The typical ups and downs of life are heightened when engaging in a high-risk career. For 16-year-old Blake Davis, 2022 MotoAmerica Twins Cup champion, moving up to professional motorcycle racing was worth the risk.
The first time he raced at the Daytona 200 at the Daytona International Speedway, he reflected on his journey getting there.
“It’s really special being there in one of the biggest races in America, being able to look around and see everything that my family and team have put in to get me there. I really think that stepping back [shows] that none of that could have happened without God by my side,” Davis said.
Since motorcycle races occur on Sundays, Davis isn’t able to rely on traditional church support in order to keep his faith strong. His mother, Shelby Davis, knew early on that they needed to be very proactive in this area.
“To be totally honest, it has been a slippery slope. Mike (Davis’ dad) met with our pastor several years ago to get advice on how to teach our children that motorcycles are not more important than church, even though we were gone from church so much,” she said.
Their pastor at Forest Baptist Church in Forest, Virginia, advised them to listen to the recordings of church services together on the way home from races and to try to make it on Wednesday nights whenever possible.
Since Davis has moved up in the racing ranks, they now have to travel on Wednesdays, but Davis loves hanging out with friends at church whenever he can, especially during the off season.
“I hang out a lot with my friends on Wednesday nights,” he said. “We go to church and all my friends are there. We’ll hang out and go to the service. It’s really some of the best times I have with my friends.”
Additionally, thanks to RaceLine Ministries, Davis has a pastor when he’s on the road. Mark Merical, RaceLine Ministries chaplain, supports the faith of motorcycle racers in the WERA Motorcycle Roadracing and MotoAmerica divisions, and Davis attends RaceLine’s services whenever he can.
Merical speaks highly of Davis, complementing both his character and his racing. He has noticed how much Davis loves Jesus and that he works hard at relationships, school and his physical well-being as well as his racing.
“Blake is a very patient racer,” Merical said. “He is patient because of the many thousands of laps he has put on the track. He is patient because he listens to his dad and other racing mentors in his life. That patience has resulted in many podiums both as an amateur and as a professional.”
“By God’s grace, He will go very far in his racing. He is a racing craftsman, an artist on the track. Off the track he is a young man of God who has the respect of all who are in the paddock,” Merical continued.
Not only do his parents encourage relationships with his church friends and with Merical, but they also stress the importance of personal quiet times and family devotions.
Davis has three older siblings. His sister, Abby, attends every race possible during breaks from college at Liberty University. In fact, Abby was baptized by Merical at a track. His older brother, Ross, also raced dirt bikes when he was younger.
His father, Mike, raced at the amateur level for several years and won some championships and is now the second mechanic for his team with N2 Racing/BobbleHeadMoto.
His mother, Shelby, was the hospitality coordinator, cooking for Davis’ teams until this year. Very grateful for the opportunity for Davis to race for this team, she continues to help out in any way she can.
All these positive influences have helped Davis stay on track, both literally and figuratively.
“Really there’s a lot of bad people at the track that are doing a bunch of different stuff that I don’t want to be involved with,” Davis said. “I keep a good group of friends around who aren’t going to get me in a bad situation or anything like that.”
Even though Davis gives credit to God for his success, he admits he’s always learning more about Him.
During a rough Junior Cup season in 2021, his team wanted him to race with a Yamaha 300, which isn’t as competitive a bike as he was used to.
“So Blake, who was used to finishing well, was not,” his mother said. “He felt like he was working so hard but not getting anywhere. It was a hard year for him, trusting that hard work would pay off and wondering why he was put in a place that was so difficult.”
However, that year helped teach Davis an important lesson about God. After that tough season, the next year he ended up winning the championship in the Twins Cup class on the Yamaha R7.
“I’ve learned most that [God] has a plan,” Davis said. “He always has something in the works. It was all in His hands and He had a plan for everything.”
As of this writing, Davis is leading in points to become Twins Cup champion again this year. To learn more about him and his racing, go to blakedavisracing.com.