NASCAR is known for its family ties. Consistently we see generation after generation take over behind the wheel. One of the latest up and comers is 20-year old Josh Richeson. Richeson, nephew of Winston Cup's Brett Bodine, is making selective...
NASCAR is known for its family ties. Consistently we see generation after generation take over behind the wheel. One of the latest up and comers is 20-year old Josh Richeson. Richeson, nephew of Winston Cup's Brett Bodine, is making selective starts this year in the Busch Series ranks in the Timberland sponsored No. 11 car fielded by Brett Bodine Racing. His father, Donnie Richeson is the crew chief for the No. 66 Dodge driven by Casey Mears, also in the Busch division.
Family connection however, has nothing to do with his skill. In 2001 Richeson ran select ARCA events and finished an impressive second at Pocono, his favorite track. He says the 2.5 mile tri-oval is his favorite simply because,"it's a lot of fun to drive. I like going to the big tracks. The big tracks are fun just for the fact that you can go 200 mph."
Although nothing is planned yet, it is possible we may see him return to the ARCA Series and Pocono later this year. "We're talking about running Pocono when they go back there. And I'm pretty positive we're gonna go to Talladega, just for the fact that I haven't been to a super-speedway yet."
The need for speed is something that runs through his family's blood and now that he's a driver, there's no turning back. "After being in the position of being a driver, it would be hard for me to do anything else other than drive. I've told myself if I don't make it, at least try to drive something."
Richeson sure has made it known that he can drive. The soon to be 21 year-old started his career before most kids can even ride a bike. "I started racing go-karts when I was 5 ½. My dad, he and Uncle Brett went the next week and bought me a go-kart and I started racing that. I ran those until I was 14. The summer when I turned 15, I moved to late models."
"I started driving around, touring around with the late model car. Jumped to the ARCA car a couple times last year and figured out that I could handle the big tracks. So we decided to sell all the late model stuff and pursue the Busch career."
Richeson has already made starts this year in the Busch Series at Rockingham, Richmond and Charlotte. His best finish was a 30th place at The Rock after accidents took him out of early contention. He was involved in a hard crash with Stuart Kirby at Charlotte after Kirby was t-boned by Richeson's No. 11. Kirby got turned around from behind and was sitting in the middle of the track when Richeson drove straight into a blind cloud full of smoke. Luckily, neither driver was hurt.
After his short stint in select events this season and if luck turns around, his goals for next year are simple. He hopes to be "Running every week, hopefully in the top-15 in points. The main goal is to have a sponsor where we can run every week."
Since his family owns a Winston Cup team, there is a chance we could see Richeson take over behind the wheel of the 11 Cup car after Brett decides it's time to call it quits. "That's always a possibility. I'm not committed to any sort of contract with the 11 car. We do own our own team and that's always an option, so more than likely I will end up in a Cup car no matter what."
Knowing the security for a Cup ride is there, he maintains his stance to get the proper experience. "I don't wanna rush it. I wanna wait until I'm good and ready for it, get where I can run competitive in the Busch Series every week. I wanna go to the Winston Cup Series as well prepared as I can."
With the ever-changing face of NASCAR turning to a more corporate approach, Richeson says the racers with a true love of the sport will always inspire him. "I've always looked up to people that are just hard-core racers, people that do it for the love of racing."
Richeson's love for racing sentimates are what make him such a dedicated driver. His driving style is something he hopes fellow competitors remember most about him. "I want to be known as a hard racer. I like to be aggressive but I'm also patient."
Look for Richeson's next Busch Series start to come August 3, at IRP in the No. 11 Timberland car.