NASCAR Driver Josh Wise Stops by The Weekly Racer

JoshWise2So I have to admit, I’ve been just a little nervous every time I have tried to write this story.  Part of me worries the story will not be a good read, or suck for the lack of better terms, part of me thinks the popularity of the guest has something to do with it. So I decided to do something different. Instead of getting into a comfortable position in my make shift “home office,” I got some temperature appropriate clothes on, woke my dog up, got some of her things together, grabbed my iPad and cell phone and headed out to the park. I realized something the other night about my stories, when I sit down and try real real hard I tend to over think things. I want to focus on the main reason I started this blog, to break away from the “formal” news outlets and write you guys stories.

What is your favorite style of music? Favorite band/group?

I really bounce around on music and listen to just about everything. Its more a flavor of the week kind of things and this week would be Thousand Foot Crutch.

What is your favorite food?

Mexican food definitely!

With that being said, growing up I have always been a fan of the “underdog,” mainly because that’s how I see myself. For grins and giggles I asked Siri her thoughts on what an underdog was, “one at a disadvantage and expected to lose.” Wow, pretty harsh for a smart phone if you ask me. I would say that statement is half correct, growing up I was always at a disadvantage, I was a tiny kid, not a lot of height so my jump shot wasn’t great, not real strong so football wasn’t a great choice, I was pretty decent on the diamond but never a power hitter. Even when I found something I was really good at, racing go-karts, our financial situation got in the way, so yea you can say I was at a disadvantage, but I never went into a sport expecting to lose!

Who is your favorite sports team and why?

Don’t really have one… thought I was a colts fan for a while because I lived there for 3 years… not so much after Peyton left though.

I think NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide driver Josh Wise has to feel the same way sometimes. Josh is the driver of the #98 machine for Phil Parsons Racing in the Sprint Cup series & wheels the #40 car in the Nationwide Series for TMG Racing. Now I want to take a quick look back at the word underdog, disadvantage & expected to lose, what if Josh and his crew looks at each weekend from a glass half-full perspective. The team may have an equipment or financial disadvantage but making it to the track, finishing practice, qualifying for Sundays race, all small wins. So maybe they aren’t underdogs after all.

What are three things you never leave home without?

Phone, Wallet, Shoes.


Josh practicing for the 2014 Daytona 500

I was able to talk with Josh after a practice session while the team was at Las Vegas. Again another moment where the nerves got to me, I have never done a phone interview with any of the drivers, much less a cup driver. Took a moment to get used to it, but overall I feel it went well and both of us had a good time. We were able to talk about everything from the start of his racing career in quarter midgets to his favorite style of food.

Do you have a favorite quote?

I live by a lot of scripture. Pslam 18:29 In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall.

Josh got his start racing quarter midgets when he was just 7 years old, “It was just something I wanted to do and my family supported it 100%” Josh told me. He spent most of his time growing up in the open wheel community looking up to to drivers like Tony Stewart. When we were talking I asked Josh if he could pick one thing, one accomplishment that stuck out to him and what was it. “I was a teenager, growing up, and graduating high school just starting college,” Josh told me. “It was the Belleville Nationals, I won it driving someone else’s car. It was a big turning point and opening for my career.” Josh would come back three years later in 2006 to win that race again, this time for long time role model, Tony Stewart.

If you could go back in history who would you like to meet? Why?

Jesus for sure! He is the man.

Josh went on telling me all the success and fun he had in open wheel racing, I had to ask what made him make the journey into the world of NASCAR. “It got to the point where we won races, we had won championships,” Josh say. “It was always a dream to race open wheel, it just turned into a whats next kind of thing.” So he left a sport that he knew and was good at to take on a new challenge, new tracks, new cars… and that is something I can appreciate.

Do you have any phobia’s?

I don’t really have any phobia’s, maybe it would be falling into superstition. There was one time racing sprint cars I caught myself thinking about putting the same socks on for a race, I would just take them off right then and there.

Josh takes to the track in hopes to earn a starting spot at Las Vegas

Josh takes to the track in hopes to earn a starting spot at Las Vegas

For the race in Las Vegas, Josh had to qualify on time and that he did, starting P31 with a speed of 188.851 MPH. I was not able to watch the race that weekend due to prior engagements but if memory serves me correct Josh ran into some engine troubles and finished the race 55 laps down in P42. The one thing I did notice when talking to Josh was he is very optimistic! He goes into every weekend knowing he has to work twice as hard as some of the other guys in the garage but this is one thing that does not get him down. So call him an underdog or not, I have nothing but praise for what he has accomplished and what is waiting for him in the future.

What is your dream car?

Owning a F1 car. Would be fun to take that for a spin every once in a while.

I hope you enjoyed my story about the time I shared with Josh Wise! I know I spent a good amount of time before posting this story, I had a few ideas I was throwing around in my head, the nerves, my schedule at work. Once I got writing I had some real fun with, talking to Josh was an AMAZING experience, learning that some questions have to just ‘go with the flow of the interview,’ and even though these guys are on the top level of there sport they can stop and have a little fun with a small-time-looking-to-grow media outlet.

How do you like to spend time with your family?

Parks, beach, anything together. Just quality time.

Outside of the racing world, what is one goal that you want to accomplish in your life?

I already accomplished one goal in life, meeting wife! My main goal now is to be a great father of my two daughters age 2 and 4.

Make sure you check Josh out on Facebook & Twitter, Josh can even be found on Instagram at ‘Joshwiseracing.’ Again I can’t thank you enough for taking the time and chatting with me Josh, it was great to learn your story right from the source. Also thanks Hudson Hall for setting the two of us up. I hope you guys enjoyed and tune in for more Driver Series interviews. Click here to read more local drivers stories!

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