June 6, 2014 10:45:56 AM
OKTIBBEHA COUNTY -- David Breazeale retired from racing in 2012, but he found his way back to the sport through two car owners.
The crux of his first decision to leave dirt track racing still lingers, as the 38-year-old is a full-time business owner and husband. Breazeale has been running David Breazeale Logging, LLC since his father passed away just five months after he graduated high school.
"That's what I'll retire on," Breazeale said.
But Breazeale's desire to run his business efficiently and competitively is just as strong as his fervor for Super Late Model racing. Winner of more than 20 Mississippi State Championship Challenge Series races -- second on the all-time list -- and two MSCCS points titles, Breazeale never really left the tracks for good. He just scaled back his schedule, particularly this season, when he will compete in 20-25 races this season.
Breazeale has won four straight, including three-straight points races, and will race at Greenville this weekend and "maybe" at Magnolia Motor Speedway next weekend, when the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will have a weekend purse of $85,000.
"I kind of figure in five years I'll be out of it," he said. "I say that every year. I don't want to race past the point of being competitive, but I still have a business to see to, and it's getting harder and harder to race competitively and run a business week in and week out."
Breazeale has reunited with Randy Thompson and Thompson Motorsports, where he has refined his driving skills and learned the nuances to racing, he said.
Breazeale spent a couple of years racing Street Stocks before jumping to Super Late models. He was a quick study before racing for Thompson, whom he said "always had good cars and drivers."
"Early on, we'd try different things ... kind of a trial by fire," Breazeale said of his early days in the shop with his friends. "If something worked, we'd keep doing it; if it didn't, we'd do something different. We'd listen to all of the advice we'd get."
Breazeale's seemingly rugged start to the sport is buoyed by nearly 20 years before he entered the sport. He'd been at a dirt track with friends one weekend -- simply because it was one of the most interesting things to do in his native Four Corners -- before he and his crew decided they'd build cars and race on the weekends.
"I grew to love racing, but I didn't grow up loving racing," he said. "Before I started racing, I didn't know guys raced outside of Mississippi. Didn't know there was a Florida Speedweeks."
Breazeale got a taste of success at the earliest possible time, but he didn't win a race in the second and third years of his career. He joined Thompson after the 2004 season and began to refine his game. Breazeale went on to win 20 races in a two-year span, including a $15,000-to-win feature in 2005.
"Racing is a mental game, and (Thompson) taught me how to race, how to prepare," he said. "His cars are good, and he's always had good drivers and won races. I knew the cars were good enough. It was a combination of a lot of little things. He was a good coach.
"He kind of pulled in the reins a little bit. I was tearing up a lot of race cars over the years. He taught me I could slow down and go faster."
Breazeale has driven for VooDoo Motorsports (2007-09) and Henderson Motorsports (2010-11, 2013).
If Breazeale sticks to his intentions to continue racing while he's still winning, he likely will be on the tracks for the foreseeable future. Still, he'll continue to evaluate his physical and mental conditions each offseason before committing to a team for even a limited slate.
"I feel like I'll be racing until I'm 40 or 41," he said. "But, at some point, you just have to back up from it all."
On April 12, Breazeale chased down Rick Rickman in a 50-lap MSCCS feature to record his 24th career tour win at Columbus Speedway. The speedway will return to action on Saturday, June 21, with a Weekly Racing Series Event. Limited Late Models, 602 Stock Late Models, Street Stocks, and Mini Stocks will compete. The drivers' meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Hot laps will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Grandstand admission will be $10. Children ages 10 and under will be admitted free. Pit admission will be $25.
For more information, contact Joe Ables at 662-574-6808.