decade. But a break was needed.

Now that McIntosh is feeling re-energized, a chance meeting led to his current ride.

“I saw Jason at Rome, I was running a 2013 Rocket car, and he asked what I was driving and I told him,” McIntosh recalled. “He called me that next week and said for me to come and run his car. I ran it up here(411) and my first laps in it were for the World of Outlaws race. It had a little motor in it and I centered a uke tire then we went on to Talladega and ran pretty good.”

Donald McIntosh in Jason Welshan’s Savage Chassis

Even though the competitive fires dimmed, the desire to race never completely left.

“The fire never burned out, it was just dim,” McIntosh revealed. “I was doing stuff I had never done with racing every weekend from the time I was five-years-old, I didn’t take time to do things most normal people would. I took some time off and enjoyed not doing anything for a weekend and I would spend time with family and friends and go play baseball or football and just enjoy laying back some. This is not an easy life. The lifestyle in general is tough and it’s financially hard and I just wanted some time away.”

Even though he was away only for a short time, significant changes have occurred in Dirt Late Model racing. Considerably more live streaming, mid-week racing, and increased travel have now become a major part of the sport.

“I think what DirtonDirt and everything that they’ve done to modernize Late Model racing is good on one aspect and it’s tough on another,” the returning driver said. “I think it’s made racing more expensive. You’ve got teams coming in with more and more money and that’s making it harder for little teams to still be able to do it. Jason is a perfect example of that. He’s not got a great big budget but he works hard and he’s got a good race car. It’s still doable but it’s tougher now than it has been.”

No matter how much he enjoys racing, McIntosh is realistic about the side effects. Given that, just how much would he race if he had his choice?

“That’s a hard question to answer. Since this deal is like a drug, I’d like to do it as much as I financially could without putting myself in a financial woe. I’m not going to spend it all to race but if there was somebody who wanted to go racing, I’d go racing.”

McIntosh finished third behind Cory Hedgecock and Ricky Weiss in Monday night’s Iron-Man Late Model Series-sanctioned Scott Sexton Memorial at 411 Motor Speedway.

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