Mid-race at the Soboba GP.
Behind the Wheel
In the summer of 2010, Mark returned to off-road racing after nearly a decade absence. This time he chose to race in the UTV classes and competed several times in 2010. He participated in the Soboba GP running an SR-1 powered Rhino. The night before the race was a long-jump competition and Mark was determined to fly the Turner Racing car the farthest. He did, leaving a 91-foot patch of dirt untouched. However, the car landed nose down and flipped seven times before coming to a stop. Fortunately, Mark popped out of the UTV uninjured, save for a few bumps and bruises.
The Rhino was not so lucky, and suffered damage that could not be repaired in time for the race the next day. Fortunately, the team had another UTV available, but it was not fully tested and race prepped. They did the best they could, with Mark getting a start towards the back of the pack of 41 cars. He fought his way forward to 14th place at one point, but engine problems would vex him, and he limped across the finish in 17th place.
After a quick bout at the grueling King of the Hammers race in California, Mark was back in Phoenix in February to try racing in the Lucas Oil ASCC regional short-course race. During a practice run, Mark’s car slid on the muddy track, caught a rut, and tumbled. Due to some rollcage and window-net failure, Mark’s left arm was flung outside the car and was badly crushed. Both forearm bones were shattered, along with his scapula. He was life-flighted from the track to a hospital with a concussion and underwent 12 surgeries on his arm in about three weeks’ time.
At the finish line of the Soboba GP race with the Turner Racing Unlimited Rhino.
Friends and family have watched with amazement at how hard he’s worked to overcome his injuries and how he’s maintained his positive attitude. Mark was determined not to let the accident define him.
We asked Mark what he could share with our readers who may aspire to reach great heights—be it in racing, in personal life, or in business. He stressed the need for self-improvement. Find ways to tie your passions to your work, he said, so you love what you do. Don’t limit your aspirations by thinking that a lack of money can stop you. Focus on safety, and learn from your past mistakes.
Sage advice from a fearless man who continues to succeed, without regret.
Weekend play in Mark’s Ford Raptor.
Mark’s original Turner Racing Mazda race truck