Hard-charge to the Podium at 34: Giving it all for Dad’s B’day!

June 2, 2016 – Josh had the Deuce Motorsports #49 working Sunday at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. After starting 14th, he advanced to a third place finish in the Sprint Invaders 25-lap feature. The team will return to the Knoxville Raceway Saturday for more NSL action after climbing out of the B to a 16th place finish last weekend.

Early struggles with the 360 seem to be behind the team now. “The car didn’t run well at all on opening night in Burlington,” says Josh. “We struggled again early in the night at Oskaloosa, and then we finally sorted the issue out before the A main there. We’re really happy with the way the car is running now.”

Josh drew a stout heat at 34 on Sunday, and started seventh. “The track was tough to pass on in the heats, and we were in the back of a tough one,” he says. “34 Raceway gave us another great racetrack. It was really good early on. Those heat races are tough, and we did what we could to get up to fifth.”

That finish meant starting 14th in the main event, setting up his charge. “There were quite a few wrecks, and we did a good job of avoiding those,” says Josh. “We had a good car the whole night. We were able to run up to third. Obviously, you want to win all the time, but considering the circumstances, we were pretty happy. We’re excited to get the car back out at Eldon with the Sprint Invaders in a couple of weeks.”

A tough NSL field gathered at Knoxville Saturday and a bobble in qualifying made it a tougher night than anticipated. “I went into turn one,” says Josh. “They had some rain there, and the cushion was a little deeper than it normally is. I jumped that cushion, and I did the exact same thing two laps in a row. We missed the invert by two tenths, and I guarantee you that’s where it was. That’s disappointing, because that’s on me as a driver.”

To add insult to injury, Josh started seventh in a heat that saw Terry McCarl, Justin Henderson, Dusty Zomer, Sammy Swindell, Brian Brown and Bronson Maeschen ahead of him. “We were buried in the back of that heat,” he says. “They wrote the numbers on the board and I thought they were kidding. I thought maybe they should just throw (Davey) Heskin, the Madsens (Kerry and Ian) and (Danny) Lasoski in it and call it the A main. We were o.k. there, but we headed to the B.”

Starting sixth, he would snag the fourth and final transfer to the A. Starting at the tail, he would advance to 16th. “Dad (Bart) made some changes that really helped our race car before the B,” says Josh. “We were able to come up through there and get into the feature. I was a little worn out after the feature. It was an extremely physical racetrack, and we had a long day and night. The cushion was big and deep. We’re excited to get back there this week.”

Catch Josh’s Interview on www.OpenWheel101.com!

Saturday, May 21 Knoxville, Iowa

Josh and the #49 team hope an improved qualifying performance last Saturday night at the Knoxville Raceway is a sign of more of the same this weekend. After struggling back in the pack most of the year, the West Burlington, Iowa driver timed in the top ten last Saturday night with the National Sprint League. This weekend, not only will he have another NSL event at Knoxville, but he will also be competing Sunday at his home track, 34 Raceway, with the Sprint Invaders.

Josh was happy about timing in the top ten of the NSL field. “We gained a little bit there,” he says. “We’re definitely making progress and we were happy about that. I hope there’s more of that to come.”

The team had hoped a practice session Friday would help them in their qualifying. “Honestly, during practice, the track wasn’t really where we see it during qualifying for sure,” says Josh. “We’re just continuing to make some small changes here and there, and we seem to be moving in the right direction. We’ll keep at it.”

After registering tenth quick, Josh started the first heat inside row two. “The heat didn’t go our way,” he says. “There was a car that really slowed in front of us to start the heat. That bottled me up on the bottom, and then we really got our front chopped off heading into three. The first lap really dictated where we were going to run in that heat race. That really cost us a shot at finishing in the top eight in points heading into the feature.”

He would start outside row six for the feature. “There really wasn’t much on the bottom to speak of, other than in one and two,” says Josh. “The cushion was kind of one-lane on the top and kind of choppy. We chose to use the W18 (right rear tire). Everyone has told us not to do that, and we proved them right. When the track gets dry like it was, there’s just no bite in that tire. In addition, we put on a left rear to take the stagger out, and we actually gained an inch during the race. That really hurt too.”

He would hold his own, however, and checker 13th. “Still we were able to fight ninth through twelfth the whole race,” says Josh. “It wasn’t that disappointing, because we knew the things that we did wrong. It never hurts to have the money put in the purse that we have with the NSL this year at Knoxville. We really appreciated the right rear tire the track gave the teams Saturday too. I hope the track is benefiting as much from the higher purse as we are. We’ve had some great crowds this year, and Saturday was no different.”

Josh is also looking forward to Sunday’s event in West Burlington. “We’re excited to go back to 34,” he says. “We didn’t have a very good showing there opening night. I think we have the bugs worked out of that racecar, and I think we have an opportunity to finish up front on Sunday.”
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