One Final Push: Art & Carol Malies from Work'N Woody Retire Concord, NC-- November 5, 2008--Many things have changed over the years for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, but one constant over the last 21 seasons was...
One Final Push: Art & Carol Malies from Work'N Woody Retire
Concord, NC-- November 5, 2008--Many things have changed over the years for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, but one constant over the last 21 seasons was Art and Carol Malies. The couple dedicated their life to sprint car racing and for nearly 30 years traveled to races with Work'N Woody, which became the Official Push Truck and Safety vehicle of the World of Outlaws. The couple recently announced their retirement following the second annual VAULT World Finals at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina last weekend.
The Malies operated Woody for 10 years on the West Coast mainly in Northern California supporting the Northern Auto Racing Club (NARC), as well as the Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway in Washington starting in 1982. Since 2002, Work'N Woody has been located in Deming, New Mexico after the couple moved there from Carmichael, California.
Art and Carol, who have been married 47 years, used Work'N Woody for the first time at West Capital Raceway located in West Sacramento, California, during the tracks final tribute race in 1979.
"I definitely remember the first race," said Art proudly. "John Padjen had let me use West Capital to check Woody out two or three different times while I was building it to see if things were right. We were out there packing the track and that was before wings, and mud just kept coming off the tires and landing on Carol and me. We were a mess, but we kept doing it. John stopped me on the front straightaway and asked if that was a design flaw and that's when we made the fenders wider with the Plexiglas on them."
The idea for Work'N Woody, which was originally was a 1957 FC150 Willy's (Cabover) Jeep, came to Art when he was a fan of sprint car racing in the Golden State of California back in the 1970's.
"I was sitting in the stands watching too many trucks run over cars and wreck them," he recalled. "I said there was a better way to do it. All of a sudden I came up with the idea and started building it. We didn't have much money so we kept on building until I finally brought it out. When I asked the guys how they wanted to be started, they had no clue, so I just started them any way I wanted to. Then I figured out what they really needed."
In 1996, Art & Carol were honored with the Outstanding Contribution to the Sport by the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum in Knoxville, Iowa, and this contribution continued to grow at each and every Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series event over the years, thanks to their dedication and hard work, as well as the support of their fine sponsors.
"We will miss the people," said Carol. "The old friends we made and the new friends we have now. I liked our crew this year. Everyone had gotten along very well the last few years. It was fun being out here, but it's time for us to do things on our own as well."
The Malies received the inaugural Outlaw Award Sunday night during the World of Outlaws Night of Champions in Charlotte, North Carolina. They received a standing ovation from everyone in attendance for their dedication and endless support of the series over the years. A number of drivers gave special thanks to Art and Carol during their banquet speeches, including 20-time series champion Steve Kinser and three-time defending titlist Donny Schatz.
"I want to thank Ted Johnson for saying come on with the World of Outlaws," said Carol after receiving the award. "We had such a wonderful run. We made so many friends. Thank you to everyone that has ever done anything for us."
The Malies visited hundreds of race tracks across the country and took part in thousands of races, meeting countless people along the way. The people are one of the things that the couple will miss most now that they are retired.
"Everyone has always treated us so well, even though we were kind of officials," explained Carol. "We had a lot of fun with the drivers and enjoyed being out here. The fans were great as well, we always enjoyed the fans. They are our friends now and that was always nice."
Woody will remain on the road with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series in 2009, under the command of Art and Carol's son Eric, who has been helping them for the last few seasons.
When asked if they would do it all again, both Art and Carol answered with a resounding yes.
"I may do it little different though and have side curtains, air conditioning, a radio and a few other things," said Art with a smile.
The 2009 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series kicks off February 6-8 at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida with the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH.