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Just over a year and a half ago, I was walking around a festival at Francis Field one night and stumbled upon, almost quite literally, a race car with the “Bozard” logo emblazoned on the hood. As most race car aficionados know, that’s the spot reserved for the team biggest sponsor.
I was used to seeing the Bozard logo and the dealership cars at a lot of the festivals held there (who hasn’t been at Rhythm and Ribs or the Celtic Festival and seen the elevated truck on a rotating platform and thought “How did they get that up there?”). But a race car? That made me do a double take. This was something new.
Standing by the car was Blake Spencer, who I found out was the driver of the car from Letti Bozard when she introduced the two of us. I figured she was there representing the dealership, and in a sense, she was. But really, she was there representing Revolution Racing as the co-owner of the team with Spencer.
That perked my ears up. This was Letti’s baby. That was cool. I’m all about women breaking out of the box and trying their hands at something that is inherently thought of as a “man’s world” so when I heard that she was the only female owner in the dirt car division, it only helped to rev up my interest even more (yeah, that pun was intended).
It didn’t take long into our conversation about the team that I blurted out “We’ve got to tell this story in the next March Old City Life!” March has historically been what I like to call “The Women’s Issue” because March is Women’s History Month, therefore we always selected a handful of the area’s outstanding women to profile in keeping with the spirit of the month. What better example of the strong, courageous, entrepreneurial spirit of First Coast Women than an already-successful business woman taking on new and uncharted territory?
Think about it – we’ve all heard what a testosterone-filled, he-man environment the world of motor sports is. Sure, Letti is involved in that world to a degree being part owner and operator of Bozard Ford/Lincoln but dirt car racing isn’t anything like the shiny and clean world of retail car sales and service. This was a real departure…but Letti saw the opportunity and said “Why not?” You have to hand it to her – that takes real courage.
The team is in their third year and their second season of racing and Letti is all in. You can hear the pride in her voice when she talks about Blake and the rest of the team and of how they’ve grown in just the short time they’ve been in existences. It’s obvious that she feels at home in the garage and the settling-in period is over. This isn’t just some sort of “amusement” for her – she sees this as being as important a role as her other duties with Bozard Ford and as a mom of a teenage girl.
I’m honored Old City Life was finally be able to shine the spotlight on this exciting new challenge that Letti Bozard has taken on. I’m thinking that it will inspire some women to look at other typically male-dominated areas in a different light – ones that maybe they’ll try their hand at too.
Think I’d look good in a race helmet? See you at the track!
Lura Readle Scarpitti