Cavin Councilor, A Self Made Man
The following is a story that ran on arcaracing.com
in 2000 about Cavin Councilor.
With l,500 bucks in his pocket and a borrowed car, Cavin
Councilor left his Flint, Michigan home at 17, headed
straight to Florida, and never looked back. And, in
more ways than one, he's been flyin' ever since.
Through the course of it all, this Yankee-turned-Rebel
managed to put himself through college, establish him-
self as an ultra-successful business owner, learned to
fly airplanes and drive racecars. In short, Councilor,
with nothing but the clothes in his suitcase, and
completely onhis own, made it. He is, arguably, a
perfect example that if you have the guts, the stamina
and smarts combined with the right approach, the American
dream is still there for the offering. If it sounds like
'rags to riches' tale, it's because it is.
"I took my final high school exam at 2 o'clock, and by 4,
I was on the road to Florida in my buddy's car cause I
didn't have one," said Councilor from his Naples, Florida
home. "I had $l,500 in my pocket and no prospects for
work, but a buddy said there was a lot of work down there,
and sure enough there was, so I started painting. Worked
my way through school, bought a house, rented out the rooms
to my college buddies, and then one purcase led to the
next. A scholarship paid my classes, but I painted and dry
walled for room and board, food and all the essentials."
As a Michigan State high school cross country champion,
Councilor attended Florida State University on a track
scholarship and graduated with 2 bachelor's degrees, one
in Criminology and the other in Economics.
And it's becoming more apparent that Councilor has the
economics part pretty well figured out. The Michigan
native would become the proprietor of Edgewater Properties
inc, a business that not only owns his Painting company,
but one that's designed to buy, sell and develop property
to include construction and leasing. Now add a full-time
ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series team (Westbay, Inc.) as well
as a plane to the mix, and you can begin to appreciate
his accomplishments. Especially considering he's less
"When I graduated from College, there were some offers but
I soon realized I could make more money painting, so I
started my own company."
For nearly 10 years, Councilor has been a registered
instrumented-rated pilot and flies himself to and from
the ARCA circuit. "I bought a 6-seat, single-engine
Piper Malibu to help carry people, including myself, to
the races. Just figured it made more sense to get some-
thing of my own rather than pay someone else to do it.
So far, it's worked out pretty good, and I love to fly,:
Sounds like Captain Councilor is at the helm in more ways
In addition, he's taken on the controls of a 3,400 lb.
steel ARCA car, a Target Saws & Blades-Earthlink sponsored
#19 Chevy Monte Carlo. And for 3 years, this 'man of many
hats' has religiously chased stock car racing's most
versatile series. From Daytona to the dirt, Councilor's
on the road and criss-crossing the friendly skies in search
of ARCA. "Lee Leslie (brother of l988 ARCA champion Tracy
Leslie) is our crew chief and builds race cars throughout
the week sohe's a major contributor to the team, and I've
got some great help on the weekends. It also helps to have
the support of Traget Saws and Earthlink. I'm still learn-
ing and I feel we're making progress although, I'm well
aware, that we can always use more."
Now after 3 years plus chasing ARCA, and with his share of
bruises, bumps, breaks and wrecked racecars, Councilor is
indeed showing signs of improvement. It started with a 9th
place point finish in '99. After 12 events in 2000, he's
10th heading to Winshester where last year, the Florida-
Flier recorded, not only his career best qualifying,
(outside row l) but his career best ARCA finish of 5th. In
49 career ARCA starts Councilor has managed l0 top-10
finishes and if he's not, should be building, not only
houses, but respect as well.
In whichever direction Cavin Councilor sets the compass
from here, or however you choose to size him up, look for
this particular ARCA warrior to be at the helm. If it's
not up in the wild blue yonder, look for the #19 Target
Saws & Blades EarthLink Chevy at an ARCA track near you,
and happy sailing.
REST IN PEACE CAVIN COUNCILOR
Have an opinion on this story? Post a message on our Message Board!
or send a letter to the editor!