In late 2007 I was transitioning from my childhood dream of being a successful supercross racer. After a career ending motorcycle injury, I experienced a few lost years of youthful enthusiasm for all things fast and off road, but had no defined direction with it. I had spent the majority of my childhood and teenage years watching off road racing in my hometown of Pahrump, Nevada. From the time I was old enough to drive, I looked forward to any races within reasonable traveling distance like Parker, Henderson, the Vegas to Reno, and even the Nevada 500. I would go to the races and spend hours looking at the cars. I would get lost in the plate work, the TIG welds, and the shocks. The sheer speed that the vehicles travelled through the desert and over the jumps with amazed me.
Fast Forward to me at twenty-one years old. I went to Primm, Nevada and watched CORR and was hooked immediately. I no longer had questions as to where my life was going or what I would spend my days doing. I knew I was going to work diligently every day, devoting my entire existence to building a short course team. Being surrounded by great people, my family, and friends were the foundation of my race team. My father has always been my best friend and biggest supporter. If I told him we we’re going to build a Formula 1 team to compete against Redbull and Ferrari, he’d stand by my side. I told my dad we were going to build a Pro 2 and go racing. Being the longtime owner of a towing company, he suggested we started to hit the scrap yard hard; buying old cars, trucks, and anything steel we could recycle to generate the finances we needed to build a truck. We did it.
After sixteen months of hard work, we made it to the third race of the season in Primm. The learning curve was steep, but we were up for the challenge. As ignorance is bliss, we had no idea how big the gap was between us and guys like Rob McCachren, Carl Renezeder, and Ricky Johnson. After investing my entire life and resources into short course off road racing at its strongest point, it went under. It was a challenging time for not only myself, but the entire off road community. There was uncertainty as to the future of short course. I began to wonder if there would even be a sport for me to compete in. Shortly following this time of ambiguity, two strong groups emerged from the dirt.
Lucas oil started a west coast based series “LOORRS” and with the help of Traxxas, Ricky Johnson formed “TORC”. At this time we were green to off road, more or less a field filler, but we opted to race on the west coast do to cost and our relationship with the former series director, Tony Vanillo. We raced the first two thirds of the season with no outside support and progressively got better every weekend. I met Forrest Lucas in Surprise, Arizona as he was making his rounds thanking people for supporting his series. He took a liking to my family after watching the team and I repair our truck following a hard crash in qualifying. We worked relentlessly to fix it with minimal spare parts. He asked how it was going and if I was going to be able to run the future rounds. I jokingly told him that I’d certainly be a lot better off with his name on my door. We both laughed and he told me, “If you put that truck on the box I will.” So I did! For the first time our team finished second place.
He was obviously a man of his word. I met two of his awesome employees in a little trackside diner that night while celebrating with my friends and family. Jamie Devney and Richard Gunn were there having dinner. They interrogated my uncle, gave me a hard time and spent the night enjoying our victory with us. The next day, Tom Fredrickson called me and Lucas Oil issued Robby Woods Racing a check to finish the 2009 season as a Lucas sponsored team. This was a day that I had dreamt about. I couldn’t believe we were a part of such an amazing organization, Lucas Oil. Over the next few years we progressed into a top contending team and along with this progress came more support from Lucas. The evolution of our relationship and performance is something I believe both of us are proud of. Lucas Oil continued to support our team with the needs we had to be better and to become more competitive.
We have now became a front runner in our sport, continually raising the level of competition on the track. I have had the ability to work with some of motorsports most influential people at Lucas Oil and it’s been a pleasure. I’ve had the opportunity to fly to Indianapolis with my friends and family as a guest of both Forrest Lucas and Keli Gunn to watch the Colts play, to go to the Superbowl! It was something I’ll never forget; sitting third row with my Dad, Forrest and his family! Bob Pattison and Tom Fredrickson, along with so many others at Lucas Oil, have been a privilege to work with. Lucas Oil has funded the evolution of my career. They have given me the capabilities to become the professional racer and team owner that I am today. I can’t express my gratitude to Lucas Oil and this whole family of people, Team Lucas, for helping facilitate the start of my career. This relationship has ended on great terms.
As we move forward towards a bright future, I’m excited to build new relationships with people and companies that share a common goal. Joining a championship caliber team on and off the track. I am at heart an off road racer and have always been one. Racing in multiple series and being involved with numerous disciplines of off road has always been my goal. Approaching 2014 season we look forward to the freedom and opportunity that comes with it. We have finished the season off with eight impressive performances. With the most recent, leading the last seven laps televised live, on MAV TV in short course off roads biggest, and final, event “The Lucas Oil Challenge Cup”. Finishing 2nd place to Brian Deegan in his Rockstar Ford Pro 2. Our team approaches the 2014 season with the skill set, equipment, support, and momentum it takes to consistently beat the best teams in off road racing. Again, I want to thank everyone at Lucas Oil for the last four years of your support. It has made a great impact on my life.
In Closing I’d like to thank the following partners for their continued support General Tire, Rogue off road, 4Thetruck, The Taylor Foundation, Pro Power Racing Engines, Miller Welders, Dynamic Motorsports, SAE inc, King Shocks, Method Race Wheels, FK Rod ends, Weismann, Brembo brakes, Pro-Am, MSD, Tubeworks, K&N, Aeromotive, Sparco, Ron Davis, Spal.