Media Contact: Megan Dupuy – email@example.com
For Immediate Release: August 29th, 2017 – Joe Kaminski & SWL Awards photos
(Woodhull, NY) – One thing is known for sure; racing brings on a completely new set of friends you never thought you would get. Sometimes it happens unexpectedly but in the end, you’re thankful for the way things turned out. You always want someone there to help you change a tire or help you straighten out your car for the feature. This week’s set of drivers have found themselves a lasting friendship.
Chris Woodard, 28 from Campbell pilots the No. 97 mini stock on a weekly basis at Woodhull Raceway. Along with Woodard is Jordan Bacon, a youngster who pilots the No. 84 crate sportsman.
Bacon originally started his season in the Daugherty Auto Sales Woodhull Warriors but with some circumstances, he ended up moving up to the NAPA Crate Sportsman division. Bacon had made huge improvements throughout the season, coming to multiple Sunday practice sessions and taking advice from some of the experienced racers of Woodhull. One of these experienced racers included Woodard, one of his friends who he met at the races.
Woodard started racing back in 2006. It was something he loved to do so he stuck with it.
“It’s like a drug. It really is,” Woodard said.
Woodard isn’t a stranger to a mini stock but is just getting back into it in the last couple of years after a four-year break. Last season was quite the season, winning the championship at Woodhull Raceway.
“I didn’t think it was gonna play out like that. We were chasing Ronnie (Dailey Jr.) all year. I want to say it was the race after Memorial Day weekend, that we knew we could actually win the championship,” Woodard recalled.
What do you think you need to do in order to win a championship?
“It all revolves around what you do in the garage. When you come to the racetrack your car has to be perfect,” Woodard answered.
Woodard is looking for his second championship this season. As the points race is ending, Woodard is going in with a huge gap, so big that he could have taken weeks off. However, that was not an option for Woodard. Woodard wants to accomplish as much as he can before the season is over.
“I wanted to exceed my goals from last year so I set my goals higher. I wanted to win eight races and the championship.”
How do you like having a bigger points gap this season?
“I guess I work better under pressure and last year was pressure every week. This year I’ve had a little bit but it just hasn’t been there. I love the pressure because then it gets my adrenaline going.”
Just recently, the Daugherty Auto Sales Mini Stocks competed in Woodhull Raceway’s King of the Ring event. Woodard made it through to the final round and was “crowned” king of the ring.
“That was actually really fun. If they do it next year I’m looking forward to it,” Woodard said.
As for next year the plans are still up in the air. Woodard’s friend Bacon would love to see him in a Crate Sportsman so they could be in the same style car again.
Bacon is no stranger to the racing environment so he knows what it is like to have racing buddies. Bacon started out in go-karts before moving up into the youth mini stock division. Jumping from a mini stock to a crate sportsman is quite the change. The car set-ups and the way they handle are far from the same. For Bacon it was not easy.
“It’s a lot different. With the crate sportsman you have to set it up with the brake and with the mini stock you push it to the top of the track,” Bacon said.
For now, Bacon is just having fun in his sportsman waiting for next year to really get to business. Bacon is just starting out so Woodard is always looking out for his younger shadow.
“He usually gives me tips before I go out,” Bacon noted.
What kind of tips do you give Bacon?
“I don’t know. Just basic ones like to not drive over his head or hit a yuke tire. I guess I tell him how the track is.”
The two drivers are inseparable while at the track and get along quite well in their mentor/mentee roles. Goes to show that friends made at the racetrack are one of a kind. As we go into to championship night, everything is at stake for point championships in several divisions.