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Jade Avedisian (84) battles Mariah Ede at Port City Raceway. - JEFF TAYLOR PHOTO

JADE AVEDISIAN

On the West Coast when a neophyte steps up to the outlaw karts and micros a pecking order emerges. Some clearly have the moxie and desire to move their career forward while others approach racing like any other youth sport. It was obvious where Jade fell on this spectrum.

Her father was certainly still involved, but as she progressed to the micros, particularly when she moved to the super and non-wing ranks, she increasingly leaned on brothers Cole and Cody Christensen. She remains close to them to this day.

By 2019, Avedisian was garnering serious attention. She won 11 times in the restricted micro ranks taking track championships at Lemoore and Plaza Park Speedway. There were also big victories at the Clay Cup in Deming, Wash., the Mark Hagopian Memorial, and she scored during California Speedweek. She was just warming up.

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Avedisian (right) shares the podium with Justin Grant (center) and Michael Kofoid – Al Steinberg photo.

Avedisian began the 2020 season in victory lane at the Tulsa Shootout, she snatched 20 grand at the John Hinck Championship at Sweet Springs (Mo.) and was the 2020 Sooner 600 Week Restricted and A-Class champion.

These big wins contributed to a 2020 Lucas Oil NOW600 National Restricted and A-class title. No one had ever taken the title in both classes in a single season. When you consider she was going head-to-head with micro legend Frank Flud, 2021 POWRi champ Bryant Wiedeman and budding star Ryan Timms the results are even more noteworthy.

Former racer and now team owner Chad Boat tuned in to the action at Sweet Springs and was impressed. He was taking active steps to grow CB Industries and surmised that Avedisian was exactly the kind of young talent he wanted to bring into the fold. To move into a driver development mode, he had been keeping a steady eye on the micro world.

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Jade Avedisian – Richard Bales photo

Acting on his instincts, Boat contacted Jade’s father to discuss her future. Ryan recalls “being shocked. I tell people it seemed so quick because I figured we would be racing micros for three or four years. We tended to race and worry about the next race and not focus on the future, which may be a negative. So I was floored.”

In today’s racing environment parents increasingly make difficult decisions and have to weigh all the variables to decide what is best for their child.

“I thought to myself that this is my little girl,” said Ryan Avedisian. “I don’t always think of her that way, but gosh, are we ready to get in the midget? Chad was not pushy at all, so in the offseason we decided to go to North Carolina and test.”

The session at Millbridge Speedway went well and with a deal inked, the plan was to break Jade slowly into the midget ranks over the course of the 2021 season. She made her midget racing debut at the POWRi series opener at Monarch Motor Speedway in Wichita Falls, Texas. She won a heat race, started on the pole but would stall during the feature thwarting her chance to finish up front.

Looking back, Jade says, “I don’t ever really get nervous. Maybe I was in my first midget race, because I was new to the midgets. It was the first race and everyone was there. I just wanted to get a solid finish and I almost did.”

Given that she was racing a limited midget schedule she still had time to tear through the micro ranks at home. Not surprisingly she found her footing in the midget and posted four top-five runs with POWRi. That alone was encouraging.

However, she really turned heads when she finished fourth with USAC at Merced Speedway in November. In many ways, 2021 was designed for her to get her feet wet and to learn how to work together as a team.

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