“Yeah, I get some kidding about my name when I’m at the track,” says Daryl Quick, a veteran driver from Watertown.
“One night I was racing at Highland Rim and spun out all by myself. I heard the announcer say, ‘Daryl was pretty quick on that spinout …’
He chuckles and adds: “It’s all in fun. I don’t mind the jokes.”
Quick recalls a former NASCAR driver named Lake Speed.
“I figure with a name like ‘Lake Speed’ he got some of the same sort of kidding,” Quick says.
When he’s not racing or getting ready to race Quick works as a distributor of Cornwell Tools. The company sponsors his race cars in divisions at Highland Rim Speedway in Ridgetop and at Nashville’s Fairgrounds Speedway.
Quick has been “dabbling” in racing for almost three decades.
“I got involved in racing in ’91 when I started helping a buddy work on his car in Bowling Green, Kentucky,” Quick says. “I decided to start driving in ’95, in the old Bomber Division. Three years later I moved up to the Sportsman division at Highland Rim, and I’ve been at it ever since.”
Like most racers, Quick says he is drawn to the sport by the thrill of the action and challenge of the competition. He also enjoys working on the cars.
“I probably like working on the cars more than I like racing them,” he says. “I have a couple of long-time buddies who help me, and getting together with them to work on the car is what makes it fun.”
Quick competes in the Sportsman series at the Fairgrounds and in the Late Model Sportsman division at the Rim. His best finishes so far this season are a pair of fourth-places. He consistently runs in the top 10, which is his main goal.
“We’ve done pretty good,” says Quick, who doesn’t race for gold and glory but rather just for fun. “If we can come close to breaking even, financially, we’ve had a good season.”
Quick and wife Sandy have been married 31 years and, he says, she “tolerates” his racing.
“She’s not a big fan who goes to all the races or anything like that,” he says. “But she knows it’s something I enjoy doing and she’s pretty supportive.”
He adds, again with a chuckle: “Of course she thinks I spend ‘way too much money on it.”
Quick has three grown children, three grandkids, and one on the way. One of his sons, Dylan, has expressed an interest in racing.
“I told him I’ll help build him a car if he wants to get started,” Quick says. “Right now he’s like me – he has about all on his schedule that he can handle.”
The future of historical 60-year-old Fairgrounds Speedway continues be debated. Current promoter Tony Formosa Jr. in recent seasons has run a limited schedule, but one prospective new operator has suggested expanding the schedule and perhaps racing every weekend.
The future of the Fairgrounds will affect a score of Wilson County drivers who regularly race there, along with their substantial fan following.
“I hope they don’t mess with it,” Quick says. “For drivers like me, with limited time and resources, running a limited schedule is perfect.”
Of course drivers like Quick would not be required to run all the races if the schedule were expanded; however, they would be unable to compete for championships if they skipped some of the points-awarding events.
It appears Fairgrounds Speedway will pursue its current course for the immediate future. The Fair Board is expected to award Formosa a new five-year contact, recently choosing him over prominent NASCAR track owner Bruton Smith.
“I like how it’s being run,” Quick says. “I hope it continues.”