Sevier County race track owner shares racing addiction with sons

Sevier County race track owner shares racing addiction with sons

Posted:
Mitch McCarter, whose family is in the lumber business, purchased the 411 Motor Speedway two years ago. Mitch McCarter, whose family is in the lumber business, purchased the 411 Motor Speedway two years ago.
"A lot of people like football. I like all kinds of sports. But racing is in my blood and once it gets in your blood, it's the worst addiction there is," said track owner Mitch McCarter. "A lot of people like football. I like all kinds of sports. But racing is in my blood and once it gets in your blood, it's the worst addiction there is," said track owner Mitch McCarter.
McCarter's sons, Pierce and Mack, run in the Limited Late Model Stock Class. McCarter's sons, Pierce and Mack, run in the Limited Late Model Stock Class.
During our visit, Pierce was driving the white 51 car, covered with decals, the "McCarter Lumber Company" logo prominently displayed. During our visit, Pierce was driving the white 51 car, covered with decals, the "McCarter Lumber Company" logo prominently displayed.
"You feel like one of those NASCAR guys because you're the driver and the fans here locally support you and it makes you feel really good," Mack McCarter said. "You feel like one of those NASCAR guys because you're the driver and the fans here locally support you and it makes you feel really good," Mack McCarter said.

By DAVID RABORN and GENE PATTERSON
6 News Photographer and 6 News Anchor

SEYMOUR (WATE) - They say it's an addiction worse than just about anything. It can take your time and your money.

For Sevier County's Mitch McCarter, it has certainly taken up his time.  And he has certainly spent his money, but for McCarter, it's been well worth it.

The addiction is car racing and no one knows the allure of the sport more than him.

As a young boy, he raced dirt bikes. But it wasn't until six or seven years ago that he found car racing.

"We came down to the 411 Motor Speedway just to watch," says Mitch. "And the next week, we bought two cars."

McCarter, whose family is in the lumber business, purchased the 411 Motor Speedway two years ago.

Now it's his obsession.

We visited with Mitch and his two sons, Mack and Pierce, on a cool, overcast Saturday afternoon. Fans, dressed in jackets, filled the stands as the 2013 season kicked off at the speedway.

"A lot of people like football. I like all kinds of sports. But racing is in my blood and once it gets in your blood, it's the worst addiction there is," says Mitch.

It's in his sons' blood too. Both Pierce and Mack run in the Limited Late Model Stock Class.

During our visit, Pierce was driving the white 51 car, covered with decals, the "McCarter Lumber Company" logo prominently displayed.

"I'll go down and talk to the fans," says Mitch. "75 percent of them are here to see a wreck.  They're not here to see the race."

He says it's all part of the drama of a race. It's especially exciting if a couple of the racers have personal grudges against each other.

"You need a Jeff Gordon wanting to fight Clint Boyer," he says of the NASCAR circuit. "You need that at the national level and you need that here."

"It's so much fun just to travel around locally and every week you get to race," says Mack McCarter.

"You feel like one of those NASCAR guys because you're the driver and the fans here locally support you and it makes you feel really good," he adds.

The 411 Speedway is a dirt track, a long oval that requires constant attention, especially around the curves.

We put a camera inside the 51 car. You can see Pierce at work, throttling down, speeding up, negotiating a turn, and all while watching for the other drivers.

"I'm trying to watch ahead of me and watch the track," says Pierce. "How do I need to adjust myself to get as much traction as I can and concentrate on really being able to feel the car and handle it."

It's an exciting ride for Pierce and for the fans, who hope one day to see Pierce and Mack on the big circuit.

"I hope to get to run with the big dogs one day," says Pierce.

We hope so too.  And that is very much a part of the Spirit of East Tennessee.


If you know someone who you believe is an example of the Spirit of East Tennessee, e-mail me at gpatterson@wate.com.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.