Justin Carroll: Building a Name for Himself
One thing my parents always taught me growing up is if you want something bad enough then you bust your ass working for it. Our parents already had one thing in common by picking a great first name for their son’s, and I may be a little biased but hey it is my blog! After talking with Justin I knew right off the bat he must have been raised the same way I was; “If you want something bad enough no sense in sitting around hopping someone will give it to you.” He started helping out at a local snow cone shop to raise any money he could to buy his own race car. By the age of 15 Justin had enough money to purchase his very own UCAR. These are little 4 cylinder, mostly domestic (at Langley Speedway that is) front wheel drive cars that you see every day on the street for those who may not have known. Of course safety equipment is required (glass removal, roll cages, five point harness, helmet and a five point harness, I also believe at Langley a HANS or Hutchens device is required).
I asked Justin something that I really try to ask all the drivers I speak with; What made you want to get into a race car? “It just looked like so much fun,” Carroll told me. “I have always loved the idea of trying to go as fast as you can.” Now this is just my opinion and as the years go on this will probably change, but if you ask me Justin Carroll got a late start in the racing world and a bit of a different one at that. Most of the time I always hear about the drivers karting days, well Carroll’s UCAR was his first step into the racing community. A giant financial leap that he made all by himself, “I raced that for one whole season and honestly the only thing my dad paid for was my pit pass,” Carroll said. “I bought my race tires and my fuel and everything.” Throughout our entire interview I could tell this was one thing he was very proud of!
Eventually selling his UCAR and sitting out a season – which by the way I cannot imagine would be too easy after experiencing the rush of being on the tack with other cars – to help save money for his next endeavor. At the age of 16 Justin bought his very own, keyword HIS, Late Model Stock Car, outright bought it with his money. “I had no clue how I was gonna afford to race it,” he explained. “But I had a late model that I could call mine.” Working and working hard is what helps Justin get to the track every weekend and race. When he’s not at school Justin is helping out around his dad’s shop Carroll’s Automotive, you can check them out on the web with that link!The kid, and I say kid lightly, does just about everything in his power to do any and all kinds of jobs to help feed his addiction, RACING!
You know, going from something like a front wheel drive, pretty stock Saturn (just one of the cars that run in Langley’s UCAR division) to a rear wheel, eight-cylinder purpose-built machine I figured Justin would have a whole list of difficulties when on the subject of making the jump, his answer certainly surprised me. “The hardest thing for me was learning that the other competitors are just as equal as me,” Carroll told me. He put it to me like this with the help of his dad (Terry Carroll driver of the #90 Late Model), “You have just as much right to be out there as they do,” referring to the other competitors. I couldn’t agree more with this statement! Yes he may be new to the LMSC division, he may be running out of what left over money he found lying around the house but he deserves to be on that track just as much as the veterans. Once Justin understood and believed in those words of encouragement he immediately saw improvement. He was no longer nervous about feeling like he didn’t belong on the track!
Another factor in Justin’s improvement was mentoring from previous Langley Speedway track champion Mark Wertz. “I will tell you the honest truth Mark Wertz has helped me out from day one,” Justin told us. “I really respect him, my dad has helped me too but of course your dad’s gonna support you but I feel like I can go ask Mark Wertz for any advice and he will help me out!” There is nothing wrong with that if I do say so my self, what better way to mold the younger generation than confiding to those who have “been there and done that,” for the lack of better terms.
I had to congratulate him on the great start to the 2014 season and ask him what changes needed to be made to break through and finally get that top five finish. He told me that they are not to far off from getting the car just right. I will say he sure is off to a great 2014 racing season, strong qualifying runs for sure, but just falls off a little bit towards the end of a longer run. “It’s not gonna take too much more,” Justin said when speaking about what changes he thinks needed to be made to get that top five finish. “We’re getting close, we’re gonna keep working and get the car better on a long run and we will be there.”
I will say this folks, if you have ever wanted to sponsor a ride in NASCAR this would be the kid to trust! Buying his own UCAR then turning around and doing what ever it took to purchase his Late Model, and all the fuel and tires you know he is a driver you can trust. During our conversation he told me he is a little worried week in and out to push the car to the limit he knows it can go because the fear that one blown engine or one bad wreck could not only take him out that night but for the season. I can understand his fear and hopefully we here at The Weekly Racer can do something about it.
Justin told me he welcomes all businesses small and large aboard this season to help him accomplish his dreams. He promises to do anything in his power to help increase business. Justin also let us know he hopes to head on the road a bit this summer – just needs a little more financial backing if you know what I mean and what better marketing tool than to take your business into new markets – during some of Langley Speedways’ off weeks. “I imagine you will see us at sobo some on the off weekends and maybe east Carolina on a Friday night.”
Justin may be reached via email @ email@example.com. To see the rest of our interview follow the link ––>