Young Racer Believes In Variety

MOTOR SPORTS

He Goes From Dragway To Mud Bogs To Eight-cylinders On Oval Track

June 09, 1991|By Stanley C. Dillon

Mark Shorb is out to have fun in motorsports.

When he gets tired of one type of competition, he moves to another.

Right now, racing eight-cylinders at Trail-Way Speedway near Hanover, Pa., has caught his interest.

Shorb always has enjoyed motorsports competition after starting at 75-80 Dragway in Frederick County, racing a 1971 Mercury Comet when he turned 16.

Four years ago, the 22-year-old Westminster native purchased a Ford Bronco from his cousin to compete in mud bogs. Shorb started in the stock division, then put more money into the truck and moved to the modified class.

Last year, he changed course again and decided to give oval track racing a try. Now Shorb is a steady competitor in the eight-cylinder class at Trail-Way Friday nights.

"I started helping my cousin," said Shorb. "Then I said to myself, 'Why help him when I can drive myself?' "

So Mark and his brother Barry went together and built a race car. But there was a catch. Barry would help if Mark would let him drive his truck.

The friendly deal was made, and Mark began driving at Trail-Way. Mark's car is not hard to spot, especially if you're a Gary Stuhler fan.

His car is painted similar to the car that Stuhler, a Westminster late-model driver, once drove for Bobby Allen four years ago.

In less than a year on the oval track, Shorb has become a major threat. He finished in the top 20 in points last year after starting in midseason. This year, he is fourth in the standings.

Apparently, Shorb plans to stay in this type of racing for a while, since he has another car ready to go if needed.

Right now, Shorb saidhe isn't pleased with the handling of the car. It won't set up in the turns, but he said he is confident the crew will find the problem.

Last week, he took his car to Chuck Taylor's house to have the motor fine-tuned; then he'll be ready to tackle the second half of the season.

Which type of racing does Mark enjoy the most?

"So far Ienjoy racing the eight-cylinders," answered Shorb. "I have done moreracing already this year then I ever did in mud bogs. I also make more money.

"In mud bogs, you only get a chance to make a couple of runs. In oval track, you run warm-ups, a heat and a feature. You havea lot better chance. The big difference is, you can keep the Bronco looking better."

That doesn't mean Shorb doesn't like to keep his stock car looking good, but the action on the short track at Trail-Way includes some fender banging. Over the winter, Shorb replaced the sheet metal and had his car looking like new when the season started. Now, it is beginning to show signs of battle.

"It doesn't take a lot to get it banged up," said Shorb. "I am afraid to bang my car at first, but once I get hit and get that first dent, then I don't care as much."

The motor in his Mercury Comet is a 351 Ford Windsor. Built by Chuck Taylor Racing, it was taken from the Ford Bronco.

Since Shorb and his brother still race in mud bogs in their spare time, they have installed a 450 cubic-inch Ford motor, built by Doug Devilbiss, in the Bronco.

Mark's brother isn't the only help that he has.Racing is a family event. Mark's parents, Richard and Virginia Shorb, are with him at every race. In addition to moral support, his father helps out on the financial end now. Mark's sister and her husband, Theresa and Larry Wilhelm, and their son Kyle, attend every race.

Other support for Shorb's racing efforts come from Chuck Taylor Racing, Doug's Garage, R. L. Shorb Trucking, Cork Tire Service, LeMaster Enterprises, Shifflett's Auto Parts, Steve's Automotive and B & M Racing.

Shorb says he would like to race late models in the future, but worries they they are too expensive to run.

"If I get tired of this, I just may get back in drag racing," he said.

Whatever Shorb does, though, he no doubt will be having fun.

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