Lake Speed Shows Us His Backyard 1980s NASCAR Race Shop! (AND The Go Kart That Beat Ayrton Senna)
Lake Speed may ring a bell to some of you as the guy who drove the Spam car or the Cartoon Network car in the late 1990s. Prior to that he ran his own NASCAR race team out of his backyard in a building he built in 1986. He still lives there and still uses the former race shop for his current vintage Karting endeavors. Today we get to find out how the independent owner-driver ran his race team in the late 1980s! Lake also won the World Karting Championship in 1978 before ever coming to NASCAR. The guy who finished 2nd place in that race was none other than Formula One legend Ayrton Senna. Lake has that go kart here in the exact condition it came off the track in 1978!
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  • Stapleton42

    If you love classic nascar history like we do make sure you’re subscribed and check out our other videos! Including the upcoming series with refreshing Lake’s old Ford race engine! Merch link:

    • AJ

      I don't follow Nascar but these videos about the history of cars and teams are awesome! You ask the good gearhead questions too!

    • Michael Mays
      Michael Mays

      Does Lake build race Karts to buy

    • Rodney

      Hey now I put three pieces on a front bumper of a BMW while I was watching this 1 hour video I did run over and look whenever he said look at this or you said that's cool

    • Rodney

      I remember reading an article I think it wasn't Hot Rod Magazine about how they used to ceramic coat the insides of the engines still watching this video and the others but maybe you could ask one of them about that era

    • Rodney

      Maybe someday you can talk late into selling you all the parts you need to build a Taurus I know you're not a Ford guy but NASCAR

  • Jackson Speed
    Jackson Speed

    Lake Speed is an amazing grandfather I am so lucky to have him

    • ThA MAN C MAcK
      ThA MAN C MAcK

      If We had stuff like this back in the day & while growing up I would have been A HUGE Lake Speed Fan❕ This was amazing and I am now A HUGE LAKE SPEED FAN & Supporter 💯

    • ThA MAN C MAcK
      ThA MAN C MAcK

      Nice 👍

    • Jackson Speed
      Jackson Speed

      I am more of the team guy helping out others

    • Philip Reed Wallace
      Philip Reed Wallace

      He is a cool dude. Very humble. Drivers today should take notes.

    • Ryan Crowley
      Ryan Crowley

      @Jackson Speed why not!!!! Live that life

  • Jason1Pa

    The lack of these type of gentlemen is why NASCAR is falling apart. The real deal here.

    • Randall Miller
      Randall Miller

      Driver's used to build and tune/set up their own cars, now days the crew chief doesn't even get his hands dirty. I'm not interested in that! I like drivers that work on their stuff!

  • J.T. Cooper
    J.T. Cooper

    I remember watching when Michael Waltrip sucker punched him while Lake was still in his car. Pennzoil dropped Waltrip's sponsorship the next day. I also remember that race at Darlington in 1996 where that metal went through his tire under caution. Being a former shifter cart racer myself, Lake Speed is a legend in my world.Thanks for the memories!

  • Telecasteroil

    God spoke and Lake Speed, listened ! Great history , Mitchell and Logan. I'm greatful for these ....

    • Stapleton42

      we are grateful you're here man!

  • Mgcarr61 Camaro
    Mgcarr61 Camaro

    This brought me to tears ! What a great man Lake Speed is ! I watched him back in the day but had no idea what kind of man he was ! What a story 👍👍🇨🇦🇺🇸

    • SLDSnakeX66

      Never knew much about Lake until this video. Taking down Senna for the Karting championship is a pretty huge accomplishment.

    • David Pozzi
      David Pozzi

      Same here. I very much appreciate learning more about him!

    • David

      Lake and a few other fellows are still running Karts in Vintage classes, and yes, he is the real deal firm on his Faith. hance

  • Farmer Jer
    Farmer Jer

    Nascar is no longer what it use to be. Owner/ operators like him made Nascar. Miss him and others from the 80s and 90s.

    • ThA MAN C MAcK
      ThA MAN C MAcK

      Real Talk

    • D to the G
      D to the G

      @Joe Stephan unfortunately I have a feeling there will be a 2nd generation of Busch atleast trying to make a run thru NASCAR In another 10 years. But I don't think I'll keep watching when they no longer have combustion chambers in a couple years.

    • Larry Varner
      Larry Varner

      It's Ashame What NASCAR Is Now. Love The Old Racers.

    • Joe Stephan
      Joe Stephan

      @tucker442 The reason sponsors won't touch him is image. They expect someone who will well represent & be a good spokesman for their name & product. I read one time that he was just as bad when he was a teenager racing his home tracks.

    • tucker442

      @Joe Stephan i sure by hope so ever since the Ron Hornaday deal I really disliked him a ton. I don’t like to use hate but in this case it works

  • Bob Robert
    Bob Robert

    Great to see Lake doing so well. Raced karts with him back in the 70's in Memphis as well as traveling down to his home track in Jackson. Later followed him through Nascar until his retirement.

  • Gary W
    Gary W

    You are killing it capturing NASCAR history, researching and finding the interesting backstories...people, tracks, cars. Lake Speed has a great history, thanks for bringing his story back to the future. Looking forward to how the story evolves with the engine refresh. Great job by you and Logan.

    • Brian Beilmann
      Brian Beilmann


  • KEI Fabrication
    KEI Fabrication

    Okay this is my new favorite. Lake Speed was always a favorite of mine because of all the things you see in this video: He was always completely confident in his proclamation of his faith and giving God all the credit for his success. He was a completely independent team. One of the ONLY products I have ever went to the store and bought because I saw it advertised on the side of a (Lake's) race car was Bull's Eye BBQ sauce. Still my favorite! Hearing all these stories direct from Lake himself is for sure a privilege! Thanks!

    • Stapleton42

      Dang thats awesome. We appreciate you man


    Absolutely awesome! What a cool guy and STORY! You do a great job telling all these stories and sharing the history! Your channel had me WAYYYY into NASCAR history like i never thought id be! Im in the land of Dick Trickle, Alan Kulwicki, and Matt Kenseth....think i need to do some exploring!

  • bobby lowery
    bobby lowery

    It's hard not to root for a guy like Lake Speed. I had no idea about his success in go karts. How cool to see him tell his story and see the pride his son has about his dad and his career. Awesome Content as always, look forward to seeing what comes next!!!

  • Jeremy

    Lake Speed even sounds like a racer. He reminds me so much of Larry Perkins from Australia. Very very similar history of being good in Europe and running and racing his own car back home. Larry is a multiple Bathurst champion and a super down to earth car engineering genius.

  • Geno Salvati
    Geno Salvati

    This IS my spot. Learned a lot about Lake Speed today, what a talent! Can't wait to see you get his car running.

  • Greg Bridgewater
    Greg Bridgewater

    Lake Speed is an amazing person with a very inspiring story and experience.

  • Shelby Solko
    Shelby Solko

    Lake Speed is among the one-win wonders club. He won at Darlington in the spring of 1988 the Transouth 500 in an Oldsmobile. And it was his own racing team as car owner that he won with.

  • Mark Benson
    Mark Benson

    Really enjoy this video. I hope you do more like this one. Lake was a really good driver just wish he could have been able ro drive better equipment a lot times during his career but all in all still a Lake Spees fan. Thanks for the video.

  • ronald l
    ronald l

    Lake speed was always a great humble guy. Have a autographed Nationwise racing picture somewhere around from the eighties. Did not know about his karting career, he beat Senna that's pretty huge. Not only being able to hear from the man himself but have his son come along too and share stories, is just great! Thanks for sharing.

  • JJA1987

    Lake Speed - Highly underrated

    • Brent Humphrey
      Brent Humphrey

      @Late Model 101 Thats when money started to ruin the sport....

    • JJA1987

      @Late Model 101 You're opinion - Whatever

    • Chris Pollock
      Chris Pollock

      Great talent! Awesome wheel man. Just didn’t catch a break.

    • Stapleton42

      Very. Dude has mad talent.

  • Caesar12

    Lake Speed is a class act and love the way his son talks about his dad and the way he looks at his dad when he speaks. God bless the Speed family.

  • David Conley
    David Conley

    Thanks for doing this on Lake Speed Mitchell!! Guys like him participated in Nascar at a time when the sport exploded and he deserves all the attention you bring to him. Modern racing doesn’t interest me nearly as much as racing up until the early 2000’s. Awesome video!!

    • Mike Talkington
      Mike Talkington

      Here here I'm with ya .

  • My Classic Car Story
    My Classic Car Story

    I remember watching Lake race when I was younger. There were many times he was right up there in the top 5, but seemed like he could never catch a break.

  • Martin Harrelson
    Martin Harrelson

    You two guys are nailing it with these interviews!!! The McClure series was awesome. I was so excited when I saw you were interviewing Lake Speed. I remember him from the early eighties to the nineties. He was a very good driver and a very good man who did not get many breaks in NASCAR. What he got, he earned it! I always admired him. With a name like Lake Speed, it seemed like he was born to go fast! Thanks guys for this video, and thank you Lake Speed. He still looks much the same, just got older like the rest of us.

  • Art Nascar
    Art Nascar

    We need to get lake speed in a SRX car next year.

  • mullalan

    Great interview and Lake and his son are real good people!

  • Andrew Hayes
    Andrew Hayes

    Lake needs to be on Dale Jr Download. He has the type of stories that Dale Jr would love to hear.

    • lrobie123

      definitely should be on Dale Jr's show

    • Stapleton42


  • Tim Wallace
    Tim Wallace

    One amazing family! Lake Jr has been here to our machine shop! Love this video!

  • Rear Engine Shop
    Rear Engine Shop

    This man beat Ayrton Senna in go karts then found success building his own team literally from the ground up! If that doesn’t inspire you nothing will. Could you imagine what Lake could have done with a top tier car back in the day? Thank you for this video. The history was amazing and getting to hear his sons perspective was great too. 🤘

  • Maxsdad 53
    Maxsdad 53

    I well remember lake Speed from his go-kart days. He was a sadly underappreciated talent. I also still have a copy of my IKF Karting News from around 1968 with a picture of "little Ricky Rudd" (I think he was around 12?) and his Nationals winning kart.

  • Ross Muller
    Ross Muller

    So good to see Lake Speed again. Always admired his skill in these cars.

  • Brian Foster
    Brian Foster

    Really enjoyed watching Lake Speed. He is one the forgotten drivers. He has a great testimony for his faith; his number #83 is the year he was saved. So much respect for Lake.

  • Scott Hall
    Scott Hall

    Lake’s always been a class act and one of the true good guys. Heck of a wheelman too. Super cool to see his old shop and artifacts of the past. That wynns car was sweet back in the day.

  • Paul Adams
    Paul Adams

    When Lake was a boy, I used to deliver the newspaper to his father's house. His brother and I went to school together and later I watched Joe race out at the track. All that to say that I have always followed his career. Glad to see him alive and kicking. Thanks, Lake for your Christian testimony.

  • Mike Hardy
    Mike Hardy

    The old Lake Speed footage was great dude! Great questions. His backyard is so fricken cool. I'm pumped up dude!!! Once again great job you two. God Bless you both.

  • gparrow

    You are on a roll, hitting all my childhood idols shops. I started watching NASCAR in 88 and the Lake Speed, Morgan McClure and the Stavola brothers cars were who I always pulled for, the only one you haven't hit yet that I used to root for is Rahmoc.

  • breadman 2017
    breadman 2017

    The expression on his son's face with the engine rebuild was priceless. Going from his dads shop to Gibbs, had to have been night and day on how money was spent.

  • Lee Dalton
    Lee Dalton

    Lake Speed has always been a class act,we ran against him in arca series in the early 80s at Daytona, hard man to outrun,he drove a orange and green 77 Monte Carlo, it was fast!

  • Greg Hall
    Greg Hall

    Jumped up and down in the Darlington Grandstands when Lake won the race. I will never forget that. Bet it was cool to meet him. Outstanding Video Guys.

  • Boss Media
    Boss Media

    It’s crazy to see the evolution of the sport from when it was doing it in the late 80s and early 90s to what it is now days

  • Deano

    Doing a great job on these older nascar guys love this stuff way more interesting then going to a Gibbs shop today I like the old stuff it's awesome thanks so much for sharing it Lake Speed is a legend

  • Ess Be
    Ess Be

    Love these videos. Love hearing the stories from that awesome period for NASCAR.

  • Chris Romano
    Chris Romano

    I remember sitting at Dover and Pocono as a kid during qualifying and hearing the announcer say Lake Speed and saying to my that his real name??? He was like a superhero to us as kids in the cartoon network car. And just seeing SPAM on hood going around the track. They had the best sponsors back in the day. You could see literally anything on a hood

  • Ricky Miles
    Ricky Miles

    My father and I met lake back in 1993 and he was without a doubt one of the nicest people I've ever met. I still have my motorcraft hat and a quality care jacket that he autographed.

  • Van Slawson
    Van Slawson

    I had to watch this 3 times. Lake Speed was one of the driver's you pulled for. After losing his sponsor...why didn't he just build Race Engines or Race cars and sell them? He and his crew built everything in house and no doubt a proving winner. Wynn's had the best stickers. I love the old school NASCAR you are nailing it. Can't wait for what is next.

  • Brian Kirk
    Brian Kirk

    U never fail to amaze me, how blessed you guys are to be able to do what you do, thanks so very much for the video, stay safe my friends, can't wait for the next one

  • Brett Caldwell
    Brett Caldwell

    I love how he just let you drive his motor over to the engine builders. That's real trust there. Your a good couple of humans and Ruger too.

  • David Gobble
    David Gobble

    Was my favorite Driver in the 80s till retirement,still my favorite Driver and Builder. What a good man!!

  • Marvin Allen
    Marvin Allen

    What a GREAT history experience! The wealth of knowledge those men have forgotten is more than most of us will ever learn. What an awesome story, and you never hear a time in his voice to be angry or disappointed (other than parts breaking that cost him races) of his career. What a wonderful amazing man!!! Thank you!!!!

  • Anthony Planas
    Anthony Planas

    That was super cool those late 80's early 90's memories take me back. I would love to see a video of Lake back in car.

  • Java Aleim
    Java Aleim

    I'm finally able to finish watching this, man a blast from the past! Love the carts, I grew up with sox n Martin and Shadow Carts, doing 60-80mph a few inches off the ground is awesome. I left cars an went into race bikes an had a shop for 14 years, I was clocked on one of my bikes at 223mph an had only gotten into 5th gear an had 6th to go but literally ran out of road, I made it from Columbia to Charlotte in a blink. I quit building them because the drivers didn't have the skills or respect for the machine and a LOT of them died... short version of it all.

  • samantha stratford
    samantha stratford

    This was a killer video, I totally love watching these kinds of videos visiting old Race Car workshops and the people who worked in them. Finding the old race cars and saving them. Thanks again for such great passionate content on motor racing history

  • zlinedavid

    Amazing person, but without a doubt, one of the coolest names ever in NASCAR.

  • Jebediah Gentry
    Jebediah Gentry

    I love me some Lake Speed! I grew up when he was driving the number nine blue spam car. It's fascinating that he almost went the formula 1 route. If I'm not mistaken he raced with and beat Ayerton Senna who is probably one of, if not the best race car drivers in history Edit: I clearly wrote this before watching the video

  • albert mcfry
    albert mcfry

    Lake was a good racer. Had he had top notch equipment,he would have won a lot of races!

    • Wooley689

      He had the team and the equipment for those times, he just didn't have the sponsorship needed. The people working for/with him didn't make much, they did it for the love of it and wanted to be there.

    • Side Bite
      Side Bite

      Money is and was pretty much a deciding factor of if you finish up front. It reigns true even in the lowest of classes such as a Pure Stock on dirt. (Street car with roll bars)

  • Ross Muller
    Ross Muller

    So good to see Lake Speed again. Always admired his skill/

  • James Engel
    James Engel

    What an amazing man Lake is. Thru ups and downs he gave it his all. Incredible.

  • EvilScientistMoose

    10:13- Concerning the broken parts: 1. I think the first piece he picked up is the forward half of a pinion gear, as I seem to recall a string of similar failures. The idea is, you pull into the pits, get your service done, and when you dump the clutch to'd snap off that piece of the pinion gear, clean as glass. One specific example I think was Michael Waltrip in the Pennzoil car, and another example of metallurgy having not yet caught up to the HP race. 2. The intake valve looks like it broke the lock (two little half-moon pieces that lock it in place up top), once again, a metallurgy failures. 3. The small round idea what that was, I didn't get a good look at it.

  • Newman Smith
    Newman Smith

    These are the best Nascar history lessons one can get. PLEASE keep these awesome videos coming. Can't get enough!! You guys are the BEST!! Thank You! :)

  • SHOPEY71

    Really enjoying all this old school nascar stuff! Brings back a lot of good memories!

  • ThA MAN C MAcK
    ThA MAN C MAcK

    If We had stuff like this back in the day & while growing up I would have been A HUGE Lake Speed Fan❕ This was amazing and I am now A HUGE LAKE SPEED FAN & Supporter 💯

  • Jared Shoemaker
    Jared Shoemaker

    I love this stuff. It's really cool and fun to see how excited Lake's son gets talking about the good ole days. Awesome!!! Take care, be safe, and have fun regardless

  • Team Brahma
    Team Brahma

    I remember Lake, and it was awesome to hear some of his stories from racing. Very underrated racer. Having his son there to talk from his perspective was great. Another awesome video in the series my man.

    • Stapleton42

      Thanks man! Lake Jr is how this was facilitated!

  • Todd Michaels
    Todd Michaels

    Good stuff, I was always a big Lake Speed fan, he is truly a great person.

  • Steve Long
    Steve Long

    I have a lot of memories of what you are telling about here. I was at the track competing against Lake's team with various other smaller teams which were about the same caliber at the time. The shop and team setup was very similar and knowing some of the guys from the garage area every weekend was a neat experience to have gone through while the sport was still expanding into what it once was. I am glad I got to live it in real time and seeing this video really brings it all back home.

  • Java Aleim
    Java Aleim

    Love these guys, I've heard Jr talk for hours, the man is a crazy wealth of knowledge. God it seems like yesterday I watched these guys race. I'll have to finish watching this later as there's a serious electrical storm outside. Thanks for continuing to do videos like this, I grew up with these guy's an others , wish I could go back in time an relive some of these days. Ha the bowl of close calls, there's Darlington, I'm staying literally 2.5 miles from the raceway and drag strip. It shakes the house when the cars are running

  • RebelRacer99

    Damn, i could LIVE in that shop! Looking forward to seeing the engine going in that old stock car, should be a fun project

  • That One Hoosier
    That One Hoosier

    This honestly didn't even feel like an hour, it's so crazy when you are so focused on something how fast time can just fly away. I love this stuff

    • Stapleton42

      agreed man

  • hansa

    Obviously your passion and hard work has literally opened doors for you to get these great interviews with some of Nascars greatests names! Congratulations to you both,Well done!

  • Joshua Paulsen
    Joshua Paulsen

    Thank you, Mitchell...Logan, as always for what you do. This was an awesome thing to watch, and made my week as usual. Going to go to the Extra channel now and check out the first experience piece with Lake. You guys are the best.

    • Stapleton42

      Thank you Joshua!

  • Larry Johnson
    Larry Johnson

    I used the number 83 on my race car in 1986 and 87! I was excited when Lake showed up with that number in NASCAR! Even though I was a Mark Martin fan, I had to root for Lake too!

  • Andrew Taylor
    Andrew Taylor

    That was so cool. I love these stories of the past. Showing the old pics from back then. I love the old shops. The small shops produced fast race cars, just like the big state of the art ones of today. I can't wait to see more like this. Thank you guys.

  • toyman81

    I liked his Wynn's Oldsmobile and his Purex Ford. Great Paint schemes on both. Thank You Mr. Lake Speed. Great Memories for me.

  • Kerry Hickman
    Kerry Hickman

    Thank you so much for documenting all of this history. Without y'all a lot of these stories would be lost forever. You can definitely tell how much Lake Jr. loves & admires his father!! I truly envy you & Logan for everything y'all are doing with your lives & this channel. I know it's a ton of work, but y'all look like you're really enjoying what you're doing. Looking forward to seeing what the future holds!

    • Stapleton42

      Thank you Kerry!

  • Andrew Sutton
    Andrew Sutton

    Great video! Great respect for Lake Speed. Read that his son led the development of Driven Racing oil with Joe Gibbs Racing. I use their oil in my 1987 Monte SS. :)

  • Chris Martin
    Chris Martin

    Alright when yall said yall were gonna build the car is the moment i became officially invested in the lake speed series 😂 cant wait to see him in a stock car again. Itd be cool to see you both on the track at an event similar to rockingham thatd be a blast to see wish i had the pocket to do it myself

  • Vine Wood
    Vine Wood

    Lake Speed raced karts against Ayrton Senna and beat him holy shit...

    • Stapleton42

      Yes 😂

  • Dennis Lamers
    Dennis Lamers

    I didn't know anything about Lake Speed. Wow what an eye opener that interview was. Great interview and I can't wait to see what is coming down the pipe. You guys are awesome. Keep up the great work.

    • Stapleton42

      Thanks Dennis we appreciate you!

  • John Morgan
    John Morgan

    You guys keep knocking out of the park, great to hang out with Lake Speed! Thanks, Cheers!

  • Josey Wales
    Josey Wales

    I remember seeing that 83 live in person. Beautiful stock car. Was just a little kid but those painted rides were something else in person. I really wish JD was around so you could talk to him. Maybe you can make it up to Wisconsin to see Old Man Marcis. The Owner-Driver guys were truly American Heroes and Legends. Excellent video! Keep em coming!

  • Matthew Oden
    Matthew Oden

    pretty neat going to be interesting to see how much more power that engine will make