He is only 19-years-old and is already proving that it takes talent and personality, not just skin color or gender for that matter, to excel in the world of motorsports. Marc Davis is getting ready to let his talent and personality shine as he accepted an invitation to compete in the American Speed Association Transcontinental Series Vrystaat 500 / Free State 500 at the Phakisa Freeway Circuit in Welkom, South Africa on Sunday, January 31, 2010.
The young driver from Silver Spring, MD, has already competed in motorsports events outside of the United States by competing in NASCAR Mexico Series events and has already noticed how the diversity is growing worldwide. He cannot wait to show the fans in South Africa that this is a rapidly growing trend. “Diversity is really growing in American stock car racing and other forms of racing, so it’s really cool to do this internationally as well,” Davis said. “It’s a great opportunity to go out there and show their culture that they are part of what we are doing as well.”
His father Harry Davis works alongside with his talented son at Marc Davis Motorsports and is excited that his son was asked to compete in this special event. He looks at it more than just racing event, "The real value of the racing experience is the people you meet and the relationships you build,” Mr. Davis said. “Marc is fortunate to have this opportunity to widen his horizons and be enriched by a culture and people so beautiful. It will be exciting to see South Africa, who is hosting the Soccer World Cup, begin the year hosting a world class motorsports event."
The young driver cannot wait to experience what South Africa has to offer, “It’s always fun to get to travel around the world, try out different race tracks and meet different people and see their driving styles. It’s going to be an awesome experience and to go and sight see as well. It will be really cool to go out there a couple of days early and make new friends.”
It will also be an opportunity for create a new fan base in South Africa and prove that anyone can be involved in motorsports, “Fans are huge in my book and I am looking forward to explore that even more in South Africa and have more followers. You never have enough fans and its always good to talk to people and to show them what this sport and your personality is all about.”
Dennis Huth, American Speed Association President, recently said that when the word got out that Davis was going to be competing in the inaugural event, the South African motorsports community got excited, “This event is shaping up to feature a great diversity of drivers from Marc showing his talents to Toni McCray showing that she can beat the men anywhere at anytime. The enthusiasm for this event is growing as we have over 15 South African drivers waiting for our Drivetech school cars to arrive so they can secure an approval license to compete in this event.”
Huth was also impressed with Davis’s resume, “Marc has already proven that he is well qualified for this event,” Huth exclaimed. “JD Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing, told me that Marc is quality person and competitor. Last year, he assisted us with our 2008 Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil ASA Member Track Champion’s tryout with Joe Gibbs Racing. He helped Cary Stapp, our 2008 champion, have a great quality test session with one of the best NASCAR teams today.”
The talented young driver is currently pursuing a Business Marketing degree at Mitchell Community College in Mooresville, NC. He has competed in four NASCAR Nationwide Series events this season and recently finished 18th in the recent NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA driving for his own team, Marc Davis Motorsports. Earlier this year, he competed in the Toyota All-Star Showdown in Irwindale, CA where he finished eighth driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Last season he competed in the NASCAR Camping World East Series where he finished fifth in points with a record of four top-five and seven top-ten finishes. Three of those top-five finishes were second place finishes driving the Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.
So how is Davis preparing for his South African adventure? “I have been playing on the simulator a lot because the track is comparable to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I really like the mile and a half tracks and it should be a good track for me.” Davis explained. “Its a huge deal especially if you have never been to a track before. It teaches you a whole lot from braking points and other stuff. I have used it several times at racetracks I have never been to before. I remember one time using it for Iowa Speedway, and I had never been there before. I hopped in the car and we were the fastest in practice right off the bat. Its a huge tool to have, it really makes it feel like you have been there before so it lowers the learning curve quite a bit.”
And what would it feel to be the winner of this special event? “That would be huge!” Davis exclaimed.