The Dart: Local lives to race

Published 12:04 am Monday, August 6, 2012

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT John Lewis drives his brand new Ranger off-road vehicle around the neighborhood Thursday night on Oak Hill Drive. Lewis had bought the Ranger earlier that day to use to pull his 1969 Camaro race car.


The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — Whether he is driving his 69 Camaro or his new Polaris Ranger, John Lewis definitely has a need for speed.

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Lewis and his friend Arthur White Jr. were cleaning Lewis’ Ranger Thursday afternoon when The Dart landed on Oak Hill Drive.

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — John Lewis dries off his brand new Ranger off-road vehicle that he was washing in his driveway Thursday night on Oak Hill Drive. Lewis, who works for 14 days on and 14 days off on an oil rig, has been racing cars for 15 years and bought the Ranger to pull his racecar.

Lewis races cars and said he bought the Ranger to pull the car where it needed to be to start the race and take it from the finish line.

Thursday was Lewis’ first day with the Ranger, and he decided to take it for a spin in a nearby pasture.

“I got it to pull a car, but I didn’t know it was this much fun,” Lewis said.

Lewis — looking something like a kid with a new toy — was eager to take others for a ride but said next time there will be a fee to ride.

Lewis said he enjoys racing cars whenever he gets a chance. His job requires him to work 14 days on and off 14 days off. During Lewis’ off days he finds his way to the track.

Lewis and his Camaro make it to the starting line and participate in grudge racing — racing for money.

“It’s real fun when your car is real fast,” Lewis said.

Lewis said he has been racing cars for about 15 years now and his love for racing is growing.

The excitement of Lewis’ new Ranger started when he received the phone call saying he qualified to purchase it that morning.

Lewis said he jumped in his truck, knowing he had no way of getting it home so he called his friend Arthur to help him.

“It was looking brand new, but I had to try it out,” Lewis said.

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — John Lewis, right, gives his neighbor Roderick King a ride in his new Ranger off-road vehicle Thursday night. “He got himself another toy,” said King. Lewis bought the vehicle to pull his 1969, which he races on his off days from work.

Lewis said he also excited to have the Ranger because he usually would use his brother’s truck to pull his car.

When the men took the Ranger for a test drive they realized more was needed to make it perfect.

White said Lewis will need a shield on the front because the bugs were flying in their faces.

Lewis said he is anxious to show the Ranger off to his nieces and nephews because he knows they will love it too.

It is fun riding around on the ranger, Lewis said, but he thinks it would be even better if his friends would get one too.

Lewis is now getting his trailer and Camaro fixed in order to ride again, using his new Polaris Ranger.

“John got him a new toy,” White said.