2007 World of Outlaws Rookie Preview: James Mosher Concord, NC--Jan. 23, 2007 -- James Mosher has been around fast cars and racing as for as long as he can remember. He first climbed behind the wheel at the age of three in a go-kart. His father...
2007 World of Outlaws Rookie Preview: James Mosher
Concord, NC--Jan. 23, 2007 -- James Mosher has been around fast cars and racing as for as long as he can remember. He first climbed behind the wheel at the age of three in a go-kart. His father Jerry raced supermodifieds in the 1970's and also owned a speed shop, where James spent plenty of time as a child and teenager.
In fact, Mosher built his first car, a 1966 Chevelle at the age of 13. He would continue building and hot rodding throughout his teen years. In addition to this, he has built and sold custom choppers as well. Also during this time, he became a big fan of the World of Outlaws, and dreamed of one day racing with the series.
Mosher began racing in 1996, as he competed with the National Modified Midget Association, racking up an astounding 32 wins during his rookie season, as he earned the rookie-of-the-year title. Over the next three seasons he would score 72 more wins in NMMA competition. Mosher continued racing mini sprints until 2005, when he turned his first laps driving a 360-sprint car with the Sprint Car Owner's of Arizona (SCOA), claiming the rookie of the year title in his first season in a full-size sprinter. He also won the rookie title with the New Mexico Motor Racing Association (NMMRA), the only driver to win both in the same year.
In May of 2006 Mosher and his wife Jessica, who he met while racing Mini sprints, moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Brownsburg, Indiana to be in a central location so James could race sprint cars full-time.
2006 was his first season in a 410-sprint car, and Mosher competed in several World of Outlaws events, along with finishing ninth with the O'Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions. While he had only raced a couple of late season events in a 410-car at the end of 2005, Mosher was quick to get up to speed in the more powerful machine, and received plenty of advice from the veterans on the World of Outlaws trail.
"It was a huge learning curve in 2006," said Mosher. "We learned a lot. There were a lot of people (in 2006) that took us in, including: Randy Hannagan, Brooke Tatnell, Troy Renfro (Tatnell's Crew Chief), and the Kemenah's. They all took us in and taught us a lot and helped us to get going in the direction that we are going. I think we were successful."
While he won over 200 races in mini-sprints, and was very successful in his one season of racing a 360-sprint car, Mosher knows firsthand just how tough the competition is World of Outlaws. He got a taste of that last season running all of the co-sanctioned events between the World of Outlaws and O'Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions. In 2006, the average car count at a World of Outlaws event was 41, and Mosher knows the level of competition will be just as tough this season.
"The competition is very humbling," admitted Mosher. "I was used to winning, and I won a lot of races in mini sprints, and it was humbling to come out here. We stuck it out and towards the end of the year, we were running much better."
While Mosher was used to racing on the bullrings of the southwest, he visited many new tracks in 2006, as he will do again this season. While he raced in the Midwest for the first time, he also went to the Pacific Northwest and hit a few races on the East Coast as well. With nearly 90 races on the schedule this year, Mosher expects all that hard work and learning to pay off.
"We took the whole 2006 season to learn," he commented. "We learned about tracks we had never seen before and took a lot of notes. We went to school for the year."
Drivers usually have a routine when they visit a track for the first time, and Mosher is no different. After visiting over 40 new tracks last season, Mosher is confident that he will quickly get up to speed at new tracks this season.
"The first thing I do when I get to a track I have never been to is to walk around and look at it," explained Mosher. "I try to see how the dirt is, how big the track is, and just try to figure out what the weather is doing, so I can figure out motor and gear. I just kind of look at everything, and then watch who is fastest there, especially the locals, because they are usually on the right track. You just try to modify what you are doing from what they know and that is about how I figure it out."
While Mosher lives in Brownsburg, Indiana, Albuquerque is still considered home. Fellow World of Outlaws competitor Dion Hindi also hails from the capital of New Mexico, something Mosher is very proud of.
"I think that it is awesome to have two guys from New Mexico out here," Mosher said. "Dion (Hindi) is a good Outlaws driver, and I think that is neat to have two guys doing this deal from Albuquerque, New Mexico of all places. I hope he keeps having good luck and we have good luck and we can keep representing Albuquerque well."
After gaining plenty of experience and getting plenty of seat time last season, Mosher is ready for an all-out assault on the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this year beginning on February 9 with the 36th Annual DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Mopar Speed Shop. With the schedule stretching over nine months and nearly 90 races, he knows that this will be no easy task. As he has always done, Mosher has set his goals high for the season and will give it everything he has.
"I would like to finish in the Top-10 in points and win the Rookie of the Year Award," he said. "It's always been a dream of mine to race with the Outlaws, and I am finally living it. I just want to push it a little harder. A Top-10 in points and Rookie of the Year would be great for me."
During the 2006 season, he was able to take to the track at some of the most historic venues in all of racing, and he will visit even more this season. He turned laps at the legendary Eldora Speedway, along with the famed Knoxville Raceway, and storied Williams Grove Speedway.
"There are times when I am sitting in the staging lane getting ready to push off, and I cannot believe where I am at. I think it really hit me when I was sitting at Eldora for the Kings Royal. It was the Kings Royal of all things, and that was really a reality check."
Mosher will hit the road for his rookie season with Crew Chief Kirk Reinert, who hails from Ness City, Kansas, along with crew member Jayme Kyle his sister-in-law from Albuquerque New Mexico.