Gene grew up in a small waterfront town, Saint Marks, Florida, just 15 miles south of Tallahassee.Saint Marks is on the mouth of the Saint Marks River, which flows into the Gulf of Mexico.Much of Gene’s childhood was spent with his father, fishing in the Gulf. Gene and his wife Elma still live in Saint Marks, Florida .
“A passion for speed and the drive to be number one” is what it takes to be a great racer.“The ability to read and out smart the mud track.”Put the two together and you have the makings of a mud racer.Seems once it’s in your blood, there’s nothing like it. Like many in the select group of mud racers, Gene Cutchin got hooked on mud racing.
Soon after high school, Gene was proud to serve for four years in the United States Marine Corp.Gene has been a long time racing enthusiast.In the 1960’s, the muscle car era, Gene owned several muscle cars.His passion for excitement had him late night drag racing on deserted highways, never afraid to take a risk.
Gene spent most of his career in construction as a General Contractor. For the last 20 years, he has specialized in developing land into subdivisions and building all of the homes in each development. A challenge is what drives Gene.Many thought he was taking too much of a chance, but his vision paid off.
Besides working hard, Gene plays hard.Like many of his mud racing friends, Gene started playing in mud bogs.Close to Gene’s home is Perry, Florida, where thousands go each year to the famous Kelly Grade Mud Bog during the Pine Tree Festival.After playing with a Toyota truck at the Perry Mud Bog, Gene got mud bog fever in 2000. Gene built the “Bog Frog”, a Chevy Blazer, from the ground up.His design worked and had many of his mud bog friends out to get him.A friend wanted Gene to take the Bog Frog to a mud racing track because it had such a “bad” reputation.He soon found out, what worked in the mud bog, was not what you needed on a mud racing track.Mud bogging was fun, but the need for speed took Gene to the mud racing track.
After purchasing several mud racing cars and many failed projects, Gene finally decided to build his own car.Gene had a new Keith Black engine built, with plans for Blaine Kilby to build his car. After many dollars and waiting almost a year on Blaine Kilby to build his car, it ended in total disappointment and no car. With constant encouragement and help from his dear friend, James Head, an old time mud racer, Gene didn’t give up. Gene finally got help from Tim Wheelus in building his car.It took months of work, many phone calls, many parts, but finally Gene had “Shockwave”.
Gene wanted to fine tune his chassis and build a new car, so the following year Mike Husman built a new chassis for Gene.There was help with a new engine from Gene’s good friend, Gary Heusted, who had given him invaluable mud racing tips. Later Tim Nabors finished his new engine. After more months of work and many parts, Gene had his new car, “Chill Factor”.
Both cars were fun. There were some races where Gene took first place and some races where Gene wrecked his car. You could say there was the good, the bad and the ugly. Each broke a record here and there and Shockwave even took NMRO points Champion in Class 6 in 2006.
With so many great cars out there, Gene decided he needed a greater edge so it was time to build one more car.With another new Keith Black engine built by Randy Cassel and a chassis designed by Gene and built by Mike Husman, his third car will be ready for 2009,“Shockwave II”.
Although a passion for speed and the competitive drive to be the best is what brings mud racers together, the bonds of friendship that are created at these races is what drives a mud racer to travel hundreds of miles to compete and enjoy the people he has grown to love, who have a passion for mud racing as great as his own.Gene has great respect for many mud racers.He knows each has invaluable knowledge in creating that edge to succeed.