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One Lap of America 2001 - Bill and Mark's Excellent Adventure!

The Team. The Car. Their Mission.

Meet Bill. An autocrosser by day, a truck driver by night. Here we see Bill driving a twin-turbo RX-7 in an autocross at Laurinburg-Maxton airport.

Here you see Bill enjoying the fruits of his hard work! Bill is actually an excellent autocrosser, as he is no doubt telling these two. He has competed at National Level autocrosses and trophied on more than one occasion.

Meet Mark. When Mark grows up he wants to be a race car driver. Here we see Mark under the spectacular oak tree at Virginia International Raceway. Mark has no pictures of him on the podium with trophy girls - you see, Mark is married!

Bill and Mark met through the Tarheel Sports Car Club. At first they were fierce competitors, because they both owned black twin-turbo RX-7's. This pitted them in weekly competition against each other for THSCC's coveted Super Stock Championship, which of course was won by the better driver - Mike Dishman (who would remind you of Michael Sarrazin, when he played the Cobra driver in the "Gumball Rally"). If there were a beauty contest between these three guys, Bill and Mark would be a distant fourth. Actually Bill and Mike and Mark traded trophies at many autocrosses, but usually it was Bill or Mike on the podium. Then one day Bill went out and traded his pavement pounding RX-7 for...

We are all at a loss to explain this. The best we could come up with is that Bill's 2nd job as a truck driver (we all consider racing our 1st job), was releasing too much testosterone into his blood stream. The day-to-day hauling of 18 tons, grinding through 24 gears, harnessing the raw power of the most massive vehicle on the road - was simply overwhelming. Hair was sprouting on all surfaces of Bill's body, as evidenced by the thick matt on his back. There was only one solution. He needed to balance this by getting in touch with his feminine side. In any event, Bill informs me that he'll soon be adding a roll bar and taking the Miata on track, so perhaps its not so bad!

This is a picture of Bill next to his first really cool car, some kind of Camaro (maybe a Rally Sport or a Z-28). This car was considered the ULTIMATE high-school cruising car of its time. While the exact date of this photo is unknown, we can surmise it was sometime in the 70's due to the rather stylish bell bottom's Bill is sporting.

Here we see Bill a few years later. He used to be a scrawny little guy, and now he's brawny dude that would make Mama proud. Anyone that has ever met Bill knows that he is the biggest teddy bear of a guy, not just in looks, but also in personality. Besides his ability to drive long haul distances on very little sleep, he also has experience with personal hygiene on the road, which will be a big plus in an event like One-Lap. How such a nice guy got teamed up with a schmuck like Mark is really unknown.

This was Bill's second really cool car - a Celica All-Trac Turbo coupe. These cars were really quite awesome at the time. This is approximately how the car appeared in its final moments at Roebling Road raceway in turn 2, immediately before heading to the great junkyard in the sky. In case you didn't know, Bill is the founder of "This-side-up" Motorsports. This is why Mark will probably do most of the on-track driving during One-Lap...

So now we come to the second part of our story. Ever since Mark blew up his first motor at age 16, (well, actually it was his dad's motor), Mark wanted to race. Did you know a 1973 Subaru 4 door will do 105mph? Well it won't for very long. Here we see Mark at Mid-Ohio, posing in his brand new drivers suit, next to his brand new (for him anyway) race car, about to get spanked in his very first race. Full of optimism and cheer! Actually, in his first race weekend, he won one, and lost one, so it wasn't a total spanking.

Actually, before he started racing, Mark autocrossed his RX-7, the very RX-7 Bill and Mark will run at One-Lap. Here is the RX-7 in a rare photograph, circa 1996 or so. Rare because it shows a trophy next to it. Mark isn't the most accomplished autocrosser, but he can be competent. Unable to consistently beat the Evil Arch-Nemesis Mike Dishman (a.k.a. "the plastic poobah", named such for his fiberglass-bodied Corvette), he escaped to the road racing world where he found his true calling.

Here we see Mark punishing a field of Porsches at Sebring International Raceway with his trusty BMW M3. Did you know a rebuild on a BMW M3 motor by a top quality engine builder is about $6,000 (not including installation). Let's just say that Mark knows this too. Some things never change. If it is any consolation, it is a well known fact of life that there is NO greater satisfaction than to beat up on Porsches. And no one knows this fact better than this man...

Here we see Mario himself making a move on Mark's own Trophy Wife. Hey, where's that other hand? Fortunately Mrs. Mark certainly recognized that Mr. Mark is far more stud-ly than some washed out has-been millionaire race car driver (wait a minute - didn't he just run the 24hrs of Lemans this past year?). I mean, even though Mario has won more races in one year than Mark has won in his lifetime, that doesn't mean he's so great. And certainly Mark's job as Computer Sales Engineer is far more exciting than Mario's job as owner of a multinational racing empire. Schucks, maybe it was just that ol' Mario had used up his last Viagra. Oh well, better luck next time, Mario!

And here we see yet another generation, being corrupted by the drug we call racing. To those that race it is indeed an addiction, and here is Mark peddling full strength 110 octane, to children no less. Is there no justice? Has he no shame? Mark must be stopped!

So now you must be thinking "You know, I've read about this Mark guy, and while Bill seems OK, this Mark guy doesn't sound too good. What can I do to prevent the evil (and schmucky) Mark from winning One-Lap and corrupting the nation's children with the evil drug of racing?"

So here is what you do. First, Bill and Mark will be updating the website after each event of One-Lap. Check back often for the latest status. Second, come out to the track nearest you and cheer on Mark's competitors. Third, if you come to the track, say hello to Bill and Mark and voice your opinion. Let them know you CARE about the children. Mark, being a schmuck (he can't help it, he was born that way), will probably act all big headed and non-chalant. Bill, being a big teddy bear, will be very friendly and glad to see you. By going to the track and saying hello, you will be depriving them of much needed sleep, and therefore helping the cause. In any event, bring cookies - it has been found they are much friendlier and caught off guard with cookies. Especially the little Girl Scout Thin Mints.

And if you can't make it to the track, send them an email (there is a link at the top of the page). Let them know you will not stand for the corruption of the children! And save the next generation - God Bless America!!!!


One Lap of America is a 7 day, non-stop event circling halfway around the USA. Competitors stop at race tracks around the country and compete for fastest times. Cars are separated into classes based roughly on capability. Bill and Mark will run in class "SSGT2", competing against other sports cars with original list prices less than $35,000. Modifications to the cars are allowed, are unrestricted and are unlimited! Rules? There are no rules. Since Mark's RX-7 is relatively unmodified, they will be severely outgunned, and considered definite underdogs. Nonetheless they expect to compete well, and maybe beat some teams they shouldn't!

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The preceding story has been brought to you by the "Keep Our Own Kids Safe" campaign to save the children. Us KOOKS need to stick together...