Having fun is a big part of why drivers climb into race cars each week all across the county on asphalt tracks. Some are looking to move up and make a splash in the world. Others want to win races and some just do it for fun.
Clarksville, Tennessee's Mark Day is a fun seeker. The 52-year old driver has accomplished so much over his career, without ever having a huge racing budget. Day is no longer interested in venturing far from home, but that plan has worked out well with victories and championships in and around the Volunteer State.
2013 saw Day win twice on the high banks of Nashville while he captured four wins in the Southern Superstars Short Track Series. Those wins allowed him to take his fourth SSSTS title in a row, setting up for 2014 which he hopes is another year of having fun.
"If I can race and stay inside four or five hours from home then I am happy," said Day. "A lot of younger guys like to travel, but I am not so much about that. I can say I am one of the few guys who does not like three or four day events."
Day will occasionally try a multi-day show and have solid results. He was strong a few seasons back at the Pro Late Model portion of the World Crown 300. He finished third in 2010 right behind Augie Grill and Chase Elliott.
"We have done a lot over the years, but racing close to home makes it fun again."
Day ran some Nationwide races years ago and even ran the National Short Track Championships at Rockford Speedway (IL) several times.
Now his playground is Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville. In the past two seasons he has won six of the 16 Pro Late Model races run at the half mile track. He also posted a pair of other top fives and he didn't even run all 16 shows. When the red No. 8 rolls on the track he's tough to beat.
"The Formosa family has done a good job at Nashville," said Day. "If the Fair Board would give them just a little bit more to work with then they can keep the track going. We have good racing and good car counts there and that makes it fun."
While Day has captured two guitars in the Pro Late Model race on All American 400 Weekend, the volunteer state driver has never won the 400 itself. In fact he's never posted a top 10 in the extra distance race.
He's won the track title once in 2006 with seven wins, but the 400 has eluded him.
"The Fairgrounds has always been a great place to race with a lot of great drivers," added Day. "It also has been tough for us in the big race (400). You always have the best of the best coming to run with us. I'll keep on trying."
Day may end up running for the track crown again as the Southern Superstars Short Track Series is looking like it will be closed in 2014. No dates have been announced as of yet.
"I hope they get six to eight shows going," said Day. "It's a good place to race when you are on a budget."