CHARLESTON, W.Va. - When Hurricane resident Mark Dotson drives his truck on Interstate 64, he often goes well below the speed limit.
Dotson, 46, isn't into driving his truck fast, and he isn't into flying his single-engine plane at a high speed, either. But, when he straps on the motorcycle helmet, it's another story altogether.
Dotson recently set the national 2012 land speed record for a street legal motorcycle at a blazing 223.8 mph.
"I never would have thought I would be into something like this," Dotson said. "Speed never really appealed to me."
"If I'm in my truck, and the speed limit is 70, I'm going 65," he said with a chuckle.
Dotson set the yearly speed record on a drag strip at the Ohio Mile racetrack in Wilmington, Ohio, on Sept. 30. And when he set the record, he beat the one he had set earlier in the day.
Dotson had reached 220 mph in the run before he hit 223. However, the motorcycle spun a bit, keeping him from exceeding 220 mph, he said.
"We knew the bike had it in it," Dotson said. "We just knew we couldn't spin."
And on his next run, the bike tires stayed true and he exceeded his previous record-setting attempt, hitting the 223.8 mark.
Dotson does not plan on stopping there.
"Our goal next year is to hit 230 miles per hour," he said.
Dotson set the 2012 land speed record for the unlimited cubic inch nitrous oxide motorcycle class on his 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa. The motorcycle, although super fast, is street legal, and he sometimes even takes it out for a spin - although not so fast as his trip down the drag strip in Ohio.
"I can just put a license plate on it and take it out if I want to," he said.
However, he seldom does that. The bike is a little too long to turn effectively on city streets.
"The bike is stretched in the rear," Dotson said. "So it's hard to turn in the corners."
Turns are not a problem at the Ohio Mile, because the track is a drag strip.
He was clocked at 223.8 mph after a mile run on the strip, he said. The requirement to hit certain speeds in a mile makes it more difficult to break records than at other tracks like the world famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, he said.
This is because racers at the Utah track can warm up their tires and get a running start before the actual race begins, he said. When running at the Ohio Mile, racers start on cold tires.
Cold tires do not grip the track like tires that have been warmed by movement.
The racers on the Ohio Mile drag strip do not compete side by side with other motorcyclists. Instead, their speed is recorded as they rocket down the track.
"You're trying for the best possible speed," he said.
Dotson does not consider himself to be a daredevil.
An Air Force veteran who served during Desert Storm, he now works a desk job as the chief operating officer and founder of A All Animal Control.