The Cockpit and Beyond · Nikki Krone · Wednesday July 26, 2006
It used to be that politicians were the only ones who had to campaign for votes. However, over the last couple of months, 50 race car drivers have been pounding the pavement doing the same thing, trying to win your votes for Racin' for a Livin' . Of those 50 drivers, no one has campaigned harder than West Virginia's own Davin Scites. Scites, a former ASA driver and winner at Concord Motorsports Park, is one of 50 that were chosen out of thousands to try to win a spot in the Top 15 and, ultimately, land a seven race deal in the NASCAR Busch Series.
Now, with 330,000 miles on this Chevy Dually and hundreds of autographs signed, Scites has less than a week's wait before the votes are counted and the results are in. But before it's all over, he has one more stop to make - The Frontstretch!
Nikki Krone, FS: With all of the things you've been doing for Racin' For a Livin', has it been kind of like a political campaign for you?
Davin Scites: Yes, it has. I've been on the road, back and forth from where I'm living now in Mooresville (North Carolina) back home to West Virginia. I've put the miles on, that's for sure. Being the only driver from West Virginia in the contest, I've been getting the state behind me. It's been overwhelming, and has exceeded my expectations. It's like, "Wow, I can't believe this many people were voting for me." We led the votes for so long, and now, today, I meet people I don't know and they are like, “Hey, you're the one I've been voting for!” just because they read a story somewhere, or something. It's just really exciting.
Nikki: I'm guessing you've been doing a lot of public appearances out there?
Davin: I've been doing radio. I went to an auto fair last weekend in Beckley, West Virginia. I've been doing a lot of radio, TV, newspapers, and anybody that will have me. Since the voting began, I've been trying to do all I can.
Nikki: How did you get involved with Racin' For a Livin?
Davin: I had a couple people call me and say, "Hey, you need to check into it," so we started looking and called about it, then we sent in a resume like thousands of others. Somehow, I got picked from there. It's been really exciting. I'm racing every weekend, trying to still race my Late Model Stock and stay in the seat. At times, I've been running a Modified in West Virginia, and it's fun to do things with the crowds. When you go to these racetracks, you throw them some t-shirts, go up into the stands and sign autographs. They don't even have an autograph session with the Late Models; I just go over there and meet people. It's just like politics, but it's great. To be out there, that's a great part of it, and it's great exposure for myself.
Nikki: What special things have you been doing to get your name out there, other than the radio appearances, etc.?
Davin: We've got a contest going on my website, www.davinscites.com, where we're giving away some Busch and Cup tickets for the Charlotte race. I've done a lot of appearances. I took my car to a restaurant chain in West Virginia called Tooters Biscuit World. I've gone to a bank that was having NASCAR month and that Friday, all the tellers wore my t-shirt. Going out through my hometown, there are signs up all over, and it's so neat. You go in to businesses and see my autograph card, or people with signs that say "Vote for Davin." It's just really neat to know you've got that many people behind you.
Nikki: How long is the drive from your home in Mooresville to West Virginia?
Davin: It's about four and half hours. I drive my old 1999 Dually, and now it's got 330,000 miles on it. It's so funny, because I keep looking at the mileage for my oil change, and I just got it changed and now I'm 10,000 miles over…I was like, "Oh my gosh," so I had to get it changed again.
Nikki: Once you vote, you can actually see the where the drivers are currently ranked. Have you been checking the standings?
Davin: It's funny how they update, because it seems like they don't update it every day. Like now we're in 9th place, but they haven't updated it since Saturday. That's when its nervewracking. But it's nervewracking for the fans, too. There are so many on my message board, and they get on there and they are so worried about the spot we're in. They're like, "I've been votingâ€¦" and they go back and forth. "I'm going to vote, talk to you later," and it's great. So, it is nervewracking, but hopefully the outcome will be good.
Nikki: How important do you think making the Top 10 is to you and your career?
Davin: The older I get, the more chances and opportunities there are that you don't want to pass up. So, when this came up, it was like, wow, you can get a seven race Busch ride. Really, making the TV show, just getting on there and getting noticed, getting in a race car, and making that was our first goal. Then, after leading a lot of the votes, that's when we thought, heck, we've got a shot to maybe win this thing. Then you start realizing what could happen. You hope you get in there and get the seven race Busch ride, that the team gels, and that you perform. You just couldn't ask for a better opportunity.
Nikki: You mentioned you've been doing some other racing. What else have you been running?
Davin: We've been running Late Model Stocks. I try to go to different venues just to meet new people. I’ve run at Motor Mile, Virginia; Caraway (NC) and Concord (NC). Then, in a Modified we've been running at Ona Speedway. When I went up there to do some appearances, a friend of mine asked if we want to run the Modified. I'm like, "Heck yeah!" So we ended up going there and winning the first of the two races we ran and finished third on the second one, so that was really fun. With the track being at my hometown, where I raced Legends, getting to run a Modified was really fun.
Nikki: You ran great in a one race deal in the ARCA series last year, are you going to try to do that this season?
Davin: Between the running back and forth to Virginia, running the Modified and the Late Model…I'm also working on a Hooter Pro Cup car and trying to get something done there. It's tough to stay on top of all of them. I would love to run in an ARCA race, and we thought of that, and we're still working on other deals trying to get even the small deals for this year done for one race deals, and big deals for next year. It's kind of hard because you want to give 100% to the Racin' for a Livin' thing, yet you don't want to give up anything else. You don't want to get into an “all your eggs in one basket” sort of mindset, because what if you don't make it? You've always got to have a backup plan, so we're definitely working on other stuff.
Nikki: When you see someone like David Gilliland who won in the Busch Series, a guy who is about your age, who doesn't have a lot of experience and isn't with a high profile team, does that inspire you? To see a guy like that who has kind of opened some eyes?
Davin: Yes, definitely. That's why you want the shot. We rented an ARCA car and ran that, but I'm still paying for that. So without sponsorship, Busch is kind of out of our league. We can compete in some of the smaller series, but getting that Busch opportunity, and even a Truck opportunity, something like that on that level of racing, it's just an opportunity you can't pass up. You get so excited even thinking about that opportunity, because that could happen. It's just like a lot of people say, there are a lot of great race car drivers around, it’s getting that opportunity to get out there, and, if everything lines up, you can have a great run, and who knows what could happen.
Nikki: So, there is still time for people to vote for you. What should people know about Davin Scites?
Davin: Well, first, we have a website, www.vote4davin.com ...it's an easy one, so people can remember us. I guess the main thing is that I kind of do all my own stunts, so to speak. I work on the car, I put a new body on my Late Model, I paint my carâ€¦ I just love it so much that I don't care that I was up until 10:00 painting the car and getting it ready. You put in long hours, and that's what it’s about. I feel like I've paid my dues, and I'm still paying them. Hopefully, it will all pay off.
Nikki: Say you are racing side-by-side with any driver, in any series, at any point in history. Who would you really like to beat for the victory?
Davin: Right now, it would have to be Tony Stewart. He's on top of his game, his team runs good, they have some wins… It would be someone like that who you know is a real driver.
Nikki: Is there anything special you want to say to your fans and all those who have supported you?
Davin: From the series that we've run in, we've picked up a lot of fans. When I was running ASA, I went to Nashville to do an appearance when we had John Michael on the car. I met three fans who were there, just country fans down there for the country fair, and they ended up coming to two of my ASA races that year. All the people we've met along the way while racing the different series, I just want to thank all of my fans. The ones who have been behind me from back in the ASA days, and even the new ones we've picked up along the way. I've been having live chats on my website on the first Tuesday of every month. The first Tuesday there were just a handful of people at the chat. The second time, and ever since, it just keeps snowballing and growing, and it's great. I just can't thank everyone enough for their support.
You can vote for Davin Scites by visiting www.racinforalivin.com. Voting ends Monday, July 31st, 11:59 EST. For a chance to win Lowe’s Motor Speedway Busch and Cup Series tickets, visit www.davinscites.com and click on the link at the bottom of the page.
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