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Bimmerworld's James Clay and his racing legacy in the heart of Southwest Virginia

Clay is first in the IMSA GS series standings.

DUBLIN, Va. – Perfectly placed between Martinsville Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway stands Bimmerworld racing in Dublin, Virginia. 

"I started racing about 20, 22 years ago and started in BMW and it's always been a BMW since then," CEO James Clay said. "I started in club level and moved to professional racing maybe about 15 years ago."

But in the middle of Southwest, Virginia, it's surprisingly not Nascar that Bimmerworld excels at. 

"Road racing, and it's called road racing but it's not really roads," Clay explained. "It's road simulated circuit tracks. So, a track a Nascar fan would know would be Watkins Glen, which is a simulated road course."

The BMW's Clay races typically top out at about 150 mph, but it's not about the straightaway speed, it's about maximizing the overall performance.  

"These tracks are anywhere between a mile and a half to four miles long, anywhere between 10 and 20 turns, and it's lap after lap," Clay said. "We are racing other cars on the track, usually in our class this year, it's about 30-35 cars that we're racing against."

Clay and his partner Devin Johnson are in first place in the GS series of the IMSA standings, also known as the International Motorsports Association. But running a business and racing hasn't been an easy journey. 

"We've had years that we poured money down the hole to get no result whatsoever, we've had years with championships with high success, and winning races," Clay said. "It's intensely difficult and rarely rewarding, there's one winner. Because of that challenge, the difficulty of it, the reward, when you do reach that top step, it's intensely gratifying as well."  

About the Author:

Brooke Leonard is the newest addition to the 10 Sports team, joining in June 2019.