Shane has had a life long fascination with racing. He started going to the races at East Alabama Motor Speedway with his uncle, Michael Martin at the age of 8. He wanted to be in on all of the action at the track, especially if it involved uncle Michael.
Shane observed and participated in every aspect of the race team, all the time hiding a secret dream of one day having his own car and his own race team. And, boy! Did he hide that dream. This little boy was scared of his own shadow. Amusement rides terrified him, a flat tire and a short walk home put him into hysterics. Shane's family never imagined he would dare get in a race car. But, when he did he showed them a thing or two.
In 1997, to the surprise and shock of his family and friends, Shane announced that he was going to build a race car. They thought OK a little putt-putt, but Nooo... he wanted to race super street. So in 1998, at the age of 22, Shane and his daddy Jackie Thompson started the racing team "Parts Unknown Racing". The name coming from the softball team that Shane and his cousin Gerald Kelley played on and Gerald named.
Jackie had just built a big workshop to work on his tractor and do other projects. Unfortunately his tractor has never made it into the shop. There always seems to be a race car sitting in there.
Family and friends worked day and night, 7 days a week rebuilding one of Roger Arnett's old cars. Thank goodness Shane knew what he was doing because the rest of the crew was learning by trial and error, mostly error. But, when it was finished he had a red and white Chevy Camaro that they nick named "Baby Doll".
The men worked till all hours of the night. The women sat and watched and asked hundreds of questions.
When it came down to putting the decals on thats where, Wanda and Aunt Shirley showed there skills. They now know more about the design and application of decals than they ever wanted to know.
Before he knew it the first practice was here. Talk about a nervous bunch of people. Shane was fine but, Jackie and the rest of the family were a bundle of nerves. First of all they didn't know if he would have the nerve to get on the track and Second what if he did.
Imagine their amazement when he comes out and after a few laps actually starts picking up speed. "He's really doing it!" Then suddenly he's spinning out and goes off the track between turn 1 and 2. When asked what it was like when he went over the bank his answer was..."It was dark over there". A little bit of that little boy fear coming back.
However, it didn't take him long to figure out how to get through those turns and how to pass on the outside as well as on the inside. How to use his head and think a move through not just get out there and beat and bang. But he isn't afraid to take a hit if thats what it takes to get to the front.
In just a few races he started showing a talent for racing that surprised everyone. A
talent that brought him a Rookie season beyond anyones hopes:
Five First Place Super Street Finishes
Fifth Place In 1998 Championship Points
Flagman's Choice Award
1998 East Alabama Motor Speedway Rookie of the Year
1999 was an even better year:
Fourteen First Place Super Street Finishes
1999 East Alabama Motor Speedway Track Champion
2000 saw Shane improve his record even more:
Twelve First Place Super Street Finishes
First Place Jimmy Thomas Memorial
2000 East Alabama Motor Speedway Track Champion
In 2001 Shane had a variety of racing experiences in the Super Street Division:
First Place Summer Sizzler Driving For Don Hale
Two First Place Finishes at West GA Speedway in Whitesburgs, GA
First Place Finish in the first ever race at Dothan Raceland in Dothan, AL
Third Place in the Jimmy Thomas Memorial at East Alabama Motor Speedway
Twenty First Place Finishes in 2001
In 2002 Shane's Rookie season in the Late Model Sportsman division he learned a lot and had a dream season:
2002 Late Model Sportsman EAMS Track Champion
2002 Late Model Sportsman EAMS Rookie of the Year
Thirteen First Place Finishes
21 Top Five Finishes
3rd Place in the Alabama State Championships
6th Place in the National 100
For the 2003 season Shane hopes for another great year in the Late Model Sportsman division.
A lot of Shanes success comes from the support he receives from his family and friends. His most loyal supporter is his Daddy. Jackies support has been the greatest advantage Shane has had, not just in racing but through out his entire life. His daddy has taught him that if life puts obstacles in your way don't give up and don't think less of yourself because you can't do things the same way others do, find your own path. Thanks to a loving father, Shane has grown into a confident young man. And of course there's Wanda who played a large part in making this dream come true. She's fed workers, put up with greasy and grimy people in and out of her house all hours of the day and night and kept stats on Shane like he was a world champion. Thanks to both of them not only for their financial support but their unending faith that he could do this. His sister Twyla and niece Jessica are always there to pick him up when he needs it and to put him down when he least expects it. And there's Grandmama, always there pulling for him every step of the way. That's why she's called his #1 Fan. He can't say enough about Lamar and Cindy Murphy not only are they great sponsors but they follow him thru thick and thin, freezing cold and scorching heat. Of course there's Fred who's risked life, limb and custody of his children putting in all those hours as crew chief. Lets not forget the car chief, Bryan thanks to his fist of fury we never have to worry about security or what to do if the impact wrench breaks down. And Gerald who has designed and sold so many t-shirts we're sure he owns a sweat shop some where. And always there's Beverly, his stabilizer, legal advisor and personal confidant. But especially there's his Co-Pilot, Granddaddy, who watches him from above, keeps him safe and pulls him up short when he does something stupid.
There are so many more to thank. Bryan, Robert and Ellen, Josh, Mark, Ben and Bobby just to mention a few.
Thanks to all who pull for us, pray for us and support us.
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