New Miss Merrittville can’t think of a
better place to
be on a Saturday Night
If this had been a year ago – a visit to Victory Lane could have seemed like a family get together for Ashley Wood.
With her second cousin as co-announcer and her brother and uncle as drivers … she could’ve seen some real familiar faces each night.
As Merrittville Speedway races towards it’s 65th Anniversary Season, she is preparing to add to the family’s three generations of involvement in the sport as the new Miss Merrittville in 2016.
“When I knew that I would need someone to step into the role … she was the first that came to mind … Ashley is a perfect fit,” said (Merrittville Speedway GM) Erica Bicknell-Jones, “when Sami (Steele) was forced to step away last year … Ricki-Leigh came forward to finish out the season. She’ll be taking on a new role this season as Manager of our Turn 1 Bar – thanks to both of them for their efforts.”
“I can remember always going to the races when I was little but it wasn’t until my brother Austin got his Street Stock that I really began to enjoy racing.” said Ashley, “since then I’ve become addicted to it. I spent last season mostly in the pits helping him and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my Saturday Nights any other way.”
Wood, 19 from Thorold is the granddaughter of L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Famer and 1968 Late Model Champion Lyndon Wood. While she was a little young to get involved in her Dad Chris’ late 90’s racing in a Wayne Conn-owned Sportsman – she is a great supporter of her brother Austin and Uncle Scott’s racing.
She’s also enjoyed some Tuesday Night Kart racing watching her second cousin Brett’s son Tucker Wood. “I’ve driven a Kart a few times at a rental track and others but I always wanted to try out my brother’s car on Practice Nights … maybe I’ll get a chance in the future,” wished Wood.
Her brother Austin will not be racing this season however as his car now belongs to rookie Trevor Wright as we learned earlier this winter. Another driver she will be following closely this season is her boyfriend, former Merrittville Pinty’s Delicious Foods regular Shayne Pierce. While serving as Miss Merrittville – she’ll follow Pierce’s Big Block Modified Racing - maybe her first time in a race car will be in an 88 not a 38?
Ashley is 3 minutes older than her twin sister Courtney and by the time they turn 20 next November – the two will be starting new chapters in their educations. Ashley is finishing up the Police Foundations Program at Niagara College and plans to study Sociology at Brock University. Courtney has spent the last few years at St. Lawrence College in Kingston in the Fitness and Health Program and will resume her studies in the fall in the Paramedic Program at Niagara College. While at school, Courtney has been the trainer for the St. Lawrence Vikings Mens and Womens Basketball Teams.
Away from school and the races, Ashley works at Tangled Yoga & Activewear in St. Catharines. There, she sees another familiar face in the racing community. The Port Dalhousie business is owned by Trish Friesen whose family was previously involved in the sport as co-owners of Merrittville and most recently Ransomville Speedway.
“I’m excited to see where this season takes me,” added Wood, “I’m a little nervous to start but I haven’t missed a Saturday Night in over two years. I love everything about Merrittville and I think it’s going to be a blast! I hope to meet a lot of fans during the 65th and a lot of different drivers in Victory Lane!”
Who will be among the first to meet her on the front-stretch in 2016? You’ll find out Saturday April 23rd when Rev’s Full Throttle Powersports presents the Spring Sizzler featuring the Patriot Sprint Tour … the Pinty’s Delicious Foods 358 Modifieds … the Yager Bros Trucking Sportsman and the TUSA Canadian Modified Lite Championship Finale from 2015.
The success of 65 years of continuous operation at Merrittville Speedway is due in a large part by the passion for the sport that carries over from one generation to another. The Wood Family is a prime example with our 2016 Miss Merrittville Ashley Wood about to write her own chapter.
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 65th Consecutive Season in 2016 – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com.
Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Face Book (Facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Merrittville
To reach Merrittville Speedway’s Winter Office call 905-685-7223
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