Strongstown, Pa. — Just like hockey, racing is a team sport. For 20-year-old dirt track driver Patrick Waugh, his team includes Johnstown Tomahawks.
Waugh drives his no. 14 Tomahawks race car at the Dog Hollow Speedway in Strongstown every Friday night, competing in the Crate Late model division. Waugh and his aerodynamically-styled, 400-horsepower, Chevy crate engine car are currently ranked 10th out of 30 drivers, scoring 612 points so far on the season.
"I am very proud to be able to put the Tomahawks logo on my car this season," Waugh said. "I've been a big supporter of the team since they moved to Johnstown, and it's exciting to see how many hockey fans are also racing fans."
Waugh said he has noticed a number of Tomahawks fans cheering him on at Dog Hollow Speedway this summer.
"It's very common for people to come up to me after the race wanting to talk about the Tomahawks. It's such a passionate fan base, and being able to connect it to the exciting racing scene we have in our area is, I think, helping to grow both sports."
Waugh entered the racing world at age 9, when he raced a family friend's go cart. In 2009, he won the track championship in the Senior Champ division at Cove Valley Speedway. When he turned 17, he advanced to the Crate American Racer Series (CARS), and has finished in the top 10 five times in his racing career with CARS.
Now, the dirt racer challenges himself by balancing his racing career with his education at Frostburg State University, where he is studying occupational therapy. Even once he completes his degree, Waugh doesn't envision leaving racing behind any time soon.
"Racing is in my blood," he said. "The thrill it gives you never leaves".
Waugh races every Friday night through October. The track opens at 5 p.m., with races starting at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $12, with discounts for kids and seniors available.