The Racing DuPrees

"Your heart's pounding, and your throat's shut, and you can't breathe..."

That's how Ronny DuPree describes the feeling of driving a race car.

"It's real similar to what you started off with in your mom's '57 Chevrolet. Power glide, two speed transmission, beefed up parts."

Beefed up parts is an understatement. It's impressive just watching Ronny unload his race cars from his home made trailer. Not to mention watching him race. But the racing itself is not the most important thing for Ronny. The most important thing is what's at the end of the track.

"This is a family sport for us," DuPree said. "This is a hobby. We want to do everything we can do as a family. When Chase was younger, he and I would go duck hunting, but mom wasn't wild about wading in the mud. So when we chose this sport, she said, 'I can do that...I can get behind that.' That was just the turning point for us."

It truly is a family affair for the DuPrees. In addition to working on the cars and traveling together, all three of the DuPrees love to get behind the wheel. Originally, Chase was the driver. Then Ronny joined in, with wife Melinda acting as a sort of "crew chief". But it wasn't long before she felt the need for speed.

"We were out here one day, and he asked me if I wanted to drive the car down the track just to warm it up," Melinda said. "I told him, 'I'll do this, but you better know that you'll be creating a monster,' and he did. I knew I was going to like it. It's awesome."

The DuPrees are proud of the fact that they're not only at the race track until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, but also that they're sitting at church together hours later.

"We use this as a witness tool," Ronny said. "We get all kinds of people coming up and looking at the car, and the engine, and asking how fast it goes, and kicking the tires. Then they walk up front and see the cross, and they know we're Christians, and we get a chance to talk to them about it."

"Racing with my family is about the neatest thing I've ever done," Melinda said. "A lot of people don't call this fellowship, but it is."

And by the looks of things, the finish line for that family fellowship is still a long way away.

For more information about Pine Valley Raceway, just go to the website at