WOODHULL, N.Y. — When you go to your local dirt track, we all have different things we are looking for to leave that night saying we were entertained.
Some look for accidents, some look for side by side action and for others it’s first-time winners or great stories that get their attention.
Jeff Daugherty provided Woodhull Raceway fans with the latter a week ago Saturday, leaving fans and yours truly tremendously entertained.
Daugherty has followed the footsteps of many great drivers that have come before him: starting in the youth mini stock divisions at Woodhull and nearby Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, N.Y.
He won track championships in that division at both facilities in 2015 before taking the next step up into the adult Mini Stock division at Woodhull Raceway this season.
The young pilot out of Elmira, N.Y. continued to improve, with the highlight being his first career Mini Stock win on May 28. Not only was it his first career win, his whole team swept the night as his father took one of his seven Crate Sportsman victories that night, along with teammate Shawn Gleason winning his second of four Front Wheel Drive regular season races.
The team later purchased a Crate Sportsman car, with the intent being that the younger Daugherty would get laps after the weekly racing programs.
With several chances at laps to get acquainted with the car, the vision was that Jeff would debut after the regular season was complete. After the completion of championship night’s activities, Daugherty took laps inside traffic with two fellow competitors — trying to simulate situations that he would face in his debut.
That extra time and practice paid off in ways the team certainly didn’t think were possible in Jeff’s first start.
Daugherty finished third in his heat race last Saturday, allowing him to make the top twelve redraw for the 25-lap A-Main. As fate would have it, he drew the outside pole and wouldn’t look back, leading every lap in the feature.
But, the 14-year-old did have to hold off his dad to pick up the biggest win in his career — no easy task — but one that he was well up to achieving in the end.
With his debut performance ending in victory lane, the sky could well be the limit for this future star as he gets more laps, more seat time and grows with the supporting cast surrounding his team.
Jeff Daugherty was live this past Tuesday night on Turn 5 Live and recapped what was a dream-come-true for he, his family and his burgeoning career.
Listen in to Turn 5 Live’s interview with Jeffrey Daugherty:
About the Writer
Steven Ovens is the Northeast Dirt Correspondent for Race Chaser Online and the creator and host of the Turn 5 Live dirt track racing radio show, airing at 7:30 p.m. Eastern every Tuesday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Ovens has spent his lifetime in the sport of dirt track racing, growing up in the garages of the Kerrick and Ovens families. He spent 11 years behind the wheel between go-karts and 4 Cylinder Mini Stocks which brings a unique perspective to his dirt track editorials.
The 29-year-old has a career in the growing health care business world, and is also serving as the full-time announcer and PR Director for both Outlaw Speedway (formerly Black Rock Speedway) in Dundee, N.Y. and Woodhull Raceway in Woodhull, N.Y.
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