Jermaine (Jay) Boddie remembers hearing the thunderous rumbles echoing throughout his housing project as a toddler. His father, Albert Boddie, a well-known name in the car game, would street race in the nearby blocks of San Francisco, California. While Jay’s childhood fascination with motorsports began like most “car-guys”, his life journey has been anything but typical.
As a young boy, raised in a high-crime/low-income area with struggles which many do not experience, Jay began to hunger for an education and pathway to success. Jay’s parents played an integral role in Jay’s life and helped instill the values that propelled him through life’s challenging moments. Jay’s father, Albert, raised him with a military style mindset, where strength and fortitude were expected, and failure was not an option. His father pushed Jay and his siblings to maximize their athletic prowess and helped ultimately put Jay on the fast-track to a career in basketball where he shined. Racing remained his first love, but basketball was a close second and that translated to his attack on the game with everything he had.
Jay showcased his talent on, and off, the court. After one full year of high school basketball, he was a point leader, achieved player of the year, and became the top prospect in San Francisco. Today, Jay still holds two scoring records at James Logan High, where he scored 116 points in three games at their annual tournament and scored 42 points in a single game. His next stop was San Francisco City Junior College, and then on to California State University at Bakersfield. At the age of 21, Jay became a father to his first child, but walked away from college and promising career as a professional athlete – bringing him back to his roots of racing in the streets of “Frisco.”
Jay began to experience struggles again as his life resumed at Hunter’s Point projects, where crime was a way of life. His love for racing remained, but his need for financial stability, coupled with ingrained “street-smarts” was a combination that would lay the tracks of the next ten years of his life.
At the age of 27, Jay was arrested for selling drugs and served a consecutive ten-year sentence in federal prison. While imprisoned, he focused his energy on reprogramming his way of thinking, recognizing he needed to reroute the direction of his life. Jay shifted his focus on his true passion of racing, realizing that his ultimate goal was to continue his family’s racing legacy. Upon his release from prison at the age of 36, life became very different for Jay.
A fresh mindset and drive for success in drag-racing kept Jay focused. Quickly, he jumped back into the street-racing scene. Focusing his energy on building his race team, the fire was ignited and the street scene was buzzing with new life as well. Jay now has his own West coast drag racing points series, with seven yearly events. He has become a role model for many young people who are growing up in similar conditions as Jay. Along with about 40 West coast big and small tire heads-up racers, Jay competes with a big tire, back-half box Nova, which has become an icon on both prepped and no prep racing scenes.
In three short years, Jay has raced with the heaviest racers from coast to coast. Jay can be seen on his two-hour Discovery Channel’s Street Outlaws special and on Discovery Channel’s No Prep Kings series. Jay and his team of drag racers are keeping the West coast grudge scene alive with so much more to come.