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For Immediate Release – May 24th, 2018 – Joe Kaminski Jr. photo -
Last season Woodhull Raceway saw a new NAPA Crate Sportsman contender. Adam Taft is taking on his second season here at Woodhull Raceway. This year with a new car and a full year of experience under his belt.
Taft is out of Savona, New York but spends his weekdays on the road for his job. During the week his family helps get his car ready for racing. Taft’s dad is one of the biggest people working on his car each week.
Taft said, “I trust him, he goes through it more than I do and goes over it with a fine tooth comb.”
Last year was not only the first time for Taft in a race car but also it was the first time his pit crew had ever worked on a racecar. Taft found himself helping on a few cars before this but never really spent a lot of time on it.
“I was never in anything. Straight rookie,” Taft mentioned during the interview.
Taft started at the beginning of last season and found himself accustomed to the race car learning each week. The one difficulty Taft faced was the brake issues that they soon figured out. Taft took advantage of some of the Sunday practice sessions and took tips from veteran drivers. Last season Taft walked away with a top 20 finish in the points chase.
“I had a lot of support from Josh Keesey and his dad, Mike Jackson, and Stacey Jackson,” Taft added.
With last season under his belt, Taft is looking at taking what he’s learned and reaching some new goals during this season. Last year Taft found himself using the wrong gears and has changed that which will help improve his weekly performance. Taft knows it’s a long road ahead so he wants to keep his goals simple. He wants to get a top five finish in a feature event and a heat win.
Taft was asked if he had any specific goal for the points race?
Taft responded, “We don’t really care too much about points. We’re just here to have fun.”
Taft shares the same feeling many other drivers experience behind the wheel. It’s the adrenaline rush that gets you hooked. Another thing many drivers have in common is the struggle with learning how to run Woodhull Raceway. The banked corners and long straightaways can put a hardship on new drivers. Taft was no different and is still learning how to get his No. 20h machine around the bullring.
One thing interesting about Taft and his 20h machine is the name he came up with for the car. “Syd the Sloth” is the official name for the 20h crate sportsman. The name was given the night of the mall show.
“We were sitting in the truck and trailer waiting to unload and roll into the mall, and were trying to come up with a name. That’s the name I came up with,” Taft explained.
“Syd the Sloth” also has a paint scheme that was hand picked by Taft’s niece. Taft let his niece choose the colors for his race car. She originally wanted purple but Taft and her compromised on pink. Taft made the chassis pink as well for his niece.
“She’s my number one fan,” Taft mentioned.
The offseason was a huge deciding factor for Taft. After talking with his dad they decided to stay in the NAPA Crate Sportsman division but are looking to move up into the Insinger Performance Modified division in the next three to four years.
Taft first ran his car during practice night at Woodhull Raceway and found a few bugs. He and his crew have worked hard and have hopefully found all the bugs. Taft walked away with a fourteenth place finish Saturday during Pepsi and Mountain Dew night. Taft is hoping for a great fun-filled race season. Taft wanted to thank all of his sponsors and everyone that helps him on his car week in and week out.