Families of Thunder Road: The Woodards

Thursday, June 28th

BARRE, Vt. -- Jason Woodard of Waterbury Center is a 6-time race winner and two-time season champion in the Tiger Division at Thunder Road. That includes 3 wins and the title last summer. But Woodard isn't back to defend his crown in 2018. This year, he's devoting his time to helping another member of the family.

"It's been really interesting, it's been a lot of fun.", says Jason. "She's learning, we're learning, every car's different. She's very focused and you know, her feedback has been terrific."

Jason's daughter Kelsea Woodard is a rising star at the high banks. After a top 5 season finish and a "most improved driver" award behind the wheel of a Street Stock last summer, Kelsea has made the jump to the Tiger division.

"I started racing trucks when I was 13.", says Kelsea. "It's been a pretty big learning curve but I've had quite a bit of mentoring from my dad, from the whole crew."

"I'm so pleased with the way she's been running.", says Jason. "She's respectful. She races everybody hard, but she's not aggressive. She's learned a lot of respect and that's what I expect from her."

In this first season at the second highest level of racing Thunder Road has to offer, Kelsea and Jason have a pretty reasonable goal they're chasing

"You've gotta have your goals, and the reality is you can't set them too high.", says Jason. "If you know, it works out that she's running for the championship, great, but her goal this year is rookie of the year and having solid finishes."

But what's more important than the results is the amount of time they get to spend together preparing Kelsea's #55 car to roll out every Thursday night

"It's a family sport, all around.", says Kelsea. "We work on this all week, the family is always around. You know, my mom gives up a lot, my brother gives up a lot so we can do this, and we spend a lot of time together doing this.

"So proud of Kels,", says Jason, "and she doesn't just drive the car, she works in the shop all the time and the family behind us, it's a family sport like she said and if we didn't have that, we couldn't do it at all."