Skidmark of the beast

David Lee

Photo By Larry Dalton

David Lee gets his kicks on Route 666, a tendency that has led to animosities with the God-fearing folks at Auburn’s Fast Fridays Speedway. The 42-year-old Dixon trucker, motorcycle racer and self-professed Satanist says he was pressured into hanging up his lucky number, 666, for all of last season. But that was then, and this is now, and Lee—who says he turned against Christianity after his wife left him and his mother died—is planning a comeback. When racing resumes on May 9, he intends to return to the stadium in full devil jacket, with horns and the number of the beast included.

Why did you hang up your 666 last season?

Well, the promoter there told me that Auburn is a Christian bedroom community, and there’s no room for devil worshipping. He said I was going to have to change my numbers if I wanted to continue to participate. He told me this on opening night, May 10, 2002, and I wanted to participate, so I went ahead and changed my numbers under protest.

So you changed to 560?

That’s my birthday. I did so under protest. I’d been using 666 for five years now. And I have met a lot of fans that appreciate and like those numbers, and they mean something special to me.

And what is that?

Well, I am a Satanist, but I don’t preach it to anybody at the races. I don’t bring up religion other than my numbers.

How did you get started in racing?

I used to be a tae kwon do martial-arts instructor. In fact, I was the 1993 national heavyweight champion. I started in ‘75, so after 22 years of martial-arts experience, I was looking for a new high. I had known about the races up there, and so I went out and watched them, and I got high off of it, so I thought, “I’m gonna have to do this.” I’ve been riding motorcycles my whole life, but I never competed until that time. And then when I got out there and competed, I was hooked. And it’s just what I wanna do now.

So, it was around that time that you, uh, changed your religion?

Well, you know, I was baptized in an Assembly of God Pentecostal Church at 3 days old, and I went to church every Sunday morning, every Sunday night and every Wednesday for the majority of my life. But I’ve had a pretty rough life …

And why do you think there’s resistance to your racing number?

Because I think that even though people may not go to church and live by the Bible so much, I think everybody likes to call themselves a Christian so when they die, they think, they’ll go to heaven. And so everybody wants to jump on the Christian bandwagon, and they want to beat up on anybody: the Muslims, the Islamics and definitely Satanists. So, I’m just paying the price for being the bad boy. There are other riders up at that track who run around with that Christian fish symbol on their chests, and then in big letters, it says “Team Jesus.” None of those guys have ever beaten me in a race, but they’re all promoted into a higher division than me. So, it’s OK to be a Christian up there, but if you have any kind of devil tendency in you, you’re a bad guy.

I guess that whole thing about having Jesus on your side really works in the racing world.

I guess. I don’t know what to think about it other than that I don’t want to be discriminated against. I want to race and have a good time, and I don’t want to be given some shit just because I have some numbers that a lot of people disagree with.

So, does the devil help your bike go faster?

Well, you know, it’s strange. I’m gonna be 43 next month, and, like I told you before, I was brought up in church. So, I’ve kind of been brainwashed that there’s a God. But when common-sense reality sinks in, I think, “There can’t be a God.” I kind of go thinking like an atheist. And then my mind goes, “Nah, there’s a God, but since there is, fuck him. I’m gonna be on the devil’s side because he’s such an asshole.” I don’t know, I’m just kind of a confused guy.