116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
INDEPENDENCE — Sometimes you have to step back and check your perspective. That’s how Dustin Vis of Martelle keeps his priorities straight when work, family and racing start to become too much.
“When I get to the point where I’m getting frustrated, I take a couple weeks off and go hang out at the lake or run Jet Skis up and down the river,” Vis said. “When you can take a couple days and just relax, it kind of makes the heat and everything not so bad.”
A driver since the age of 5, Vis cut his teeth racing Go Karts, competing around the country. The father of three even drove against NASCAR alumni like Jamie McMurray and Kevin Harvick in the early years.
“I used to run around hotels with these guys as kids,” Vis said. “It was fun to have those memories.”
By 1996, Vis was ready to upgrade to a stock car and has been in the division ever since (with the exception of a few years when he stopped to raise his family).
Now, the owner of his own construction company, Vis has some leverage if he wants to pack up and head to Minnesota like he plans to next week with a $30,000 prize on the line.
“We like to follow where there is a little more money and we like to jump around because it’s more fun,” Vis said. “If you race weekly all the time, you’re with the same guys every week and I like racing everybody different.”
That doesn’t mean the driver of the 20V doesn’t enjoy racing the locals, as he’s done for years and again Saturday night at Independence.
“We don’t win weekly stuff, but when you look at who we’re competing against and they run this weekly,” Vis said. “So, for us to just show up and beat them at their home track is tough.”
That’s why, Vis said, “With a big $30,000-to-win show, everybody is on equal playing field and a top-10 finish in those still pay a lot of money.”
Josh, Vis’s son who just finished college and is working for his father, is also expected to get a Stock Car and compete now that his education is finished.
“I see us out here for another 10-15 years,” said Vis, who took his family kayaking and jet skiing on the Wapsipinicon River on Thursday, Friday and Saturday before making his way to Independence Motor Speedway.
“We just have a lot of good people that help and we have a good time,” Vis said. “We don’t want to come to the track if we aren’t having fun.”