USCS: Doug Gold's unique story

Doug "Solid" Gold - USCS One Man Band FAYETTEVILLE, GA - One of the unique stories of the 2004 United Sprint Car season is Doug "Solid" Gold of Concord, NC. His nickname fits as several solid gold hits can relate to Gold ...

Doug "Solid" Gold - USCS One Man Band

FAYETTEVILLE, GA - One of the unique stories of the 2004 United Sprint Car season is Doug "Solid" Gold of Concord, NC. His nickname fits as several solid gold hits can relate to Gold competing with USCS, and his preparation for the next series event this Saturday night at I-20 Speedway in Batesburg, SC.

O.K. guys and gals! Lets put this to music and spin those stacks of classic wax to tell you about Doug "Solid" Gold.

Like Bob Dylan's song "Mr. Tambourine Man," Gold is a one-man-band. He has traveled up and down the highways by himself to seven USCS events. He is not only the driver of the #8 winged outlaw sprint car, he drives the transporter, he's the crew chief, and he's the entire crew.

That's no easy task in sprint car racing. Unlike most race cars, sprint cars are unique in that they have no starters, transmissions, or clutches. You just can't crank the car up with a starter, put it in gear, and drive it where you need to go. You have to push the car, unless you want to put it in gear to start it and go real fast. That's not a good way to load your race in the transporter!

The Beatles' "Get By With A Little Help From My Friends" relates to what Gold has to do just to compete at USCS events. Time that most people spend looking at track conditions, paying attention to chassis set-ups, tuning an engine, and doing bolt checks, Gold spends looking for someone in the pit area that isn't busy to help him push his car to where it needs to be.

"I got ready to go to one race recently, and I only had room in the trailer for either a spare wing, or the ATV to push the car around," Gold said. "Then I realized I was the only one going to the races, and if I was in the race car, there was no one else to push me with the ATV!"

Everyone in the pit area, competitors and officials alike, appreciates what Gold does by himself, and if they're not busy with something else, they have always tried to give Gold a push to the staging area, or help him load and unload his race car. Anyone with USCS will tell you that Gold's smile and appreciative thank you makes helping him out worth the effort.

"I really enjoy competing with USCS," Gold said. "The competition is tough, but everyone involved with the series tries to work together and help each other. I really appreciate the fans that come to USCS races, and I like to get a chance to meet them at USCS Autograph sessions. We're not as well known as stock car racers in the Southeast, but we race just as hard for them."

Gold knows what he speaks of. Winged outlaw sprint cars are pound-for-pound the most powerful short track racing cars in the world. They weigh 1,300 pounds and are powered by 700 horsepower fuel-injected, methanol burning V-8 engines.

The wings on the top and front of the race car give them maximum traction whether they're going forward on the asphalt, or sideways on the dirt. It takes a different breed of cat to drive a sprint car, and Gold is a part of that special breed. With the high speeds and excitement, watching a USCS Outlaw Thunder event makes one think of Molly Hatchett's song "Flirtin' With Disaster."

U2's song "Desire" relates to what Gold does to go racing with USCS. To do what he does, by himself on and off the track with his sprint car shows his love for the sport and the competition. Gold is improving with each event.

Gold is a versatile race car driver in that he competes in both dirt and asphalt events with USCS, which is the only winged outlaw sprint car series in the country that holds National events on both surfaces.

After a rough start early in the season, in which the Rolling Stones "I Can' t No Satisfaction" would be appropriate, Gold has climbed to the fourth spot in the USCS Asphalt Thunder Tour, and is 13th in the USCS National points chase. Like Chicago's song "Feelin' Stronger Everyday," Gold is coming off his best effort of the season.

Last Saturday night at Cherokee Super Speedway in Gaffney, SC, Gold placed second in his heat race, and had a season-best tenth-place finish in the main event among a strong 27-car field. Gold showed his potential, but he needs what the Beatles' sang about in "Help!"

Gold doesn't want to be like Eric Carmen's classic hit "All By Myself." He needs someone with a little knowledge of race cars to go with him to the track and lend a helping hand. Gold has a "shoestring" operation, so the pay will be low, but the experience, the fun, and the opportunity to learn from the most talented group of sprint car racers in the Southeast will be priceless.

With a regular crew chief, and maybe even another crew member, Gold could be singing the Santana song "I'm Winning!" And if a driver is winning, there's a good possibility the song played at the end of a season could be Queen's "We Are The Champions!"

Anyone interested in traveling with Doug "Solid" Gold and helping him at USCS events this season can call USCS Founder and President Pete Walton at (404) 886-5913. Like Joe Walsh sings in his solid gold hit "Life's Been Good," just leave a message, maybe he'll call.

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Series Sprint