Florida Speedweeks is a way of life for Jason Boyd. A second-generation racer, Boyd grew up watching Richie Evans, LeRoy Porter, Dick Trickle, Daniel Keene, Dick Anderson and Junior Hanley rule New Smyrna Speedway each February. His dad was an engine builder for some of the best in Florida and Jason got a first hand knowledge of the sport.
“I think we have been going some twenty-plus years straight,” Boyd told Speed51.com. “It’s a full season of racing in a week. The days are long and you have to stay positive to keep your car fast each night.”
Boyd was a three-time Speedweeks champion in the Limited Late Model class before Pro Late Model racing came along. In 2002, he won all nine nights of racing at New Smyrna, which is a record that has never been duplicated.
“That was a long week and we didn’t win every race on the track,” Boyd explained. “One night we won it in the tech line. We had old tires on that night and couldn’t catch Jeremy Miller and he was heavy on the left side, 58.1 I think, and we got the trophy.”
Boyd, as a driver, won 31 Limited Late Model races during Speedweeks, which is hands down the most of all-time. He’s also won in Florida Modified action during Speedweeks.
Nowadays, Boyd is still at the track every week and returns to the World Series each year. Instead of being behind the wheel, he is now in a crew chief / driver development role with drivers looking to get an edge up on the competition. In 2019, he will be working with Florida Modified driver Wayne Parker, the winner of five of the last six World Series races at New Smyrna. Other drivers he'll be working with include Preston Hunt and Brooke Storer.
“We have a race shop near the track and we have work with a lot of clients over the years," he said. "I really like working with the younger kids to teach them how to race.”
Outside of Speedweeks, Boyd won both Limited and Super Late Model touring series titles in the state of Florida. But for now, his driver's suit and helmet have been packed away. In fact, his last race came behind the wheel of a Florida Modified during the 2017 World Series.
“I’m too old to do this driving thing,” said Boyd. “I enjoy helping the younger drivers at the track and at the World Series. That’s a refreshing feeling.”
Away from New Smyrna, Boyd works all over the country helping race cars go fast. He recalls winning a Late Model race with Kaz Grala for the first time at Hickory Motor Speedway (FL) as one of his special memories.
Many of his other special memories have come during Florida Speedweeks, a two-week stretch which the Edgewater, Florida native will always consider a huge part of his life.
-Story by: Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Boyd Technology