There is a longstanding argument about what shapes our lives: nature or nurture. For Daytona Beach, Florida, native Mark Sellers, it was definitely his surroundings that guided him toward a path on the race track. That’s because, Mark grew up in the shadow of racing.
“I spent a lot of time driving the back roads of Flagler County, Florida, and as much time at the speedway (Daytona International) as possible,” he said. “In the late ’80s and early ’90s my friends and I would work the 24-hour race doing timing and scoring. That was so much fun —being on pit road and watching those crazy fast prototypes and GTO cars coming full song down pit road.”
Born in the shadow of Daytona’s super speedway, Mark Sellers was destined to race.
Although Mark now calls Iowa home, his love for all things fast hasn’t waned much, though it got off to a slow start.
“My first car was a ’76 Vega” he said with a wince.“It had to be one of the worst cars to come out of Detroit! It was pee green and I had to cross jump the solenoid to start it!”
Mark would, in time, graduate to a new ’84 Mustang GT hatchback and, in 1994, to a 1966 2+2.
Working as a kid on pit road at Daytona International Speedway and watching those crazy-fast cars come down pit road was more than enough to imbue Mark with a passion for racing.
Mark, who spent over seven years building the Fastback into a full restomod, puts it through its paces as a member of Heartland Vintage Racing of Kansas City, when not co-driving a friend’s well-prepped 1966 Mustang coupe in the Chump Car series.
“My wife Deb is the absolute best and, luckily, goes along with my crazy zest for speed” he enthused.
Mark Sellers takes his 1966 Mustang 2+2 vintage race car through its paces.
Born with octane in his veins, Mark is someone it would be difficult to imagine having anything slow him down. However, life has a way of putting our priorities in order.
“I’ve spent the last two years fighting off a Stage 4 cancer diagnosis that also involved 70 percent of my liver,” he explained. “All the friends I have made over the years, being part of the VMF and Stangfix forums have been one of the greatest assets to me. They’ve really helped me get through the last two years of treatments. Thankfully, after two surgeries, 14 rounds of chemotherapy, and numerous other hospital stays, I currently have no evidence of disease.”
Co-driving in the Chump Car series racing satisfies Mark's need for speed.
Back in the Saddle
The Sellers may have taken a life pit stop for a while, but it hasn’t left them without perspective.
“My wife and I are now volunteer puppy raisers for Canine Companions for Independencea non-profit organization that provides service dogs for free to recipients,” he said.
Somehow when not rowing through the gears of their daily driver 2016 Fiesta ST, a car Mark describes as “a go-cart on steroids,” they’ve managed to raise and graduate three dogs to date.
Mark says his ’66 is a combination of raw power and attitude. “It needs to be manhandled,” he said.
Currently, Mark’s immediate plans are attending this years Mid-America Shelby Meet at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit where he will get together with old friends, share a laugh and go racing, just like old times. If you are in Tulsa June 14-18th Sellers should be easy to find, he’ll be the one in the silver and blue Mustang kicking cancer’s ass!
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