The Faulk family has been involved in motorsports for three generations. It started with Roy Faulk, the patriarch of the family, who was followed by his son, Lee Faulk, and his grandson, Michael Faulk.
All three took turns behind the wheel of race cars through the years, but these days the Faulk clan is focused on something a bit different — helping future stars of the sport learn the ropes.
Lee and Michael Faulk own and operate Lee Faulk Racing and Development, a race team and driver-development program based in Denver, N.C. The team’s goal is to help up-and-coming competitors prepare for the next step in their racing careers.
“It’s kind of like a one-stop shop with us,” said 63-year-old Lee Faulk. “You can go from Legend Cars all the way to super late models.”
Lee Faulk was among the most dominant competitors in his home state of Florida during the 1970s, winning countless races on his way to a brief stint in NASCAR. He made a handful of starts in the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series in the 1980s before returning to Florida.
His son, Michael Faulk, was effectively raised at the race track. He got started by spotting for his father and working on his father’s race cars, eventually becoming the crew chief on his dad’s car before he was a teenager. It was a hands-on education.
“I guess I started when I was 12 years old at Bronson Speedway in Florida and that was after I had been spotting for my dad, who was racing at the time,” said Michael Faulk, 38. “I started spotting and crew chiefing. It sounds funny, but I was crew chiefing his car when I was 10, 11, 12. Right around in there. He got to where he would trust me enough to make the calls. I’ve watched enough laps and he wanted to drive. We kind of were a two-man show.”
Eventually, Michael Faulk took his turn behind the wheel of a race car and, much like his dad, he was successful.
“When I got old enough to drive, he put me in a car at Bronson Speedway and I think I won like 12 races the first year we raced,” Michael Faulk recalled. “He moved me out of the pure stock division and right into a late model the next year. So that’s kind of where it all started.”
Lee Faulk Racing originally focused on building customer race cars, specifically cars for the popular Florida modified division that is featured at tracks across the state.
“In Florida in the ’90s, about 26 years ago now, we started Lee Faulk Racing,” Michael Faulk said. “We were building race car chassis — modifieds, Florida modifieds, sportsman cars and late models — in Florida. We had a shop in High Springs, Fla., for many years down there.
“We pretty much dominated the modified division in Florida for a decade down there. That’s when I started moving up.”
Michael Faulk’s success led to other opportunities.
“Michael started winning races immediately and up through his career,” Lee Faulk said. “So I just built him a family-owned car of ours and then he got fortunate enough, or I got fortunate enough, he got off my wallet fairly early because other people got him to start driving and hired him to start driving their cars with me as their crew chief.
“We did that for quite a while. He won quite a few super late model races through Florida and around the Florida Pro Series,” Lee Faulk continued. “Then, we met a guy by the name of Michael Porter, out of Ocala, Fla., who wanted to take Michael Hooters Pro Cup racing. We did that for a year or so, and then that guy sold the team to a fellow in California and he wanted us to move here, to North Carolina; and Michael got to run some ARCA races and was going to do the truck thing.
“Then, the team owner turned out to be a scam (artist) and it fell apart.”
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