We at InsideDirtRacing.com recognize the contributions made to the sport of dirt racing by those who race in the support classes each week at our local tracks. Their work, dedication and sacrifice are just as great as those who compete in the Late Model divisions. As a result, we hope to shine a spotlight on one of those unsung heroes each week of this season by having them answer eight questions as well as provide other information.
This week’s driver is Michael Courtney
Few drivers in east Tennessee are off to a hotter start in 2014 than Michael Courtney. In the five Mini Stock races held so far at the 411 Motor Speedway, the 29-year-old driver has earned five wins.
“I race Joey Clark’s car at 411 most of the time in the Mini Stock class,” the Knoxville resident explained. “Then me and another guy, Billy Butler, own a car that’s a modified four cylinder that we’ll race out of town at places like Talladega or East Alabama or anywhere there’s a big race.”
Regarding his hot start to the 2014 season, Courtney declared, “We’ve started off pretty good. I can’t complain about that.”
1. How long have you been in racing?
“I graduated in ’07 so my first year driving was in ’08.”
2. Why the Mini Stock class?
“My brother(Brian Courtney) had always raced in that class. Now he races a Crate Late Model, but the Mini Stock is where he started out and that’s really all I’ve ever known. He helped me get my first car and that’s just been the class I’ve always stayed in.”
3. The best thing about being a race car driver is____.
“I would say it’s being able to get away from everything else while you’re out there and having everything left up to yourself. It’s the guy that’s in between the seat and the steering wheel that’s in control. You don’t have to worry about anything else except you and that race car in that time.”
4. Your best moment in racing came when ____.
“It was probably a big win I had at the Green Valley Speedway a couple of years ago. I’ve had some other good wins. I’ve won The Gobbler twice, but the one at Green Valley paid the most.”
5. My biggest dream in racing would be _____.
“I’d like to be able to travel around and race in something like the NeSmith Tour that would allow me to stay local some and travel some. That would be ideal.”
6. What other racer do you admire?
“I would say Billy Ogle, Jr. He’s a neighbor of mine. He’s always smooth and collected and consistent.”
7. What’s your favorite thing to do away from the track?
“Be at the lake or the beach.”
8. If I wasn’t racing I would be ____.
“If I wasn’t driving, I’d be owning a race team. I find some kid and try to develop him.”