In 2001, Reece stopped racing full-time to raise a family, which created its own problems.
“I’ve spent my whole life since, I was a little boy, wanting to be a race car driver, watching my heroes and my idols, how they’ve done and got sponsors,” Reece said. “In 2001, I was lost. I didn’t know what I was going to do or how to do anything else. All I knew how to do was race because racing is what you do.
“I couldn’t hardly go to the track because I wanted to do it so bad. Everything just kind of fell in. I stayed lost, did different things, starting different businesses and did some construction work. Then, I had the opportunity to race again, and I jumped on it. I’m back on it full time.”
Now that Reece is back in the saddle, he has been able to dominate the Crate Late Model series at Dixie Speedway. He has 94 points on the season, an 18-point gap over second-place Henry Ward.
“Our long-term goal is winning the Dixie championship — winning eight to 13 races this year,” Reece said. “I’d like to get that title, because it’s Dixie Speedway, and it’s well-known in the South. You never hear anything bad about Dixie Speedway.”
This week, Dixie will feature the Crate Late Models in their own championship race. The race will feature more laps, more cars and a bigger payout to the winner.
Those factors will create more incentive for Reece and his fellow drivers in the Crate class.
“They’re paying better money,” he said. “That’s a good incentive, but there will be more guys showing up. That will be a good incentive. We didn’t have too good of luck last week. To come back and have a good showing this week will be good.”
Last week, Reece finished ninth after starting third. After finishing much of the season in the top three, finishing just inside of the top 10 was a disappointment.
“On one of the restarts, there was a caution,” he said. “I guess the guy in front of me, his car was getting tight. We fired into turns 1 and 2. He had to slow his car down a whole lot to turn. Instead of running into him, I spun out to keep from hitting.
“I had to go back to the rear. It was a hornets’ nest back there. Everywhere you went, someone was running into you. Our body got turned up a little bit.”
In one of Dixie’s other series, the Super Late Models delivered a surprise in last week’s Bill Ingram Memorial Race.
Series points leader Michael Page finished outside of the top three for the first time this year. Jody Knowles ended up taking the checkered flag, ahead of Clint Smith and Jordy Nipper.
Much of the difference between last week’s race and the others for Knowles was that he was able to start the race out front. After qualifying near the front much of the season, the wheel which the pole-sitter must spin before the race will sometimes invert the field or move positions back.
Last week, Knowles won the pole, stayed on the pole after spinning the wheel and led every lap of the race.
“I think almost every weekend, except one or two, I’ve qualified on the pole,” Knowles said. “But you have to spin that wheel, and there’s only a few weeks where you can come back from the bottom (of the field). I think every race this year has been won from the front row.”
While Page has 112 points, and maintains a 40-point lead over Tyler Millwood for the Super Late Model lead, last week’s result showed that he is at least somewhat vulnerable.