There can be few stories as heart-warming or as genuine as that of Evergreen Speedway stalwarts Troy and Amy Draper, who met at the Speedway 35 years ago and have been together ever since. With son Tyler notching his first win in the Stinger 8s earlier this season, the family association looks set to continue for a long while yet but after 37 years, Amy and Troy have understandably decided to call time on their dedicated service to the track.
We spoke to Amy last week about how she and Troy got involved at Evergreen and it’s a multi-generational family story. “My dad was involved in racing when I was a child, so I’ve pretty much been out there since I was nine days old! Then he was doing Figure 8 racing. My husband Troy got involved with his uncle and his cousin. His uncle worked for Mickey Beadle on Saturday nights and his cousin did tech for the Friday night club which was Sky Valley Racing at the time.”
Troy and Amy met at the track soon after they joined the staff aged just seventeen, and the happy couple have now celebrated 35 years of marriage. Amy picks up the story, “Troy started out as a tech for Sky Valley and then he did fire safety at turn one and two on the 5/8; then he started flagging for Sky Valley Racing Association and then that became Saturdays as well. I started out selling pit passes at the back gate and transitioned into being pit boss for Sky Valley and then WWRA. That transitioned into helping tech on Saturdays and being pit boss on Saturdays. I helped Troy flag for three months when his assistant was injured and since then we just do whatever needs help with doing.”
When asked what they’ve enjoyed the most over the years, Amy was quick to answer, “The people. We enjoy the sport. There’s good days and bad days but it’s been a lot of fun.”
Their son Tyler Draper has been running Stinger 8s for the last 7 or 8 years and this year got his first win, “That was really exciting for us. It was very cool to see him get his first win while we were still working there. He’s been out there since he was four days old. Our family has been out there for years. We will definitely miss all the people. The racers and the pit crews are what have made it special. We really appreciate everything Doug and Traci have put into the track in the last few years. It’s a tough decision but after doing it for 37 years, the next 35 years need to be about us but we will miss it.”
Amy concluded, “There are so many stories out there I wouldn’t know where to begin!” I’m sure the whole motorsports family in the Northwest and especially at Evergreen would like to say a big thank you to Amy and Troy, who plan to see more of their grandchildren in the years ahead. Every track needs their Amy and Troy and we are delighted to have had them here for so long.
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