Rod Davies Little Valley spotlight

Ron Davies seems to have Little Valley's number. On Sunday, May 26th, Ron Davies brought the crowd to its feet with his daring outside moves (and one huge inside move), to defeat Bob Close in round one of the Tri State Championship Series here...

Ron Davies seems to have Little Valley's number.

On Sunday, May 26th, Ron Davies brought the crowd to its feet with his daring outside moves (and one huge inside move), to defeat Bob Close in round one of the Tri State Championship Series here at Little Valley. Running almost exclusively against the wall, the steel-nerved Davies sent the fans home buzzing, as he drove where no other driver dared to go. Close paid the ultimate compliment to his rival after the race when he declared, "I could run out there, but I don't have the nerve that Ron does. He's the best when it comes to running outside."

The 44 year old Warren, PA, resident started his career in 1976, winning 7 races in the spectator class at Statleline. In 1977 he graduated to the Cadet class, where he finished third in points at Eriez, before he made the leap to Super Late Models in 1978. Driving a 4000 pound Nova, he finished in the top ten in points, with a couple of second place finishes to his credit.

His Late Model career has showed him buying his first car in 1979 from MRE (Midwest Race Engineering), after building his own car the first year and doing quite a bit of traveling, including regular visits to Motordrome Speedway, south of Pittsburgh, and Sharon Speedway. Highlights of his impressive career were a first place in points at Lernerville in 1990, a points championship at Challenger Speedway in Indiana, PA, MACS Series win at McKean and Thunder Valley, and a win at Stateline in the STARS Series, along with several fast time awards, along with finishing sixth and seventh in two years in the series, driving a Bullett chassis he purchased from perennial star Donnie Moran in 1992. He gives a lot of the credit for his success to "Fast" Freddy Smith, whom he befriended on the tour. They pitted together and shared their knowledge. He also hung out with Rodney Combs, who had a cup of coffee in Winston Cup competition at one time.

His success at Little Valley is due in part to his partiality to what he describes as a "momentum" track, meaning it's how you drive the track, not the raw horsepower that gives him success. He readily admits that he doesn't have the power that some of the other cars have because it's not necessary with his driving style. He notes, "If there's enough traction to run outside, I'll run there. The last few times I've been here there's been enough moisture to get traction. If it's not there at the start I'll keep working on it. A lot of people don't like the speed. I can almost run wide open. It's just my style. You have to have your car free enough to set up in the corners. A lot of the guys are set up too tight to do that. You have to do what the race track allows. I go in deeper than anyone else. Although my motor isn't as big as some of the others, I run more gear. In the end it all depends on how the track is set up." He added, "I knew we had a good chance to win when we came here for the Tri State Championship race in May"

Ron says that this year has been a struggle since one of his main crew members moved away, but he thinks they are beginning to get some momentum. A win tonight, running against a top field of late model drivers, including his younger brother Dutch, would certainly do a world of good for him and his team. His current mount is a Malcuet-powered Rocket chassis, owned by Mike McKarski from Sheffield, PA. Ron will try to defend his Tri State Championship victory on July 14th. It will be the final event of the Series, with the title up for grabs, plus a winner's check of $3333.00 and a $6000.00 point fund to boot, and the cars will be running "topless." Following his 2nd place finish in the Freedom Daze Late Model Feature on July 3rd, Davies seems primed to defend his Tri State win, and maybe even grab the title.

Long term, the affable and talented Davies' would like to go back on the road again, and run for a major title, preferably the STARS Tour, which he ran earlier in his career. Whatever the future may bring, you can bet he will running with the leaders. Keep an eye on the No. 71D. He'll be the guy running next to the outside wall.

-lv-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Freddy Smith , Donnie Moran