Man on the move

In the same weekend at Old Dominion Speedway, Dave Menefee can win a race, flag a race, announce a race, run the pace car for a race and even post results on the Web.

Menefee, 41, has worked at the track for nearly 16 years. As public-relations director, he sends out press releases and also serves as a conduit from the media to the drivers.

“He’s a good man. He does just about anything I ask him to do,” ODS owner/operator Dickie Gore said. “He’s a jack of all trades. That’s the kind of people I like to have working here.”

This week, Gore couldn’t recollect exactly how he and Menefee first met, but the veteran PR man sure could.

In 1986, when Menefee was covering the track for the Manassas Journal Messenger, he was called into Gore’s office one Monday morning. Gore


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thought Menefee had failed to get both sides of the story following an on-track incident between Les Steger and Bill Lone. It turned out Menefee had tried to talk to Steger, but the driver refused to comment.

By the next year, Gore hired Menefee to work for him. Skip Potter, the previous public-relations director, recommended Menefee for the job. Menefee not only works for Gore now; he also helps Steger as a track announcer during the Bug-Outs (Volkswagen swap shops) at ODS each Memorial and Labor Day.

A full-time flagman starting this year, Menefee will switch to announcing duties this weekend because public-address man Ed Pardue had a previous engagement. In the past, he has announced for ODS auctions for juvenile diabetes and Special Olympics.

“I’ve done the announcing before, and helped with radio and television when they’ve been out here,” said Menefee, who even hands out car numbers on race day. “This Saturday, I’ll be out there at 2:30 or 3 for practice. Then I’ll qualify [as a champ cart driver] and be back up in the press box until 9:30. Then I’ll go down and take pictures of the winners.

“Usually I’m home by 11:30 or 12 and in bed by 2 once I get the Website updated.”

The site,, was designed by Legends driver Kevin Yeatts and is maintained by Menefee with help from the Front Page program. “Kevin lives in Powhatan and he came up here to visit three times and help me. I had no Web background, but it’s something I’d wanted to do.”

Menefee works for ODS approximately 10-12 hours a week. With his day job, he made a career change 21/2 years ago when he started working for MicroStrategy in Tysons Corner. He had sold parts at Fairfax Auto Parts since 1978, his senior year at W.T. Woodson High School. In making the move, Menefee took computer classes at Stratford College in Woodbridge in 1999.

“The first resume I sent out after that was for the job at MicroStrategy,” Menefee said. “I’ve been here since February of 2000 as a hardware engineer.”

Menefee and his wife, Chris, live in Gainesville. He has a daughter, Shannon (age 17), and stepson, Michael (24).

Aside from 1999, when he was taking computer classes, Menefee has raced go-karts each season since ’97. He won a track championship that year and has since finished fourth, sixth and second. This year, he’s leading the champ go-kart Sunday standings and fourth on Saturdays.

“I like the competition and the racing,” Menefee said. “I’m a big race fan, but everyone’s pretty much priced out of the big races. I really like the short-track racing [three-eighths of a mile] like we have here.”

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