(Bill W) August 28, 2017 – Josh and the Deuce Motorsports #49 team nearly finished the Knoxville Raceway season with a feature win. Unfortunately, the West Burlington, Iowa driver lost brakes with ten laps to go and ultimately checkered in fourth place. Josh, who works at Morning Sun Farm Implement says the rest of the season’s schedule depends on lot on the harvest for area farmers.
Things started Saturday with a 14th quick time trial. “We’ve tried some different things to get better in qualifying,” says Josh. “The track was fast, and we just weren’t as good as we needed to be there. It levels the playing field for everyone when the track is like that, and if you’re off an inch, you’re off a mile.”
The heat invert put Josh outside row one, and he went on to win going away. “We changed a couple of things with the motor,” he says. “We changed things around, and we were very strong in the heat. After being fourteenth quick, we needed to win the heat.”
A feature invert of eight meant he would start on the pole of the feature. He led the first 14 laps before a caution flew. “We were really solid until we had a yellow there,” says Josh. “We were racing (Ian) Madsen for the lead (on lap 16). Going into turn three, I was trying to run the bottom. We had a right rear brake caliper snap off. We lost all the brakes, and the caliper wedged against the wheel.”
Josh was holding on the rest of the way. “The car shimmied and vibrated the last ten laps,” he says. “I didn’t really know what the issue was or why it was happening. I was kind of gauge watching and trying to see. We had no brakes on top of that. To be honest, we were trying to just hold on at the end.”
There was obvious disappointment. “Ultimately, it hurts to let another one slip away from us,” says Josh. “But looking back at the circumstances, we’re pretty happy to have finished, and finished fourth. If it hadn’t happened, I believe we had the car to beat those guys. They also said if we hadn’t of had the yellow, I had a decent lead and would have won. That’s all easy to say now.”
In addition to Ian, Kerry Madsen and Brian Brown were with the top three finishers. “All three of those guys finished in the top ten of the Knoxville Nationals,” says Josh. “Looking at the big picture, it gives us the confidence that we can do this. We need to figure out ways to start towards the front. That makes everything easier.”
Josh ended up finishing ninth in Knoxville Raceway points for the second straight year. “We missed capitalizing on some opportunities earlier in the season,” he says. “It was good to have a strong finish to the season Saturday. It makes you excited to get back to Knoxville. Sprint car racing is always changing. Everyone is always trying to get better, and we’ll be there again next year.”