June 18, 2009

I Love the Internet - How Dale Davis Helped Me Find Jesus (Well, His Racing Team Anyways)

In our Game 5 liveblog, Outside the Boxscore talked about tons of random stuff. At one point, Ben noticed Dale Davis in the crowd and mentioned it, with Sean (Snagamat) writing "Dale Davis could be Billy Bob Thornton in Slingblade if not for the night-dark quality of his skin.

So of course I had to look these guys up. Billy Bob. Dale Davis (whose real name is Elliott Lydell, so how weird a nickname is Dale?). I sort of see the comparison, it's mostly in the big lower lip though.

Anyways, I also found this mug shot of Dale (along with this accompanying story) about how Dale was acting out in public one night and ended up getting stun gunned by police. Having had a friend get stun gunned by cops after some wild antics in college, that stuff hurts, and I was kind of surprised to see Dale had been stunned, since he had seemed a nice guy (But I guess he did play for the Portland Jail Trailblazers, so go figure).
I found out that Dale was acquitted of all charges, which was reassuring, because I hadn't thought he was a bad guy.

Before I realized that he had been acquitted, I searched the internet for other proof that Dale was a good guy. Maybe he donated money to a good cause, or helped twitter broadcast the Iran protests, or saved a bunny. I was just looking for anything.

What did I find? Dale Davis was once part owner of E and M motorsports, which started as an offshoot of Victory in Jesus racing. Not exactly what I had in mind, but hey it's something Dale Davis did, and it's random, so that's something. A little research into E and M showed that they were very nearly bought by former Atlanta Falcon Terrance Mathis (who is 2nd all time in career 2 point conversions made) and his racing team, Victory Motorsports, but this deal fell through. So that was sort of interesting. But I was more interested in this Victory in Jesus Motorsports, and so I delved a little bit deeper.

Apparently Victory in Jesus Racing started in 2001 as Morgan Shepherd's self founded truck team. With little money to spend, Shepherd spent much of the year acting as his own pit crew, climbing out of the car during pit stops to change his own tires and add his own fuel. Morgan didn't finish very well with these long pit stops, and ended the 2001 season 26th in points with a best finish of 11th (which is still pretty impressive). The next year his best finish (and only race he finished) was 17th, though he somehow beat his points total from the year before and finished 24th in points. He also began racing Nascar on a limited basis, but his best finish of the year was 40th, and so he clearly wasn't very good at that either. More years and more one man pit stops led to more last place finishes and DNFs. Finally, in 2006, Morgan sold some interest of his team to investors and renamed the team Victory Motorsports (and that, my friend, is where Terrance Mathis came in, and where this article basically ends).

On an end note, Morgan Shepherd was not a terrible driver, with 4 Nascar wins (his last in '93) and 15 truck wins (last in '88) to his credit. However, his best finish in Nascar for VIJ was 32nd, which sucks. And when he finally created another Church-based team, Faith Motorsports, in July of 2006, his best finish between two races was 42nd. Now to be fair, many of these races included Morgan showing up, running until he ran out of tires, and then leaving the track because he didn't have any more tires due to lack of funding. But sadly Morgan Shepherd never again found victory (lane) in Jesus. I guess Dale Davis and Terrance Mathis were convinced they might, since they bought shares in the team that once was VIJ. But for the record, I count 0 Nascar wins, 0 Busch wins, and 0 Truck wins for Victory Racing, with or without Jesus. So that's something, and all this random information you just read is why I love the internet.

By SpastikMooss with No comments


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