You would assume being a straight-A student takes a lot of dedication and focus. Josh Hodges has found a way to translate it to the track. The High School sophomore, who must maintain his 4.0 GPA in order to race, is off to this best start ever while running Sprint Cars throughout the southwest.
Sprint Car Dirt Series Racer Josh Hodges
Hodges recently won his first ASCS Regional event, making him the youngest person to do so, at Aztec Speedway in New Mexico. The win brought a newfound confidence to the team, and Hodges has parlayed that into 5 top fives in 10 races this year. The track has always felt like home for his team.
ASCS 360 Sprint Car Racer Josh Hodges
"I have a little more experience there than other tracks…my dad raced there years ago as well," Hodges said. "I have experience in two different types of cars as well, and I think that helps me with the traits of the place. It was also the first place I ever raced a Sprint Car, so it's pretty special to me."
Hodges has competed wheel-to-wheel with drivers like World of Outlaws star Johnny Herrera and 3-time defending ASCS Southwest Champion Rick Zhiel this season. Hodges said it was a few mechanical changes that have made the difference this season.
"Our car has been feeling good with the upgrades we made to Vortex wings and we've figured out how I like to run my new Integra by Benic Shocks," he added.
Balancing the rigors of a sophomore high school student's life may seem difficult, but Hodges' parents have kept the pressure on, and the youngster understands that education is the foundation he needs if racing ends up his career.
"I get all my schoolwork done before I go work on the car, and I have to talk with my teachers often to get work for when I'm gone on Fridays and some Thursdays for racing. When you put all this work into it, though, and you do have a good run, it makes it that much sweeter," Hodges said. "I think it is important to get a good education so I will be able to race in the future, because less and less people these days are able to make a living racing, but I hope to go into a career field that involves the sport. I love being around the sport, and getting to drive is just an added bonus."
While his plans for the rest of the season are still uncertain, Hodges just wants as much seat time as possible. "We have run all of the ASCS Southwest races so far, but we may branch out and do some other ASCS and other 360 racing, especially in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. I'm excited for whatever this year brings, and I hope that we just continue to get better and better. The end of last year was a bit tough, but we're back up to full speed and getting closer and closer to some more wins."
Hodges made sure to mention how appreciative his team is of K&N's quality line of filters. "In dirt Sprint Car racing, everything gets put to the test, especially the filters. K & N Filters do their job time after time, keeping the air clean and enhancing performance. Never have we had to mess with them (except for the needed maintenance) or have they malfunctioned. There isn't another product out there that can beat K & N's quality and performance."
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