Family: Married to Kelly Jones for 23 years.
Occupation: Vice president of Hicks and Law insurers.
If Steve Jones is seen racing around the office at Hicks and Law, forgive him. It just comes natural. The 1983 graduate of William Blount High School has a passion for dirt track racing.
While he has raced tracks from Charlotte to Daytona Beach, he also frequents the local scene, racing at Mountain Raceway Park in the No. 1 car.
Jones started in racing when he bought a Warrior chassis. “I run in the Crete Late Model division. Crete is a factory-sealed boat motor. You’re not supposed to get into them at all. I’ve raced from lower division to Super Late models. That is the top late model division and the top dirt track racing division in the country.”
Jones has won several races since he got into the sport 17 years ago. “If you win, you win money, but you’re not doing it for money, I promise you.”
Jones said he enjoys the adrenaline and horsepower of racing. When he first got the idea he wanted to race, he had never even watched a dirt track race in person.
“I went to 411 Speedway and watched it and said, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ I bought my first car and the first race out, I finished second in it.”
Jones said racing has taught him patience. “It’s a lot of give and take on the track. It’s also given me a lot of opportunities in life,” he says. “Just being able to meet people is really the plus of it all, too. and getting to see the smiles on the kids’ and fans’ faces.”
When Jones isn’t racing, he enjoys fishing, camping and traveling, especially to the Caribbean. “The scenery and the blue waters - it’s a whole different atmosphere,” he says. “I really enjoy the Caribbean.”
Jones enjoys camping and fishing for the serenity. “It’s peaceful, and there’s no phone. Camping, you can make it enjoyable or make a job out of it,” he says. “I really enjoy camping because it’s just being back in nature. Fishing is the same way.”
One deep sea fishing trip in 2004, he caught a 30-pound Cobia. “That was a fight,” he says. “It took 10 minutes to get it in, but it was a good fight.”
Jones says he enjoys Blount County for its people and the scenery. “The mountains and scenery and friendly people with Southern hospitality is why I’ve stayed here.”
Here are 25 Random Things about Steve Jones:
1. I was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois. My parents moved back to Blount County before I reached age 1. I am definitely a Blount Countian, through and through.
2. I graduated from William Blount High School in 1983.
3. After I graduated from William Blount, I married my high school sweetheart, who turned out to be my best friend and soul mate, Kelly Caughorn.
4. Kelly and I have been married for 23 years and together for 26 years. Our only child is “Shelly,” our golden retriever/lab mix that we rescued from the animal shelter. Shelly does rule the roost, as any child would.
5. I am a very outgoing person, and I have lots of hobbies. The one that I enjoy and spend the most time with is Late Model Dirt Racing. I have raced for 17 years with Kelly by my side the whole time. The adrenaline rush and horsepower of the engine is what keeps me coming back week after week. When Kelly and I first got married, we had a ski boat that we used every weekend. I had the opportunity to trade it for a race car, and the rest is history. My very first race out I came in second place, and I was hooked for life.
6. Even though I am a very outdoor type of person, I have had my share of health issues. Fifteen years ago I found out that I have a condition that caused my hipbone to deteriorate. I underwent a full hip replacement at age 30. The doctor told me that my life would never be the same as far as what I was used to doing outdoors. He obviously did not know whom he was talking to because I still race, camp, travel, own my own business and haven’t slowed down yet. I truly believe life is what you make of it, not what you are told it will be.
7.Other hobbies: Camping and fishing. Lauderdale Cove is the first place that we took Shelly camping with us, and I will never forget it. As I am an early riser, I decided to take Shelly with me fishing. Little did I know at the time, but Shelly does not like fishing. The first cast out, I caught a fish. As I was reeling it in, Shelly jumped off the dock to get the fish for me. Here I stood with coffee, fishing rod, a fish hooked and a dog trying to out-fish me without a rod. I began freaking out, not knowing whether to get my dog or get the fish first. Then I realized I still had hot coffee in my hands. The fish won that day, because I had to save my dog from hooking herself on the line.
8. Around age 33, I started my own paving business in Blount and Knox County. I still dabble in it today.
9. The year 2004 was probably the most devastating time in my life. My stepfather/dad, Claude Hicks, passed away suddenly. He and his partner owned Hicks & Law Insurers, Inc.
10. Claude tried for many years to get me to learn his insurance business, but I loved what I was already doing and thought I would have plenty of time to learn his business since I was still a young adult. However, I learned the hard way that I could not see the forest for the trees. I now count every day as a blessing with my loved ones. My mother, Barbara Hicks, inherited the insurance agency and placed me at the head of the family table, as Claude would have had it years ago had I listened to him. It has been a tough and rocky road but with a great staff that Claude left behind we have continued to be successful. The agency is now larger than it was when Claude was alive, and I contribute that to the life lessons that he taught me.
11. My favorite color is blue.
12. My favorite vehicle has been the 1949 Ford Pickup that Claude had started restoring. I completed the restoration soon after his passing. This vehicle holds a special place in my family because it reminds us of the old school ways and perfection. It has been in the family since 1949. The late Donnie Smith from Mentor restored it to its original state that it was in when my grandfather bought the pickup.
13.My mother is an RN for Appalachian Center for Women.
14. My wife has worked for the District Attorney’s office for 24 years.
15. My sister, Denise Moore, is also a nurse like my mother.
16. This year my nephew, Robby Moore, graduated from Maryville College, and I have already started teaching him the family business at Hicks and Law Insurers, Inc.
17. I have never played golf. I did play football until I had a motorcycle wreck and that ended that.
18.Kelly and I love to travel. We take trips every year, whether it be overseas, on a cruise or just hanging around the beach.
19. Our first trip to Las Vegas, I found out that I was not a good gambler but Kelly had Lady Luck on her side. She was playing a slot machine and won $500.
20. My favorite foods are steak and lobster.
21. My favorite TV show is “Andy Griffith.” Our lives would be so much simpler if we could turn the page back to that time.
22. My favorite movie is “Ray.”
23. You won’t see me in a three-piece suit often. I love to be casual and make those around me comfortable. I love my jeans and polo shirts.
24. My dream car is a black Ferrari.
25. I don’t like to be sad because life is too short. Humor is my best medicine, and as long as I can laugh there is still life in me.