Doyle Racing for His Dad
By Pat Simmons
Jimmy Doyle is new to Tri-County Motor Speedway this
season, but Doyle is far from new to racing.
The 47year-old native of Fort Lauderdale, FL, now lives in
grew up watching his dad race in Florida. The
older Doyle raced against current TCMS owner/promoter Russ
Leicht back in the rough and tumble racing days, so Doyle has
known Leicht since he was a kid. He got to watch his dad
go head-to-head with some of the best racers in the business.
Doyle has been behind the wheel for the past 32 years after
starting in karts as a youngster.
When he turned 24 he made his first Late Model start at
Hialeah Speedway in a Dodge Charger he and his dad built.
Doyle says his dad is the whole reason he is racing.
In 1991, after moving to North Carolina Doyle began racing
at the Asheville Speedway and in 1994 became track champion.
He raced until 1997 and took a couple of years off
after buying the family business, General Auto Repair.
The 1997 season was busy as Doyle raced at Asheville on
Friday nights and then followed the Hooters ProCup Series in
its inaugural season. In
2001 he returned to racing to race in the UARA All-Stars
This year Doyle changed the number on his car.
Short tracks in the south usually have cars with two
numbers and for many years he ran a number 71. Now Doyle’s
car has three. 711. It is all in honor of his father, Johnny,
who was diagnosed with cancer in July.
Johnny Doyle ran that number his entire career.
The elder Doyle raced for many years and now he is
seriously ill. He
has been a big supporter of his son, but as of late has not
been attending events. Jimmy
Doyle is making his dad proud though, winning the past two
weeks at Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, NC.
Johnny Doyle has always been proud of his son, who has won
many between 25 and 30 races in his career. ”He is the
reason I am racing,” said Doyle from his home in
Hendersonville. “He was always by my side working on the car
and this is my first year on my own.”
With a touch of sadness in his voice, Doyle explained
how his dad has become seriously ill over the last weeks and
hasn’t been at the racetrack lately. He was there at the
first of the season, but now he is just too weak.
“We always built our own cars, but this year I am running
a Leicht race car and a Ben Barnes engine,” Doyle explained.
He is motivated. Only in a way a son can be
motivated to make his father happy.
This season is all it’s about.
It’s for Dad.