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Former Braxtonian still auto racing at 67

Rick James began racing cars while he was still in high school, and, even though he’s now 67, he’s still racing. James, who races with the Sports Car Club of America, has competed in various types of the sport. He loves them all.
After his father moved to Lorain, Ohio, to work, James left Tesla and finished his education through high school there. It was then he began his hobby. “Back when I was in high school, everyone was fascinated with fast cars and racing, and I got interested,” he explained. “My first racing was drag racing, and I did that for a while.” In drag racing, he drove his personal car, a 1965 Mercury Comet.
The drag racing continued after he moved in Florida with his family. There, he drove a friend’s car.
Next, James moved to oval track racing after he discovered it offered more challenge than he had seen with drag racing. “Actually, I left racing for a few years because I moved back to West Virginia for a while. I still have a cousin, David Cutlip, and other relatives in Braxton County.”
When he returned to Ohio, he changed to the oval track. This time he was with Sandusky Motor Speedway.
In 2005, James came into his own on the oval track. “I was very successful,” he said. One summer, in Sandusky, I won 12 feature races, and six of those were in a row.” Interestingly, today’s legal speed for the local Interstate is close to the top speed they hit. “Really, on a small track, I won races at 70-75,” he noted.
Racing with the Championship Racing Association in Indiana, James hit 80-85 on a one-half mile oval track. “That was a challenging time because I had to tow my car from Amherst, Ohio, to Indiana every other weekend all summer.” He added, “It was a good summer, though, because I got to race on a lot of historical race track out there—Winchester Speedway and Lucas Oil Raceway Park. I set the track record there in the fall of 2011, and it stood until 2015.”
Also that summer, James finished fourth in points with the CRA. “In Ohio, we were told if we really wanted a challenge, we should race against drivers in Indiana. When I decided to try it, I was told I couldn’t do it. I proved them wrong.”
Now living in Orlando, Florida, James belongs to the Sports Car Club of America and often races at the NASCAR track at Daytona. “NASCAR drivers race the 2 ½ mile track at Daytona, but they alter it for us. We race 3 ½ miles because we leave the track for one mile and then return to it to finish.” In Florida he has been driving his 1960 Austin-Healey Mark I, and he hits 130 mph. He plans to race at Daytona again at the end of this month.
Asked about earnings, James explained that he “made a lot of money” when he started oval track racing, but money was never the object. “Racing was a hobby,” he noted. “I ran my own auto repair business.” On the Daytona track, he’s had two third-place finishes, and he had second-and third-place finishes on the Sebring International Speedway.
Semi-retired from auto repair, he isn’t ready to retire from racing. “I’m building another race car—I built most of my cars—and I’m gearing it for 165 mph. I will build the engine in the next couple of months. It takes a lot of time and elbow grease to build my own car, but I know what I have when it’s finished.”
From Tesla, West Virginia, to auto racing in Ohio and Florida is a long route. Rick James has apparently navigated it well, and he has enjoyed all of it.


Circuit court hears pleas, hands down sentences

Numerous court orders were recently completed by the Honorable Richard A. Facemire in the Braxton County Circuit Court.



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Braxton native is Cancer Society’s “Real Men Wear Pink” candidate

Kyle Warner, of the accounting department at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital in Weston, has become a Real Men Wear Pink candidate, a fund-raising project of the American Cancer Society. By putting the power of pink into action to raise awareness and funds, you’re investing in the American Cancer Society’s mission to save lives from breast cancer. As a Real Men candidate, you are making a meaningful impact on a cause that touches us all, and we hope you enjoy the friendly competition while doing it!


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Commission hears updates

The Braxton County Commission received updates on EMS, OES and the Firefighters Association at their regular meeting last Friday, September 6.


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Gassaway Baptist Church to host
Living Proof simulcast with Beth Moore

Just One Generation cat rescue will be live trapping feral cats in the Sutton area on Tuesday, September 10 from 9:00 am-6:00pm. The trapping will be done in the downtown area and the Morrison Ave. and N. First St areas of Town Hill. Domestic cat owners are requested to either identify their pets with breakaway collars or keep their pet indoors during trapping hours. For additional information, call the Sutton Mayor’s office at 304-765-5581.

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Parents Math Help Kits available

Having trouble helping your child with math? Need Help? In conjunction with the Math4life campaign, Braxton County Schools is offering a Parent Math Help Kit.





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