April 22, 2017 – Josh and the Deuce Motorsports #49 team brought home Knoxville Raceway’s Lyle Boyd “Hard-Charger Award” in 2016. No offense, but the West Burlington, Iowa driver would like to put that award behind him, qualify a little better, and start towards the front of the feature. Nonetheless, the season opener at Knoxville last Saturday night went much like last year. Josh would climb from the tail of the field to finish 15th and hopes to improve on that this Saturday night.
Slick conditions greeted drivers and Josh would time in 20th quick. “With the weather and the car count, we expected a different racetrack,” he says. “But it’s the same for everybody. Early in the year, usually it’s a little heavier. The car was nice, but I missed the bottom on the first lap, and didn’t do well the second lap either. That was on me.”
He would start at the tail of arguably the toughest heat of the night. “Our heat was tough, but when you look at the field as a whole, seventy-five or eighty percent of them are capable of winning the feature,” says Josh. “The car was good. I think we were able to pass Joey (Saldana) at one point, and he got back by us. It was just tough starting in the back. We weren’t disappointed. We were right there with Joey and (Brooke) Tatnell. (Terry) McCarl may have been about a half straightaway in front of us at the checkers, so we weren’t disappointed at all.”
Josh would start at the tail of the feature. “The car was really nice,” he says. “It was actually a tough track to pass on. I guess we moved forward more than about anyone. There was a caution about mid-race. We had been running well, and that killed a lot of the momentum we had.”
Nonetheless, he would continue to progress and grab hard-charger honors by finishing 15th. “With six laps or so to go, it laid rubber,” says Josh. “From there, it was follow the leader. We were able to get through the night, and had a good car. It was everyone’s first night, and we’ll look to get better this weekend.”
Josh is willing to give up his hard-charger status to someone else. “It was encouraging that we were moving forward and the car was good,” he says. “I’m a little sick of that from last year. I just need to qualify a little better. It is nice to be good in the feature. We just need to start towards the front.”