woodard

Waterbury’s Kelsea Woodard drives her No. 55 car during a race at Thunder Road.

BARRE — After a big rookie season in the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, Waterbury driver Kelsea Woodard is already raring to go for 2019.

The second-generation racer has filed the first official entry for the 2019 Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series and leads a growing list of drivers who have committed to the trio of 75-lap events.

As a Flying Tiger rookie in 2018, Woodard finished seventh in Triple Crown points and was also seventh in weekly points. For her efforts on the track, as well as her work off the track as a representative of the Race to Read program, Woodard received the Doc Nielsen Outstanding Rookie Award. The progress she made throughout the season, which culminated in earning the division’s best average finish over the final seven events, has the 18-year-old revved up for the year ahead.

“I’m excited for the Triple Crown Series, I’m excited for the series at White Mountain, and I’m excited for having a season under my belt and just gaining more experience as the year progresses,” Woodard said. “When I first started racing, it was in Kids Trucks at White Mountain, so it will be a blast from the past going over there.”

Woodard is one of many drivers who have already signed up for the Myers Triple Crown Series. Her father, Jason, a two-time Flying Tiger champion, is also among the early entries. Another father-child duo joins them in the form of 2017 Myers Triple Crown Series champion Mike Martin and defending Allen Lumber Street Stock champion Stephen Martin. Two-time 2018 Flying Tiger winner Cooper Bouchard, veteran Mike Billado, regional Late Model winner Brad Bushey and Kevin Streeter are some of the other racers on board.

The Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series is entering its third year for Flying Tiger competitors. Drivers and fans alike have praised the long-distance events and separate point fund that give the top Tiger racers a chance to shine. A similar series has been created this year for Thunder Road’s new sister track, White Mountain Motorsports Park, which is also drawing early interest.

“Last year I really enjoyed the series because there were more laps and more time to get through the field,” Woodard said. “I usually started about midway through the pack, so it just allowed me more time to get up front. Last season, I did pretty well in the series getting in the top 10, so hopefully we can get a top-5 this time.”

The first event in the 2019 Myers Triple Crown Series is June 7 at 7 p.m. as part of Capitol City Automart Night. The second event is scheduled for July 11 on Passumpsic Bank Night, with the champion to be crowned Aug. 8 at Cody Chevrolet-Cadillac Night.

Thunder Road will open its 60th season of racing April 28 at 1:30 p.m. with the 21st Community Bank N.A. 150. The stars of the American-Canadian Tour will go toe-to-toe with many of the local Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model favorites. They’ll be joined by the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, Allen Lumber Street Stocks and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors. Admission is $25 for adults and free for children 12-and-under.

Opening weekend begins with the annual Downtown Barre Car Show on April 27 from 9 a.m. to noon. The show will be followed by a race car parade to the track and open practice from 1 to 5 p.m.

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