Gwinnett County, Georgia

Beat the HEAT

“Racing for Education”


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Sgt. Welch has served with the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department since 1999, but his passion for racing goes back to his childhood.  If you get a chance to speak to him, he will confirm that his blood type is, in fact, 10W40.  

He brings to the team a combination of a respect for the law, a profound appreciation for safety, and a passion for virtually all forms of motorsports.  As a young teen, he showed an interests in racing and was exposed to Kart Racing at the age of 13.  After a brief time exploring SCCA Road Racing, he took his passion to the water in the early 90's when he began racing jet skis in the IJSBA Series.  But, a practice crash in the spring of 1996 landed him in the hospital and off the water for good.  So he hung up the wetsuits, grabbed some leather, and took to sport-bikes.  

After completing a reputable motorcycle racing school in 1997, he continued his racing hobby by competing in southeast regional events in the 600cc novice classes whenever the spare time was available.  Shortly after beginning his law enforcement career in 1999, spare time for racing seemed to disappear.  So, he left racing, got married, and started a family.   After being approached in 2010 about the Beat the HEAT program, he was ready to jump back into racing with both boots.

Sgt. Mark Welch

      After racing the Beat-the-Heat Suzuki Dragbike for several years, and claiming the 2013 BTH World Championship in the Motorcycle Class, he decided to hang up his leathers and move to something with four tires and a roof.  As the person stepping on the “loud pedal” in the team’s recently-added Corvette, he continues to spread the message of “Street Racing Kills…Take it to the Track.”  

When not in uniform and serving the citizens of Gwinnett County, he can likely be found at Atlanta Dragway.  On many Friday nights throughout the racing season, NHRA sponsors the "Fast Friday" Street Legal Drags where anyone with a drivers license can come to the track and push their cars to the limits in a safe, controlled environment.  If the opportunity exists, Mark is at the track and making passes with other adrenaline junkies who made the right decision to race at the track, and not on the street.