|The Graybeard Report by Doc Lehman
|THE GRAYBEARD REPORT 11-22-06|
By Doc Lehman
For George “The General’ Lee of Loudonville, OH, the popular north central Ohio dirt Late Model driver
is winding down his 2006 season but as he looks back, despite some bad luck early in the season, isn’t
complaining about his 2006 fortunes as the veteran racer has two wins thus far in 2006. Lee, 43, is about to
conclude his 12th season behind the wheel of a dirt Late Model and has been competing in his Cowen
Truck Line, Hague Crystal Clear Water, Bert Transmission, Mason Racin, Braswell, Hoosier Tire -
HTMA, Afco Racing sponsored Rocket Chassis/Malcuit Racing Engines #21.
During the 2006 season Lee has scored two wins at Latrobe Speedway in Pennsylvania and Hilltop
Speedway in Ohio. With over two-dozen dirt Late Model feature wins in several states, the 1994 Wayne
County Speedway Rookie of the Year hopes to add to that total during his next race this coming weekend
at Hilltop where he has broken the track record the past two races. Hilltop was idle last weekend.
“We’re tickled to death with the wins,” stated Lee. “The first part of the season didn’t start out that well,
we hit a low point in the mid part of the season but we have a full head of steam right now, the crew is fired
up. We’re just disappointed it’s October already. We discussed about doing some big races but we decided
to stay local and support the local tracks for the rest of the year and then put it in the barn for the winter
“Winning at Latrobe, I love the place, I really like it. I just wish it were 2 ½ hours closer to home. It’s a
four-hour tow on a Sunday night and that’s a long drive when you get home at 5:00 AM and have to work
the next morning. We do it on occasion. They had new owners this year and really worked on the track. We’
ll get back there whenever our schedule allows it. We’ve had a lot of bad luck over there but that night luck
was with us. So to go over there and bring home the trophy and money, that was pretty cool.”
“The race at Hilltop, that was just awesome. It was a great night. The track ended up coming to us. (Son)
Adam was home on leave from the Middle East before he went to his next station at Alaska and that was
the last race he was home for before he had to leave so that was special.”
Lee’s son is a captain in the U.S. Air Force. Lee is married to Sherri and they also have a daughter, Alisa,
and three grandchildren.
Lee’s George Lee Racing (GLR) crew consists of Jeff ‘Root’ Long, Dave Hazlett, Karisa Darr, Aaron
Hulett, Mark Hagen and Ed Hagen.
When the 2006 racing season started some changes were made as the Team GLR evolved into a two-car
team with rookie driver Trevor Phillips, an 18-year-old high school senior, joining Team GLR. Trevor
Phillips and his father, Jerry Phillips, have become a part of Team GLR and Lee spent the 2006 season
serving as a coach and mentor to the former Mini Stock driver who took the plunge into Super Late Model
racing and was able to score the 2006 Wayne County Speedway Super Late Model Rookie of the Year title.
Lee feels Phillips has the desire and understanding to get the job done with laps and time. “I met Trevor
here a few years back, we parked next to each other, he was running Mini Stocks then and we took a liking
to him,” explained Lee. “He has his head screwed on straight. His dad approached us about making a two-
car team so we basically changed George Lee Racing to GLR now (laughs). We’re just coaching him.”
“When I started I had Danny Gardner and it doesn’t come any better. These kids starting out need
someone like that and these kids need to be not afraid to walk up to these seasoned drivers and ask for
18-year-old Trevor Phillips, a third generation driver and part of the famed Jacobs family racing dynasty, is
winding down his rookie season in a dirt Late Model and along the way the young, talented racer met and
exceeded his goals set forth for the 2006 racing season by being crowned the 2006 Wayne County
Speedway Super Late Model Rookie of the Year. By virtue of winning the WCS rookie title Phillips will be
honored at the track’s upcoming awards banquet in January and will be the recipient of a 2007 Lazer
Chassis. He also won the 2006 Hilltop Speedway Late Model Rookie of the Year title.
Phillips, a high school senior, competed this season in his Cowen Truck Lines, Bishop Collision Repair,
Reliable Mold & Pattern Inc., Bert Transmission and Indy Corp sponsored Rocket Chassis/Malcuit
Racing Engines #6.
Phillips started his dirt Late Model racing career in May of this year and despite missing a couple races at
the beginning of the season was still able to muster an impressive 12th place finish in the final WCS point
standings. Bernheisel Race Cars, the makers of the Lazer dirt Late Model chassis put up the race car at
the beginning of the season for the WCS Rookie of the Year.
Phillips, a former Mini Stock driver, teamed with long time dirt Late Model veteran George Lee who
coached and mentored Phillips throughout the season in an effort to shorten his learning curve. “I can’t say
enough about George,” commented Phillips. “He is an excellent guy and I wouldn’t be racing a Late Model
if not for him. He’s been in it so long and knows everything to do. I don’t know how to set the car up right
now, and he’s helping there. He’s helping me learn where to run, when to get on the gas, he’s been helping
“It was a pleasure working with Trevor this season,” added Lee. “He’s a good young man, he has learned
a lot and he has an obvious talent. I think he proved that this season as the year went on. You could see a
steady progression with him and we’re happy that he was able to win the Rookie of the Year title at Wayne
County Speedway and Hilltop Speedway. He has a bright future ahead of him and we’re looking forward to
teaming with him again in 2007.”
Winning the Rookie of the Year title at WCS holds a special meaning for the friendly young gun. When one
mentions heritage the word legacy also comes to mind when one considers Trevor Phillips. Phillips, the son
of Jerry & Lola Phillips, grew up going racing. Literally, he had little choice.
His great-grandfather was N.E. ‘Pete’ Jacobs, the founder of Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, OH and
for many years a well-respected car owner. His grandfather was the late Ken ‘Jake’ Jacobs, a famed star
dirt track racer throughout Ohio and the surrounding region during the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Three of
his uncles, Kenny, Bud & Dean, gained fame and acclaim as Sprint Car stars, and his cousins, Lee and
Cody, are already forging ahead in their Sprint Car careers.
Phillips is also excited about winning the rookie title at Hilltop noting how special it is to be racing at tracks
where his grandfather, the late Ken ‘Jake’ Jacobs competed at. “You don’t really realize it but there was a
track there for a long time and my grandfather raced there at Hilltop as well as Wayne County,” explained
Phillips. “I realize that my family raced there in previous years and there was track there all those years
ago and now I’m racing there like they did. It’s great.”
For Phillips, it was a rookie season to be remembered. “My goals were to do what I am doing now and I
wanted to win some this year and even though we didn’t win any A Mains yet but we’re looking forward to
that next year,” commented Phillips. “I think so far I have achieved what I set out to do at the beginning of
During the 2006 season Phillips competed weekly at Wayne County Speedway in addition to Hilltop
Speedway in Millersburg, OH. Recently Hilltop Speedway concluded their point races and Phillips was able
to finish tenth in the final point standings. Phillips also competed at Lakeville Speedway for their 10th
Annual American Payroll Advance Big 4 Series event.
“None of this would have been possible without first, my parents, and then of course George and his entire
team, but bottom line without the tremendous generosity of our sponsors we wouldn’t have been able to
accomplish anything,” commented Phillips. “I have to give a sincere thanks to Cowen Truck Lines, Bishop
Collision Repair, Reliable Mold & Pattern Inc., Bert Transmission, Innovative Graphics, Real Wheels,
Pro Shocks, Mason Racin, Indy Corp, Fast Lane Drive Thru, Maibach Ford, Hague Crystal Clean Water,
Tiger Rear End, Malcuit Racing Engines, Afco Racing Products, Rocket Chassis, Hoosier Tire, American
Racer and Blair Signs.”
“I also have to thank the terrific crew of GLR, Jeff ‘Root’ Long, Dave Hazlett, Karisa Darr, Aaron Hulett,
Mark Hagen and Ed Hagen. I have learned a lot from them and they have been invaluable to not only
myself but the entire GLR team.”
Lee is proud of what Phillips has accomplished this season at not only Wayne County Speedway but also
Hilltop Speedway. “I’m excited,” said Lee. “Trevor has come a long way. He’s had some bad luck, but I’ve
had bad luck. It’s part of it. It just tickles me he is so intense and he listens and does what you say. I find
myself a cheerleader out there for him (laughs)! I cheerlead for him and he does the same for me. He is a
good team member. He helps me on my car when I need it and we help on his when he needs it. He has
come a long way and I’m really looking forward to next year.”
Lee’s GLR team, along with Phillips, will begin to implement an aggressive marketing and promotional
campaign to secure additional sponsorship support for the 2007 racing season.
TEAM GLR ADDING TEAMS: Team GLR has announced that in addition to the Super Late Model team
cars of veteran racer George ‘The General’ Lee and 2006 Wayne County Speedway and Hilltop Speedway
Rookie of the Year Trevor Phillips the team will be adding three other drivers/teams to the Team GLR
umbrella that will total a five-car team that will be unique among dirt racing marketing. In addition to Lee
and Phillips, Team GLR has added standout Pure Stock driver Brandon Gardner to Team GLR and their
host of sponsors. A Mini Stock and Modified driver/team will also be added in the very near future.
“We are being very aggressive about our marketing program for the 2007 racing season and our current
and future marketing partners will now have the opportunity to get more bang for their advertising dollars
by appearing on not one, not two, but five race cars total,” stated Jerry Phillips, team manager of Team
GLR. “It’s our goal to have our sponsors on all five cars enabling our sponsors more intense and
comprehensive and maximum exposure for their products and services.”
“Now sponsors who are affiliated with Team GLR will have five times the exposure and impressions in
four different divisions of dirt track racing. All of the cars will carry similar colors and graphics and it will
be a true team concept. We’ve just added Brandon Gardner to the team and will soon be selecting a
Modified and Mini Stock driver who will benefit from the sponsorship opportunities.”
The first to be added to the Team GLR stable of race cars is Pure Stock driver Brandon Gardner of
Loudonville, OH, a second-generation driver who at 20 years of age has already had an outstanding and
successful career. He is the son of long time Ohio Super Late Model star Danny Gardner.
A graduate of Loudonville High School in 2005, Gardner is currently a student at DeVry University in
Columbus, OH where he is majoring in Bio Medical Engineering. Gardner started his racing career at age
14 in the Mini Stock division and finished fourth in his first race, a 100-lap event.
Since 2002 he has competed in the Pure Stock division and since winning his first feature at age 16 has
went on to accumulate many wins and titles including the Muskingum County Speedway Pure Stock Fall
Invitational in 2002 through 2005 and the Muskingum points championship in 2003. Other accolades
include the Muskingum Rookie of the Year (2002) and Driver of the Year (2003), the 2003 Dirt Track
Racing Round-Up magazine Pure Stock Driver of the Year and 2005 Pure Stock Best Performance Award.
He recently won the 2005 Mid-Season Championship at Wayne County Speedway and during his career
has thus far scored 24 feature wins.
Among the tracks Gardner races at include Wayne County Speedway, Muskingum County Speedway,
Lakeville Speedway, Hilltop Speedway and Midway Speedway.
“We’re thrilled to have someone of Brandon’s caliber as a member of Team GLR, both as a driver and as
a person,” added Phillips. “He will be a strong and vital addition and will take excellent care of the team’s
sponsors throughout the season.”
Phillips indicated that an announcement will be forthcoming on the Modified and Mini stock drivers that
will be added to Team GLR that will benefit from the team sponsorship opportunities.
KICK OUT THE JAMS: Something a bit different and maybe one of the four or five readers of this
column might ask what it has to do with racing, but in a round-about-way it does (how’s that for a ready-
made excuse) because it has to do with someone who has two serious passions: dirt (Late Model) racing
and music. Being a baby boomer myself and having a clear recollection of the Beatles first appearance on
Ed Sullivan, I too have also had the same two passions (although unlike Tim, I have no redeeming talent in
Tim Lee may be known more for his duties as the editor of Dirt Late Model magazine around these parts
than for his musical expertise (you saw him on the CNN-produced Dirt Track Warriors documentary) but
for any dirt racing fan or participant who is into rock ‘n roll music then Lee’s newest CD offering, Concrete
Dog, is right up your alley. Tim Lee is all rocker believe me. The new CD is a wicked mixture of rock ‘n
roll with occasional inflections of power pop and a sometimes British nod without selling out his American
This is quality.
The opening tune, the cover title song Concrete Dog gets repeated play in my household. The wife loves
the CD but she has to listen to Concrete Dog two or three times before moving on to the other tunes.
Infectious? You bet ‘cha, especially those tasty jangling guitars and Lee’s better half Susan Bauer Lee’s
licks on a fuzz bass at all the right times.
This is a primo CD to stick into the player as you make your way down the highways and interstates to the
next race. It rocks, it jumps, it hops and it bops.
Take two or three listens and you’ll be humming along with such stand out tunes as the aforementioned
Concrete Dog, Half-Life, Alone Together, Threw It All Away, Here One Minute and many others. Not a
bad one in the bunch.
There is more to Tim Lee than simply being one of the sport’s better and more progressive writers &
editors. He has history. Lee, as probably everyone reading this knows, is the editor of DIRT LATE
MODEL Magazine. One of the top writers in the sport, Lee has also been in pivotal positions with
BEHIND THE WHEEL and NATIONAL DIRT DIGEST right along with his gifted wife and partner (and
bass player), Susan.
Tim has toured the U.S. extensively with his own bands and as a sideman for Let's Active, Marti Jones,
John Stirratt's Gimmecaps and the Swimming Pool Q's. He has provided production assistance to
recordings by Will & The Bushmen, The Reivers, The Skeeters, The Primitons, Carnival Season and
Following six Windbreakers LPs and EPs, Tim's first solo album, "What Time Will Tell," was released in
1988 to unanimous critical praise. "What Time Will Tell" was produced by Gene Holder (dB's, Wygals)
and featured members of the Bongos, the dBs, Chris Stamey Group, the Wygals and Let's Active.
Tim had additional releases in 1992 & 1997 before returning solo in 2001 with wife Susan on board and
subsequent solo releases UNDER THE HOUSE on the Paisley Pop label in 2002. And the same kind of
infectious rock ‘n roll can be found on Lee’s next release NO DISCRETION in 2004 and then this year
CONCRETE DOG on the Fundamental label.
Tim’s guitar work often, while totally original in style and presentation, often harkens back to prime Roger
McGuin and Mick Ronson. The electric grabs you in and the acoustic allures you. If you’re into the Byrds,
Dylan, Neil Young, Ian Hunter, Artful Dodger, Talking Heads, Beatles (circa ’67-69), Fogerty, Petty, et al,
Tim Lee’s music is for you.
Tim’s latest is another dead-on hit, a gem, and a breath of fresh air, thanks in no small part to cohorts
Susan Bauer Lee, who shares some song-writing credit, Greg Horne on guitar and Don Coffey, Jr., on
drums. Coffey also produced the new CD. Lee’s contributions are guitar, vocals, songwriting, keyboards
Infectious. Mesmerizing. Passionate.
Basically put, Tim Lee is one kick-ass rock ‘n roller.
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