Lesley Watt: Driving Force Behind Family of Racers

Lesley Watt: Driving Force Behind Family of Racers

When Ryan Watt won his first modified race of the year, his wife, Lesley, was the first to congratulate him. It was Lesley, after all, who convinced her husband to switch cars at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania.

“Ryan was running the Troyer [chassis],” Lesley said. “Two Saturdays ago, at Grandview Speedway, I saw him look so defeated. He started 10th and finished ninth. Later that night, I woke up at 2:30 in the morning to find him out in the garage saying, ‘I can’t suck this bad.’ I told him to swallow his pride. It was time to get the Bicknell [chassis] out.”

Lesley said there’s no hard feelings when it came to the switch.

“Ryan likes to try different things,” said Lesley. “He tried and tried in the Troyer car. Ryan gets along with both.”

Lesley Watt, A Longtime Supporter

Lesley has cheered on her husband for 19 seasons. The past two she’s split time between Ryan and their son, Logan, who races in the sportsman class.

“I’m their worst critic — I call a spade a spade,” said Lesley. “If you screw up, I’m going to let you know. I don’t drive, but I’ve been around racing long enough.”

When Logan won recently at Grandview Speedway, Lesley stood on cinder blocks under the scoreboard to watch.

“I was trying not to fall on my face — I was trying to be calm,” Lesley said. “I looked at my Apple Watch and it was warning me that my heart was running at 130 beats per minute while I was standing still.”

The way Lesley supports Ryan and Logan is different.

“Watching my husband and son race is like comparing apples to oranges,” said Lesley. “Age is a huge factor. He’s 14. I want to be defensive for him. He’s running with guys that are putting up there whole paycheck and working overtime just to pass through that gate and race in the sportsman division. I want Logan to remain humble. He’s lucky to win races and he should appreciate it. I teach him regardless of who you are, the CEO and the janitor are to be treated the same.”

Regardless of how she supports her family, Lesley Watt added that the family enjoys racing together.

“Ryan was at Georgetown [Speedway in Delaware] and Logan was with me at Big Diamond [Speedway in Pennsylvania],” Lesley said. “Ryan didn’t like it. Logan didn’t like it. I didn’t like it.”

The Tough Start to the Season for Ryan

Logan has four wins this season. Friends and fans chided Ryan for his drought.

“Every week he heard, ‘Your kid is better than you,’ or ‘Your kid kicked your butt again,’” said Lesley. “This week, [Ryan] was on a mission. I told him this car comes home in a ball, or we win. Though it has been rewarding and special to see our son win, it was frustrating for Ryan.”

With the Bicknell, Ryan finished sixth on the Tuesday at Grandview Speedway following the change. Then on Saturday he broke into victory lane.

No matter what, the Watt clan seems to stick together at the track.

“When Ryan entered victory lane last week, I turned and Logan was there beside me,” Lesley said.