On this week's edition of 'Driver Spotlight,' we sat down with another Ohio UMP Modified driver, Josh Morton. Josh is coming off one of his best seasons in 2017, coming up just a few positions short of winning the track championship at Eldora Speedway. Morton talks about how his career got its start, his 2017 season, plans and goals, as well as many other must-read topics.
Q. How did you get your start in racing?
A. "I got my start in racing from my grandpa. He used to drag race then got into go-karts an I followed along racing go-karts for 6yrs."
Q. How did 2017 go? Any highlight moments?
A. "In 2017 we had up an down season. We made every show we ran but one. Was sitting 3rd in Eldora points going into the nationals to have some bad luck an fall to 6th in points."
Q. 2018 plans? Any original chassis or engine supplier changes?
A. "In 2018 we have plans to run more races an with a few races on the new car an finishing top 5 in the last four races of 2017 in the new car. Looking for good runs in 2018. The new diamond chassis has been awesome every night out an been on different tracks with it from Eldora to Waynesfield, to Montpelier and Lawrenceburg. We have done another change to our program, and we will see how that goes in March when we get to the track."
A. "Racing at Eldora is like racing anywhere else just bigger and faster. It's always fun coming over the hill and seeing it sitting there as big of a complex as it is. Weekly shows are as tough as they come with Bowersock, the Taylor boys, Woodlin, Sutter, and the rest of the field."
Q. What would it mean to you to win the Eldora Speedway Track Championship?
A. "It would be awesome to win the championship at Eldora. That's our local track and be sweet to get it done there. My grandpa said he would throw whatever it took to win up there for my grandma. So now that he has passed on, I'm more on edge to get one for him so he can see it was all worth it. To win the championship, there would be hard with all the competition that is there. If we keep up our maintenance program, we will have a shot at it."
Q. Future goals?
A. "My future goals would be to keep racing an be more consistent with weekly racing. I'd like to win a championship at one of the three tracks we run at."
Q. Where do you see your racing career in 5 years?
A."Still racing a having a great time doing it. My kids seem to enjoy going to the track so as long as they're still having fun, I still have fun. Makes it worthwhile for me to build memories with them at the track. The nights they don't attend I always feel off, and something is missing."
A. "Where to start here? I'd start by thanking my grandpa for getting me started in racing an never giving up on me when we switched from karts where we won a lot to big cars. Then my grandma was always supporting grandpa and backing him for keeping us going. Now she has taken over after his passing an keeping us going full steam. Mom for always being there and cleaning the trailer. The wife for letting me take over the weekends and never complaining about it and always a the track to support me. The (bosses) Lakyn and Aliza for always making a good night better and a bad night better. And being good little mud scrapers. My father in law, Pat. Always at the shop and the races. He gets it done he does the fuel, tires, bodywork. My uncle Brad, he is a big help during the week and at the track with helping with the set-ups, and anything electrical that may come up."
"Sponsors. Big thank you to all of them. Lillicrap timber and mulch thank you guys for your help through the season and offseason. Brittney's cakes, nicks plating, kb machine and tool inc., Brownlee Wray and associates, Coyer enterprises, RJ Piqua properties. We couldn't compete at the level that we do without all of you. Also, thank you all for everything you guys do for us, hope to see you all back for 2018."
*J&T Photos, Photo Credit