September 15, 2019

Wallis just wants to learn and have some fun in 2019 - Daily Leader Extra : Sports

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Wallis just wants to learn and have some fun in 2019

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Posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 2:48 pm

Doug Wallis of Madison always liked racing. As a youngster he was an observer, but he wanted more. As soon as he could, Wallis entered the go-kart races at Brookings. That was in 2005.

He did pretty well, picking up several trophies. But it didn't really satisfy Wallis' need for speed. It just whet his appetite. What he really wanted was a chance to drive a modified.

"I've always thought the modifieds were the meanest and fastest racing cars around," smiled Wallis, standing by his No. W modified, "especially because the late models and sprint cars are beyond my means. The modifieds give you more bang for the buck. It's not too bad financially to run this class and it offers good competition."

Wallis has been running in the modified division for five years, but when I-90 Speedway closed, he shut down his racing operation.

"I haven't run since 2015," he said. "I'm just happy that I-90 has reopened. It's close to home and doesn't require lots of traveling."

Travel has kept many racers from running. Rising fuel costs are a deterrent to traveling hundreds of miles to race. Besides, Wallis doesn't have a hauler.

"Ryan Arpan of Midwest House Movers, one of my sponsors, pulls my car to the track every week," said Wallis. "Without his help and that of my other sponsors, it would be very difficult to race."

Other sponsors include Integra, Sturdevant's, Rocket Auto Dent Repair, Asphalt Pros and Ghost Race Shop, which is actually Chris Moore, a Madison-based modified driver of considerable talent.

Like a number of other racers, Wallis could use a few more sponsors. Some of the other "sponsor logos" on his car are his own.

"I have room on the car in case anyone out there would like to sign on to help me race," he smiled.

Don't forget the pit crew, which consists of Tina Wiskur, his girlfriend, and crew chief, Shelbig Thomas.

"Ya gotta live the dream," the young leadfoot said. "I've always wanted to do this. Right now I'm just trying to knock the rust off, improve my driving and mechanical skills."

His goal this year is just to "stay out of trouble and try to be consistent."

In the abbreviated opener of I-90 a couple weeks ago, when rain washed out the program after the heat races, Wallis finished fifth. But he wasn't scored in fifth. He forgot to turn on his transponder.

"It was a mistake I won't make again," he laughed.

Wallis will restrict his racing to I-90 Speedway this year.

"I plan to stay racing here. It's close to home. This year I plan to learn and just try to have some fun."

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