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Ten Minutes With a Teen Race-Car Driver

Travis Hydar feels at home on the track



Photo by Ryan Lavine

Travis Hydar of Woodbury turned 15 in April. He can’t legally drive on the roads, but the son of a construction business owner, he races street stock cars at speeds exceeding 80 mph every Friday night from April into October at Stafford Motor Speedway in northern Connecticut. This summer the driver called “as smooth as it gets” by the track announcer has been jostling with other drivers at the top of the points standings. 

You race street stock cars at age 15. How does that feel?
Driving a race car is just kind of natural to me. It just feels normal.

How did you pick up the skills and experience to race at Stafford Motor Speedway?
I went to a relative’s bachelor party at On Track Karting in Brookfield when I was eight and was hooked. I raced karts there for four seasons, won a championship, was named rookie of the year, and was always in the top three in points. Then I moved up to real oval racing in the Wild Thing Kart Series at Stafford Motor Speedway.

How did you make the transition from karts to stock cars?

It was quite a transition. We took the car down to Southern National Motorsports Park in North Carolina when I was 13. I got a feel for the car and got a lot of tips from Dad, who’s also my mechanic and pit crew along with uncle Jeff and help from Joe Brocket. The Stafford races are 20 laps on a short, half-mile oval, so there’s no pit stops. 

Where did you get the car?
We bought the number 11 car from a previous driver who drove it for three seasons at Stafford. He had six wins in the car and finished in the top three in points twice. So it gives me confidence knowing that the car I’m driving has won a bunch of races at Stafford. 

You did well last year in your rookie season racing “real cars”.
My first year racing in the Street Stock division was 2017 at age 14. I won the fourth race of the season in this car and finished fourth in points. I am the youngest driver in Stafford history to win a feature race. 

How’s this year so far?
Second is my best finish this year. I’m right up there with the points leaders. I was tied for the lead in points two weeks in a row. It’s a really close battle. 

I saw you get bumped and bump another driver. Is that protocol?
I got bumped in my first Street Stock race. Sometimes you want to let another driver know you’re there. The cars slide around a lot. They don’t have that much grip. 

The announcer called you “as smooth as it gets.” What’s your style as a driver?
I try to race as clean as possible, as fast as possible, and get the best finishes I can. 

Where do you go next?
I’d like to go into the SK Light division or Late Model division, and then the SK Modified division. The cars are lighter, have wider tires, and are faster. Maybe I’ll step up to SK Light at the end of the season. 

Any short-term goals at Stafford?
Yes, I would like to win some races and compete for the division championship. 

Your long-term goal?
To race on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. 

                        

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November 2018

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Cost: free

Where:
Fuel Bistro
293 Main Street
Great Barrington, MA  01230
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Contact Name: Gabrielle Senza
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Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

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Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
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Cost: free

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Sponsor: Walk Unafraid
Telephone: 413 717 0031
Contact Name: Gabrielle Senza
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Join Art Rodia, an instructor with over 30 years of yoga teaching experience, as he guides this gentle yoga class. Created for people over fifty and beginners who need a gentle and accessible...

Cost: 10 per class

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
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Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
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Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
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Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
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Cost: 1.25/inch

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
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Sponsor: New Morning Market
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Art That Speaks: Exhibition and Opening Exhibition October 1-November 15, 2018 Artist Reception: October 8, 4pm to 6pm.Fuel Bistro​, 293 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230 Gabrielle...

Cost: free

Where:
Fuel Bistro
293 Main Street
Great Barrington, MA  01230
View map »


Sponsor: Walk Unafraid
Telephone: 413 717 0031
Contact Name: Gabrielle Senza
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Cost: Free - registration requested

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
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Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
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More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
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Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
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Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
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View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
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More information

Art That Speaks: Exhibition and Opening Exhibition October 1-November 15, 2018 Artist Reception: October 8, 4pm to 6pm.Fuel Bistro​, 293 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230 Gabrielle...

Cost: free

Where:
Fuel Bistro
293 Main Street
Great Barrington, MA  01230
View map »


Sponsor: Walk Unafraid
Telephone: 413 717 0031
Contact Name: Gabrielle Senza
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(Litchfield, Conn.) Brandywine Living at Litchfield will be hosting their 6th Annual Ladies Night Out Charity Shopping Event on Thursday, November 15th  from 5-7 PM. This spectacular community...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Brandywine Living at Litchfield
19 Constitution Way
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Brandywine Living at Litchfield
Telephone: 860-567-9500
Contact Name: Amber Chapman
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KMR Arts presents Mark Seliger: Platinum Prints. The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 3-6 pm with a reception and book signing of the monograph, MARK SELIGER PHOTOGRAPHS, with the...

Cost: no charge

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
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Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: (860)868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
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Art That Speaks: Exhibition and Opening Exhibition October 1-November 15, 2018 Artist Reception: October 8, 4pm to 6pm.Fuel Bistro​, 293 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230 Gabrielle...

Cost: free

Where:
Fuel Bistro
293 Main Street
Great Barrington, MA  01230
View map »


Sponsor: Walk Unafraid
Telephone: 413 717 0031
Contact Name: Gabrielle Senza
Website »

More information

Brandywine Living at Litchfield's 6th Annual Ladies Night Out Charity Shopping Event.  Thursday, November 15, 2018, from 5 pm to 7 pm. Join us for food, signature drinks, fun and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Brandywine LIving at Litchfield
19 Constitution Way
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Brandywine Living at Litchfield
Telephone: 860-567-9500
Contact Name: Nanette Bergin

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Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
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EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
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Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
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Join New Morning Market’s new knitting club! We’re crafting wearable items for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury and welcome all levels to join! Instructors will be on-hand for beginners. Yarn,...

Cost: Free - registration requested

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
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Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
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Meet us under the Dome and catch all the excitement! Come out for the 16th Annual Festival of Trees to benefit Ann’s Place at the Danbury Sports Dome for a weekend filled with live events...

Cost: Ages 3 to 64, $10; Seniors, $5; kids under 3, free.

Where:
Danbury Sports Dome
25 Shelter Rock Ln
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Sponsor: Ann's Place
Telephone: 203-790-6568
Contact Name: Michelle Frosch
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Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

KMR Arts presents Mark Seliger: Platinum Prints. The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 3-6 pm with a reception and book signing of the monograph, MARK SELIGER PHOTOGRAPHS, with the...

Cost: no charge

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: (860)868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

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Meet us under the Dome and catch all the excitement! Come out for the 16th Annual Festival of Trees to benefit Ann’s Place at the Danbury Sports Dome for a weekend filled with live events...

Cost: Ages 3 to 64, $10; Seniors, $5; kids under 3, free.

Where:
Danbury Sports Dome
25 Shelter Rock Ln
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Ann's Place
Telephone: 203-790-6568
Contact Name: Michelle Frosch
Website »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

KMR Arts presents Mark Seliger: Platinum Prints. The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 3-6 pm with a reception and book signing of the monograph, MARK SELIGER PHOTOGRAPHS, with the...

Cost: no charge

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: (860)868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

The League of Women Voters of Litchfield County will co-sponsor a talk with the Litchfield Historical Society on Saturday, November 17 at 4 p.m. entitled “Nation of Immigrants" featuring Kevin...

Cost: Free

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Lithfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Litchfield Historical Society
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St Joseph High School's Maroon & Gold Gala is a scholarship event that casts a spotlight on the school’s strong commitment to community service and leadership. It is a fabulous...

Cost: $150

Where:
The Waterview
215 Roosevelt Drive
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Sponsor: St Joseph High School
Telephone: (203) 378-9378
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