Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – FULTONVILLE, NY – Most are chasing the trophy. Others are chasing the money. Some are in it just for the glory. Every racer has something that drives them to be the best that they can be on track. In 2019, Pro Stock competitor Ivan Joslin will be doing all that while also ‘racing for a reason.’
It was recently announced that Joslin, who will call Fonda Speedway and Glen Ridge Motorsports Park home in 2019, will run a special paint scheme to help bring awareness about Autism. In turn, he’s also hopefully that there may be the possibility to raise some money for research.
What he didn’t expect was all the positive energy already generated by the announcement, even before the car has turned a single lap.
“My husband, Kyle, worked with a company that was an ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens) program,” Joslin said. “It was assistant living and he worked primarily with kids at the children house…some of which were very autistic. We also have friends who have autistic children so it hits a little closer to home.”
It was that involvement that got the wheels turning within the team to use the racecar for a good cause…not just chasing trophies.
“Kyle asked if we could do a theme car to bring awareness to something he was very involved with,” he said. “He understands greatly about what it takes to care for individuals with this disease / disability. I thought it was a great idea but had no clue it would take off as much as it has.”
Now, things are in motion to make this truly an amazing program for the team as well as bring light to a disease that affects so many, including many in the racing community.
“We are now in talks with (Brett) Deyo about possibly setting up a race day for awareness and also teaming up with Jessica and Stewart (Friesen, fellow racers and owners of One Zee Tees) to assist with a place to donate funds we raise by selling stickers and the day at the track.”
As stated, plans are in the works to bring the Autism-themed car to Fonda and Glen Ridge weekly, with some possible other tracks added into the mix on occasion.
“Our plan is to be at Fonda and the Ridge weekly,” he said. “Having two cars will help with the maintenance if something should happen. Plus, once in a while, we can try to hit some shows at places like Albany-Saratoga. However, those two tracks weekly are our main goal.”
For their on-track program, has the team set any goals for the new season?
“We just want to do the best we can,” he said. “Championships are always a goal but having fun and doing the best we can is what makes the sport entertaining for us.”
New things are happening at Fonda this season with Brett Deyo taking over as promoter. A new tire manufacturer (American Racer) and leaving the DIRTcar sanction along with several new ideas have the fans and racers alike excited for this season at the ‘Track of Champions,’ and Joslin is no different.
“I think it is a great move,” he said. “Brett is a smart man and knows what he’s doing. Look at the success he’s had with the Short Track Super Series in a short amount of time…and what he’s doing at Georgetown.”
Ivan feels Deyo is putting the right pieces in place to make Fonda one of the top tracks in the region once again.
“He getting his ducks in a row,” he said. “He will be a good fit for Fonda to get it back up to par. It might take a little time and people need to accept that it won’t happen right away. That’s what people want these days…instant success. I’m hoping everyone give Brett a chance.”
Another cool thing this year is how close Ivan’s two home tracks will be working together. Trying to align themselves so that teams can run both facilities as easily as possible has him excited to see what can develop.
“It’s great that the two tracks can work side-by-side,” he said. “Being so close in proximity, it’s about time this happens rather than the two fighting each other. I love Glen Ridge. It’s a great, fun little short track.”
While his goal for this year is to do the best he can, Joslin knows the support he has behind him this season will keep his program on track.
“I have a great family and team behind me and great sponsors from old to new on board this season,” he said. “Hopefully we can make them all happy. I couldn’t do this without Kyle, my Uncle Dennis, Cliff, Chucky, Jon, Jess and many more that has come and gone. They make this all possible.”
Can’t forget about the sponsors that help to pay the bills and keep the cars going each week.
“We’ve got a great group of partners that help with everything our team needs,” he said. “I have to thank Parillo Services, Shults Auto Center, Lenny’s Tire Service, Owen’s Corning, Jon and Jess Brisbane, Steven and Linda Vanyo, Bill Billings AE Rosen Electrical, Parks Electrical, Scentsy by Kyle, JB Photography, JK Motorsports Concepts and anyone else that helps our team. They are the reason we will have the chance to be successful.”
Ivan Joslin is no different than any other driver who straps into a race car to compete. He’s trying to win…and win often. However, in 2019, with as much excitement that is buzzing around his ‘paint scheme with a purpose,’ Joslin is racing for more than just checkered flags. He’s racing for a reason, and that shows there’s still a lot of amazing things that can come from cars going around in circles.
“We mainly want to help so that people understand,” he said. “Other positives that come from the car, for now, are a success in our eyes. Racing with a purpose is good if you use it in the correct way.”
It sounds like the Joslin Racing Team is well on the ‘correct’ path this season.
Note: The team will be having a baked ziti fundraising dinner for the 2019 season on Saturday, February 16th at the Town of Glen Volunteer Fire Department in Fultonville, NY from 4-7pm.
The meal includes ziti, salad, a roll and either soda or water. Tickets are $10 and will be sold at door. There will also be a Chinese Auction and 50/50 so come out and support the team and enjoy a good night of bench racing before the season starts.