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For Immediate Release: August 2nd, 2017 – Shane Jackson photo
(Woodhull, NY) – This season Woodhull Raceway saw a lot of rookie drivers come through the gates. Some rookies to racing and others just rookies to a particular class; either way there’s a lot of learning going on every week. This week’s driver isn’t new to racing but new to the open wheel cars and is making big progress each week.
Kirk Reynolds pilots the No. 08 machine every Saturday night at Woodhull Raceway. Reynolds, now retired from the military, first started racing a pro stock back in the early ‘90s. Due to different events, he stepped out of the car but has found his way back to a crate sportsman.
“After the last couple years of running around with the Jackson boys and Tim Guild I decided it was time to put a car together and start racing again,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds first got started with racing by traveling around with the Smart family. That’s when Reynolds got into the pro stock class. Before choosing his racing number, Reynolds asked permission from the Smart family to run it because the No. 8 had been in the Smart family for some time.
Although Reynolds had not been out of the car for a long time, the racing still changed. The biggest thing he saw change was technology. Now we see many cars with go-pro cameras and many tracks use transponders to score each car, which was not very popular when Reynolds first started racing.
Reynolds started all over when he got into the crate sportsman. He was used to running a closed wheel car, which handles very different from an open wheel car.
“To go from a closed wheel to an open wheel you just learn (how to drive) all over again,” Reynolds stated.
What have you learned so far about running an open wheeled car?
“With these I think it takes a lot more finesse. Slow is fast and that’s hard to do because you want to stand on the gas pedal and you can’t do that. The car doesn’t like it you just spin the tires right off.”
Along with racing every Saturday at Woodhull Raceway, Reynolds also gets extra seat time at Skyline Raceway on Friday nights. Reynolds races in the rookie class which has a handful of cars, all which are new to the crate sportsman class.
“We’ve had a really good season up there. Right now I’m third in points,” Reynolds mentioned during the interview.
The rookie class gives Reynolds an advantage because he can feel out his car without worrying about getting in the veterans way along with valuable seat time.
Reynolds past military experience has played a part in his racing career, with discipline being the biggest factor. Racing takes a lot and you have to stay on top of things, keeping the car maintenance up, keeping up with rules and many other things. Integrity being another big factor for Reynolds’ team.
As the season passes the halfway mark, many drivers are narrowing down their goals for the rest of the season. For Reynolds- he’d like to have a top ten points finish.
“A top ten point finish would be a huge, huge accomplishment. I’d love that if we could do that this season,” Reynolds said.
As for next season, Reynolds has already started working things over in his mind.
“Next season is already in the works. We’ve got a new power plant for next season and in process of getting our new tin work,” Reynolds explained.
What kind of advice would you give to a rookie just starting out? In other words, what have you learned that’s helped you for the first half of the season?
“Come spend some time at the end of the night on the track when they let you practice. Don’t be afraid to go ask guys who’ve been running well. Most of them are pretty willing to help.”