Six For The Road
BY FRED JETER
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER     Article reprinted from PowhatanToday.com
Published July 15, 2009

July 15, 2009
SOUTHSIDE SPEEDWAY
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Don’t be alarmed by the title.

Six Pack Racing has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with drinking, and everything to do with driving.

Kyle Wood is only 26, but already in his ninth season of fast-paced competition at Southside Speedway.

Currently, the Midlothian High graduate and Powhatan County resident is fifth in the Modified Division standings.

Wood is an original member of Six Pack Racing, a group consisting of his dad, Rusty Wood, plus 20-something racing buddies Ryan Boggs, Ryan Wilbourne, Frank Silva and Rusty Bennett.

“We stick out in a crowd,” said Wood, who finished third in last year’s Modified points behind champion Tom Stinson and runner-up Chris Johnson.

Six Pack’s Friday-night speed machines are jet black with orange and green fluorescent trim, with Six Pack Racing scripted below the windshield.

Rusty Wood, whose been racing at Southside for a quarter century, Boggs and Wilbourne all compete in Modifieds, while Silva and Bennett prefer U-Cars.

“I’m at Southside every Friday night, whether I’m racing or not,” said Wood, who has finished fifth, fifth, second, fifth, 13th and eights in six races this spring and summer.

“On the nights I’m racing, the other guys help me. On the nights they’re racing, I’m helping them.”

Six Pack Racing got its name from the 1982 movie, Six Pack, starring Kenny Rogers as struggling race-car driver Brewster Baker.

Baker/Rogers’ race career was stuck in reverse when a group of rambunctious youngsters began tinkering with his car – with surprising results.

Similarly, Wood and his buddies became an unofficial pit crew for Rusty Wood while they were still in high school.

“We were teenagers, but people called us the Diaper crew,” recalled Kyle. “Now the diaper crew is Six Pack Racing.”

Wood, who competed in Grand Stocks before graduating to Modifieds, spends days working in the warehouse of Dibert Valve & Fitting Company on Jefferson-Davis Highway.

“You race because you love it, not because of the money,” said Wood.

“It probably costs $360 to race on Friday, and you only get about $500 prize money, even if you finish first.”

Wood’s car was built by Powhatan resident Pop Moore. The same Moore has also built cars for Rusty Wood and many other drivers.

“Pop’s like a grandfather to me; I’ve known him all my life,” said Wood.

“My car is a ’93, which is really old for a race car … but I wouldn’t sell it for anything.

“It’s special to me because so many of my friends have put so much work into it.”

At Midlothian High, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Wood was a tight end on the football team and a forward on the basketball squad.

With many of his racing chums, Wood plays rec-league basketball and slow-pitch softball in Chesterfield County.

And the name of those teams?

You guessed it: “Six Pack.”

Contact Fred Jeter at (804) 739-2219 or fjeter@timesdispatch.com.