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M.B.F.F. Tradin Paint with Dave Menefee
May 19, 2006 - updated May 19th, 2006 4:14pm
Web posted by M.B.F.F. Racing

Woodbridge, Va. --

. How did you get started out at the track?

D.M.: It started a long, long time ago……..really. My Dad took me to my first race in Darlington SC when I was 6 years old. Been bitten by the bug ever since. I started helping a Late Model driver by the name of Bob McLwee back in the late 70's after I met him in the parts store I worked at in Fairfax. That's when I started following the races at ODS pretty closely. At the time, my sister worked at the Manassas Journal Messenger as a graphic designer. One night, I can't remember exactly how the situation played out, but what was written in the MJM paper on Monday morning didn't sit well with me for some reason, so I called my sister and told her that the sports writer didn't have a clue what he was talking about (probably the same thing the people now say about my articles!!). Anyway, about 2 hours later, the Sports Editor called me back and pretty much said that if I could do better, than the job was mine. So I took that job, and the whopping $15 an article that went with it, and started writing. That's when I met the PR guy at ODS at the time, Skip Potter. Skip decided he wanted to get away to pursue other interests in 1986, so in the spring of 1987, Skip, Dick Gore, and myself, sat down at the Newgate Inn in Centerville, pounded a few Miller Lites, and I was hired. What first started out as just writing articles for the speedway has turned into so much more, as you mentioned in the introduction. It's supposed to be part-time, but it's really a second full-time job. But I have always said that when I quit enjoying it, I will quit. Right now, I am still enjoying it, so here I am.

2. How many years have you been a flagman out at Old Dominion?

D.M.: I can remember climbing into that flag stand for the first time back in the late 90's, probably around 97, 98. Tom Priddy was flagging at the time with Scott Gore. Tom moved out of the area shortly after that, so I was (stuck) in the flag stand with Scott. Just kidding, Scott was as serious with the flagging as he is when he is in his UCAR. Tom taught me a little at first, but it was really Scott who really got me into the flagging deal. I learned a lot from him. BA flagged with him for the most part, I just filled in when needed. Scott then moved on to pit road, so BA and I worked together for probably 4 years or so. BA is now handling the duties in the tower, so now it's me and Brandon Taylor.

3. Have you ever made a mistake up there like black flagging the wrong car?

D.M.: I have not black flagged the wrong car………yet. But I have been close to throwing the black flag at some of those guys because some just don't pay attention. I really do honestly believe that some drivers are color blind…… I do remember once that we had a caution and I turned the yellow lights on, but grabbed the wrong flag and waved the move-over flag instead of the yellow.

4. You must have seen some exciting finishes in the years you have been a flagman, what was the best race you have ever witnessed while waving the flags?

D.M.: Man, that's a tough one. Honestly, the UCAR race from just this past Saturday night was probably one of the most spectacular ones I can remember.

5. What is the funniest thing you have ever seen from the flag stand?

D.M.: One thing comes to mind. It's not anything that I saw, but it was more what I heard. Several years ago, Mark McFarland parked his Late Model on the front straight right under the flag stand. He was a bit upset about a call Dick Gore made. Dick came over the radio and said "I want that car hooked up, taken to the Prince William County Fairgrounds and dropped off!! If he wants it back, he can go get it there!!" I guess another deal was one night when John Murphy won a Speedway Sportsman race. He started smoking a bit with about 5 laps to go, but like any racer, he kept his foot on the floor. He ended up winning the race, but right as he got out of the car and began his interview, the radiator hose exploded. Everyone in Victory Lane scattered like they were getting shot at or something. Antifreeze went everywhere.

6. Do you think the track needs a few more Hooter girls out there? Don't answer that Dave!!!!!!! I was just kidding.

DM: Obviously, more pairs of Hooters are better than less........


Let's step away from the track for a minute and take a little down time and jump around for a minute.


7. Dave, what do you like to do when there are no races scheduled? When you have the whole weekend to yourself?

D.M.: Very rarely do I have a free weekend between April and October. Of course, I have a full-time job as a computer Hardware Engineer at MicroStrategy. But in addition to that, I have the race track deal, kart racing with my daughter, and my sign business. Not mention the chores required with owning a house. So honestly, there really isn't any time to do much of anything except catch up on rest or things around the house when there are no races scheduled. I guess that's why I have all this vacation time built up. Never have a chance to take it.

8. Besides racing, what hobbies do you enjoy?

D.M.: I am a Playstation fanatic. I have two 53" big screens in my basement. One for watching TV, and the other one specifically for my Playstation. Got a table where I have my steering wheel and gas pedals hooked up right in front of that TV. I also enjoy volleyball and softball. I also claim Miller Lite and Smirnoff Triple Black as hobbies as well.

9. How about music? What kind of music do you listen to?

D.M.: I am pretty much a country music kind of guy. But I did grow up in the 70's, so KISS, Aerosmith, Chicago, BTO, AC/DC are a big part of what is on my iPod. You can also mix a little George Jones, Travis Tritt, George Strait, Sara Evans, and Keith Whitley in there as well. Lately, it's been a little Joe Satriani and Gary Hoey, so I guess you can say I listen to a lot of different stuff depending on the day. Definitely no opera, alternative, or blue grass though.

10. How is Victory Lane Grafix doing?

D.M.: Right now it's doing pretty good. If it keeps this up, maybe I can throw a bit more $$ to the UCAR drivers at the banquet. You guys deserve it.


Let's talk a bit about Dave Menefee the racer.


11. I know you have raced go karts and you have jumped in a UCAR for a race or two, have you ever wanted to run a race in a grand stock or a late model?

D.M.: Like I mentioned before, I went to my first race when I was 6. I wanted to be like David Pearson, as he was my first favorite driver. It was my dream from an early age to drive something full-sized, but unfortunately that never came to pass. Being where I am now (working at ODS) has kind of filled that void though, plus, it's a helluva lot cheaper.

12. I know your daughter Shannon races with you and I have heard the story of the wreck that you were both involved in, do you ever worry about Shannon or you getting hurt out there?

D.M.: I worry about my daughter 24/7. I know that sounds a bit corny, but until you experience having a child, it's hard for some to understand. I have always told her that even when she is 90 years old, she will always be my baby. As far as racing, I worried a lot more when we were racing the champs on the big track. Things were so tight out there, and with the way those karts are, they jump around a lot. Plus, there is not a whole lot of cage around you, so when you hit that guardrail, it a tough hit. Those things get upside down pretty easy on the big the track too. I was relieved when they put us on the small track.

13. So who is the better driver, Shannon or you?

D.M.: Well, she did beat me once a few years ago on the big track. Right about the time she started getting really good in the draft, we had our accident. So when they put us on the small track, she had to start all over again. It's been a tough adjustment for her, but she is steadily getting better. She is about 2 tenths slower than me right now, so I better get my act together soon.

14. Tell us a little bit about your family. Do you have any brothers or sisters?

D.M.: I have a sister who is 5 years younger than me and lives in Rixeyville. My brother passed away about 2-1/2 years ago. He was 5 years older than me. My father passed way in 1989. My mom and step father live in Haymarket. My parents have been to only two races since I started racing karts (my mom hated it when I told her what I was doing. She REALLY hated it when she found out her grand daughter was racing too). The first race she came to was when we were on the big track. My steering wheel came off and I damn- near knocked the front straight fence down when I hit it. So she came back one time after we were put on the small track. She likes that much better.

15. 2005 was M.B.F.F.'s first year at the M.A.R.F. and Old Dominion banquets. You did a phenomenal job as the master of ceremonies. You are a natural, how did you get so good at it?

D.M.: Thanks for the kudos. I am no where near a natural at this. I honestly have to say thanks to Ed Pardue and Dick Gore. They were the ones who taught me how to get in front of a crowd and speak. I never had any experience with this until they worked with me. I can remember my first time behind the microphone. I had bugged Dick Gore about it, so I guess he just decided I wouldn't leave him alone, so he let me do it. It was a cloudy, windy day in mid-summer. Looked like one of those ODS thunderstorms was brewing over towards the west. It was back when we ran 10-lap heat races. The Speedway Sportsman race was on the track, and honestly, I don't think I said 15 words during the first 5 laps. Then all of a sudden, I hear over the radio, "You wouldn't even think a race was going on!!" Of course it was Dick. Thank goodness it started pouring buckets about 5 minutes later and the races were called. I dodged a bullet that night. Now people say they wish I wouldn't talk AS much. Funny how things come full circle.


All right Dave white flag, one lap to go out at the track!


16. You were at Old Dominion and saw Mark McFarland most of the time he raced there. Do you still follow Mark's career and do you see any drivers with promising futures like Mark?

D.M.: I was there when he first came in. He and Wes Troup had some phenomenal battles back then. Mark had a lot of talent then, but I honestly believe Wes taught him a thing or two as they raced. I do follow Mark weekly and wish him the best. I think there are a couple more drivers out there now, that, if they get the right breaks, could follow his footsteps.

17. We all have heard the rumors about Old Dominion being sold. If the track did sell would you look to another track to be a flagman?

D.M.: I doubt it, but I won't say never (because never is a LONG time). I would certainly miss it though. Another track has expressed an interest in having me work there, but not sure if I would do it because of the distance to travel. I would like to focus a bit more on my lettering business anyway. I would miss it a lot, but I'll bet I could find something to do on Saturday nights.

18. Who would you say your hero or role model is?

D.M.: My Step-Father and Alan Kulwicki

19. If the track were to suddenly shut down for whatever reason, what would you miss the most?

D.M.: Everyone in the infield and in the stands. I have made so many friends throughout the years that it will be tough to not be able to see them each week.

20. What was your most memorable moment out at Old Dominion Speedway?

D.M.: There's not enough space on "Tradin Paint"to list them all. But the one that first comes to mind is when Shannon won her first kart race. She beat me by less than two feet. The second memory I am most fond of is when we crossed the stripe 1-2 in the final race of 2002, which gave me the Champ 410 championship that year.


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