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Dentist and Teacher Take to the Open Road

United Press International

For some people, come the weekend, a dentist’s office or high school classroom is simply no place to be.

“Drivers take dumb pills on Friday and turn everything off until Monday morning, except for steering wheels and gearshifts,” said crew chief David Boesche.

Boesche, 41, is an Indianapolis native who has been teaching vocational auto mechanics at Jeffersonville (Ind.) High School the last 19 years.

“Racing is an addictive type of thing,” said Dr. Stewart Coomer, 41, the drientist from New Albany, Ind. “It pumps you up. It’s just a mood elevator.

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“You put the helmet on and start the engine, and it’s just a different world, Something clicks within you. It just turns something on in your brain. For ‘s just another thrill.”

Coomer is owner of a $15,000 Renault he says requires intense concentration to drive, more so than his daily office routine.

“As far as racing is concerned, this is a relatively cheap hobby,” Coomer said. “Outof the usual $100 entry fee for each race, there are expenses for hotel rooms and on the road meals. But all-in-all, it is a hobby with little expense, except for the initial cost of the car.”

They race the sports Renault as rs of the 50,000-member Sports Car Club of America group made up of professional and amateur participants with 100 chapters nationwide.

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“We race six to seven times a year, and the rest of the time we spend working on the car,” Boesche said. Boesche said the Renault is also a highly technical vehicle that needs constant maintenance to keep it on the road.

“The race lasts less than an hour, but the high it creates stays with you until the next one,” Coomer said. “It makes the stress of every day work life much more tolerable.”

Coomer, a 1971 University of Louisville graduate, is joined at the track on race day by his wife, Norma Jean, and two girls aged 15 and 13, a son 9, and their dog, Mindy. Boesche said he goes alone “to allow total concentration on my duties attending to the car.”

Indy 500 winner Danny Sullivan, a native of Louisville, got his start in the SCCA, which sports 22 classes of cars, including the Renault, Boesche said.

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“There is a pro series involved in the SCCA, but for the most part it is a learning experience,” Coomer said. “Some of the young guys use it as a starting point to the pro circuit. There is no money to be made, its purely for fun.”

V.V. Cooke Jr., a former Louisville auto dealer, owns a highly successful race car. He knows just how Coomer and Boesche feel.

“They are certainly on target,” Cooke said. “Once it gets in your blood, you’re hooked.”

Cooke’s high-performance sports Corvette, racing under the SCCA banner, was national champion from 1969 to 1972, running at tracks throughout the Midwest and the championships in Atlanta.

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“We won 28 races one time without being beat before I sold the car to a computer systems installer from Dallas who also got hooked,” Cooke said. “It’s all for fun -- just trophies and recognition.”


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