Remembering the Veterans Longs, SC--They say age is a limit that we impose on ourselves. For Don Satterfield, Glenn Gault and Joe Harrison Jr., it's not a saying, it's their maxim. While most their age are signing up with AARP, the only ...
Remembering the Veterans
Longs, SC--They say age is a limit that we impose on ourselves.
For Don Satterfield, Glenn Gault and Joe Harrison Jr., it's not a saying, it's their maxim.
While most their age are signing up with AARP, the only acronym these three are familiar with is USAR.
Some call them elder statesmen, while others call them veterans. They, however, consider themselves to be just racers in the Hooters ProCup Series.
Satterfield, 51, Glenn Gault, 56, and Joe Harrison Jr., 55, have nearly a century of racing experience between them. And according to them, there's plenty more fuel left in the tank.
"The fun is still in it for me," said Satterfield, who made his first start in 1980 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in the Grand National Division. "I'm going to do it until the fun goes out of it. USAR has the best thing going right now. It's a tough series. In any given race in the Southern Division, there are 10 to 15 cars that can win. Next year, that number will probably be 20."
It's that competition that keeps Glenn Gault going.
"The excitement of the race is something that I can't get enough of," said Gault, who has 30 years of racing experience. "As long as I keep having fun, I'll keep doing it. The challenge and competition of racing is still fun. Plus, I've had the same crew for a long time, and I don't want to put them out on the street. We've got a great bunch, and we enjoy going to the race track together."
Like Gault, Harrison Jr. still enjoys loading up and hauling to the race track. Actually, he loves it.
"I don't think quitting has ever entered my mind," said Harrison Jr., who finished 10th in the Northern Division points. "I do it for the love of the sport. I love the people involved in it. I love every phase of it, from working on the car, to going to the track. It's like getting out of prison when we hit the road to go to the race track."
When Harrison Jr. started, many of those roads--and tracks--were dirt.
"My first car was a 57 Ford, and I raced it on a dirt track in 1967," said Harrison Jr. "That's how I got my number. We didn't know what number to put on it, so my crew man said, 'Why don't you put No. 57 on it, so they'll know what it is.' And I've had No. 57 since then."
Through the years, however, the face of racing has changed, leaving Harrison Jr. fighting an uphill battle against big-budget teams and technology.
"I remember in the '60s, we used to make everything on the car," said Harrison Jr. "We'd take stock parts and make them to fit our racecar. I used to have one fellow that helped me out, and that's all you needed. I used to win races back then. Now, it's hard to compete with the guys with sponsors. So we don't worry about that, we just go out and run."
Both Satterfield and Harrison Jr. spent years running the NASCAR Grand National Division, now the BUSCH Series, during their careers. Harrison's best Grand National Division finish in his 39 starts came in 1986 at Martinsville Speedway when he finished 11th. Satterfield made five Winston Cup starts in his career, highlighted by a 19th-place finish in the 1983 Busch 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Twenty-one years later, Don Satterfield finished in the same position in the Food City 150 at BMS.
Though Gault never participated at NASCAR's higher levels, he's a household name in the North among Late Model Stock fans. In 1988, Gault won the Northern Region of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series. One season, Gault won the Late Model Stock title at three separate tracks in Pennsylvania, taking the championship at Motordrome, Clearfield and Jennerstown.
The victory lane celebrations haven't been a frequent site for the group in recent years. But as long as they keep racing, there's a chance another victory is on the horizon.
"I want to win every race that I go to," said Satterfield. "If I ever felt like I couldn't win, I would quit racing and put some young driver in the car, but I think I can still win races."
Satterfield's attitude proves that age is not a limit for these veterans.