2006 racers at a glance: Woodring Racing
2006 World of Outlaws Sprint Series Racers At A Glance: Woodring Racing with Becca Anderson and Kenny Jacobs Norman, OK -- Dec. 6, 2005 -- Mike Woodring will be looking to strike lightning in 2006 for the second time as a car owner on the World of ...
2006 World of Outlaws Sprint Series Racers At A Glance: Woodring Racing with Becca Anderson and Kenny Jacobs
Norman, OK -- Dec. 6, 2005 -- Mike Woodring will be looking to strike lightning in 2006 for the second time as a car owner on the World of Outlaws Sprint Series circuit.
Woodring, who launched the career of current NASCAR racer Erin Crocker, will field the No. 19 JEI with Becca Anderson and Kenny Jacobs as drivers on the 2006 Outlaws tour. Anderson will get the bulk of the time behind the wheel as she competes for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award with veteran racer Jacobs, who had planned to retire after the 2005 season, driving in about 20 events.
Anderson, who will turn 27 on the Feb. 9 season-opening night at Volusia Speedway Park, is a native of Houston, Del., who has been racing since 1991. She has 13 wins, including the ESS/URC Challenge at Rolling Wheels Raceway, and has prepared extensively for this chance. Not only has she tested Indy cars at Texas Motor Speedway with Mo Nunn Motorsports, but she also participated in NASCAR's Drive for Diversity Combine and has schooled in the Lyn St. James Driver Development Program and the Andy Hillenburg Driving School while rising through the ranks from Micros to 358-, 360- and 410-sprint cars.
By adding Jacobs to the team, Woodring will have the talents of one of the most respected sprint car drivers in history. Jacobs, of Holmesville, Ohio, has 97 feature wins with the All Star Circuit of Champions in addition to four series championships from 1998-2001. He also raced full-time from 1992-94 on the Outlaws circuit, where has six A-feature victories.
"It's going to be unbelievable," said Anderson, who will have horsepower from Kriner's Racing Engines propelling her around the track. "It's kind of an opportunity of a lifetime to get a chance to work with Mike. It has been a dream of mine to get out on the road and race with the Outlaws so it's pretty unbelievable."
Woodring, who was respected as a driver and an owner, is an eight-time ESS champion. His team has accumulated more than 70 A-main victories and is a four-time winner of the Canadian 360 Nationals. In 2002, he had the 360 Team of the Year and in 2003 fielded the car Crocker drove to the Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year title. He also steered Crocker to her first World of Outlaws victory in the fall of 2004, marking the first time a woman won an Outlaws A-main. Now with Anderson, Woodring is hoping for a repeat.
"I enjoyed doing it for the first time with Erin Crocker in 2004 and we had some success," Woodring said. "I couldn't stay away so I went back out and worked with Craig Dollansky last season, but it wasn't quite the same as doing it with your own team. After I went back to run my own stuff in September with Kenny Jacobs, I got the urge to get things back together to come out on the road for the 2006 season, especially with the evolution of DIRT MotorSports. I'm really excited to bring another talented woman to the sport and let her and my team grow with the company. This is not another development deal like Erin where we were just going as quick as we could to where she has landed. With Becca, we are going to work to build for years down the road in winged sprint car racing.
Woodring will wait to see an official schedule before determining how many events Anderson and Jacobs will run, but he believes Jacobs will compete in roughly 20 races and that he most likely will field two cars during the Knoxville Nationals and the Williams Grove National Open.
"We're going to mix them up," Woodring said. "Kenny will primarily be in his area. He has been in the sport for 33 years. He has certain racetracks that he enjoys and feels competitive at. We will definitely run two cars at the Knoxville Nationals and the Williams Grove National Open. Once the schedule comes we'll pick out which dates each driver races. I don't see it being a problem. Both drivers have similar styles. I worked with both of them this fall, kind of testing to see how that was. They get along very well. Kenny's career is coming to an end -- he actually already retired this year so he's coming back kind of like Mark Martin. We're not building the future with Kenny. He's a professional. He comes in and does his job and we're going to work with him and try to give him a nice finish to his career. At the same time, we can use all his experience to bring Becca up to speed as quickly as possible."
Jacobs found quick success last fall in Woodring's car with a victory in the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals.
"It's been good to race with Mike because Mike Woodring is very intelligent," Jacobs said. "I think I'm only going to run about 18 to 20 races. Barry Jackson is going to be involved in that also so I'm looking forward to working with a couple of really good mechanics. I'm just looking forward to racing with the World of Outlaws because I haven't done it for a long time."
Jacobs is one of the most experienced racers out there and will be more than happy to help Anderson gain knowledge, but he believes the best person to give advice to Anderson is Woodring.
"I think Mike Woodring being a driver himself will be all the mentor she needs," Jacobs said. "Some of the comments he's made to me in the little bit I've run his car are very intelligent and very helpful as far as the driver goes. He finds lines on the racetrack and picks them out in a hurry for you."
As for Anderson, she's just excited about racing from coast-to-coast with the best collection of sprint car racers in the world.
"I'm looking forward to getting out there and running with some topnotch guys every week and getting the experience," she said. "Mike was a great driver himself and what he did with Erin gives me great confidence that he can cut my learning curve. He's seen a lot of the tracks and I know if we can get out there and get a good car we can get the job done."
The biggest difference between Crocker and Anderson is that Anderson sees herself competing for several seasons with the Outlaws.
"I want to make a home with the Outlaws and grow with this," she said. "Hopefully we'll land a big-time sponsor and make a living here."