Dirt Track Daydreaming

| April 07, 2005

When Bailey races, he’s a one-man team. “I have some buddies that help me when they can, turning wrenches, changing tires, but mostly it’s me. I’m the owner-driver-crew chief-mechanic,” he says.

Truck driving is also in Bailey’s blood. “It’s been in my family for as long as I can remember,” he says. “Uncles, cousins, all sorts of relatives drove trucks. It was kind of handed down to me.”

Bailey credits his work behind the wheel of racecars with helping his OTR skills. “I think I’m more alert and aware of what’s around me and how the traffic patterns can suddenly change,” he says. “And working with racecar engines has helped me really understand how my diesel works. I think I use the motor better because of that knowledge.”

Today, as a company driver delivering mostly to malls, Bailey dreams about high-speed ovals and sliding around dirt tracks while he rolls along in a 2004 Volvo VN. The job gives him the chance to be home weekends with wife Carolyn and daughters Jacklyn, 12, and Ashley, 6. “They’re not huge race fans, but they know I love it, and they know I’ll be out back in my little dirt-floor shop, working on cars when I’m home if I can.”

These days Bailey says his situation is not atypical of the little guy who likes to race. “I sold the car to pay off some debts. But when the chance comes to race again, I’ll get another one,” he says. “I’d like to get back to it. If I could find a sponsor, I think I’d be racing somewhere this weekend.”


Off-duty Destinations: Stage Stops
Just for once, what about a “great indoors” destination? The idea came to me from two different groups of truckers. Several drivers told me that as much as they’d love to go hot air ballooning or whitewater rafting (some of our earlier Destinations), they really don’t want to be that athletic in their spare time. And some other truckers told me that there were a lot of drivers out there who like to do some cool cultural adventuring when they have a layover in a town. You know, antiques, historical places, museums – that sort of stuff.

We know there are a lot of drivers who enjoy the arts, so this month we suggest local theaters as a fun destination. You don’t have to be a fan of Shakespeare to love local productions of drama, comedy, farce, musicals or even tragedy. Cities and towns all over the country offer productions by local amateur companies, universities, high schools, churches and small regional touring companies.

Take a typical example, “Prairie Dog Productions” of Boise, Idaho, which bills itself as “Idaho’s Family Theater.” The company says its mission is to “cultivate theatrical audiences, make the arts accessible to all community residents and provide a venue for families to experience theatre together.” Tickets are just $10. In the Iowa City area there’s the professional Riverside Theater, but there are also the amateur Dreamwell Theater and City Circle Acting Company. If you’re hauling through Wisconsin, this site will give you a list of local theater and dance groups and current and upcoming productions.

Asheville, N.C., offers you theater by a number of outfits, including the North Carolina Stage Company, the Highland Repertory Theater, the Ashville Community Theater and Plaeides Productions. Kettle Falls, Wash., has Woodland Productions; Minnesota’s Twin Cities have a large number of theaters, including the Oops Dinner Theater, and you can find out about these and other Minnesota theaters at this site; and Stage Door Productions is a community theatre group in Fredericksburg, Va.

You get the picture, or I should say you get the show. Local theater is alive and well in communities large and small across the country. Try searching at Yahoo, using a combination of local/ regional/theater/productions and the name of the state.

Truckers come in all shapes and sizes and with a wide range of interests. I hope our little change of pace will give some of you the idea to attend local theater when you are held over. Enjoy the show.

Dave Coleman

Rods & Barrels: ‘Fishing Therapy’
Here’s a picture of a guy that says he’s just finished a perfect day’s fishing. Here’s a guy who puts “catching fish” well down his list of things that go to make up a perfect day’s fishing. Here’s Dave Coleman.

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