He’s also a big believer in giving back to the sport. He found himself with a second, ready-to-run Late Model this season and offered it up to Shelton, last year’s South Boston Pure Stock champion, with no strings attached.
“Mark is a great guy. I’m not paying him anything to run this car and nobody, nobody gets that opportunity these days. That tells you enough about what kind of a guy he is,” said Shelton, who has also run races for Nathan Crews in another Late Model this season.
“I reached out to Daniel Shelton and put him in the car I ran in 2018,” said Keesee. “He’s got the passion and the talent but not the money. I feel like if more people don’t do things like that, the sport is going to continue to trend downward.”
Keesee and Shelton, who is from Hurt, make up almost half of the entire crew for the two cars. On a good night they have five crew members … and that includes the two of them. Keesee and Shelton both say two of those crew members, Leroy Austin and his wife Sherikka, have been vital to the team. “They have been there every race, supplying support,” and Keesee.
Without big dollars backing them, it takes a while to recover from wrecks and such. Saturday night’s Davenport Energy NASCAR Late Model Twin 75 will be Keesee’s first night back since a big crash on June 29.
Keesee, who works at ABB Inc. in South Boston, uses lessons learned on the job to manage his race team.
For more on this story, see this week's Altavista Journal.