Josh Brock’s comeback season has been well-documented in the short track racing world. He led the points standings in the ARCA/CRA Super Series before a cancer diagnosis ended his 2017 season early. After being cleared to race again on January 1, he and his team knew what they were going after in 2018: the ARCA/CRA Super Series championship.
After a season that saw him win his first-career series race at Anderson Speedway (IN) in just his fifth start and score top tens in all but two races, Brock beat out his championship competitors in the Winchester 400, winning the ARCA/CRA Super Series title and completing arguably the biggest comeback in short track racing in 2018.
“It all started in Nashville and through our comeback season,” Brock told Speed51.com. “It was just fighting all year long and teamwork. Even when we were having bad days at the track or whatever it is, we still made the best out of what our situation was. We always had great finishes and were super consistent all year long. I’m super proud of everybody that helped and was a part of the team. It was a championship truly won by the team, not just the driver.”
After starts at SpeedFest and in a Pro Late Model race at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, Brock’s championship run began at Nashville for the North-South Super Late Model challenge. He impressed many, leading more laps than anyone else and finishing fifth.
Brock won his first-career ARCA/CRA Super Series race at their next stop at Anderson Speedway. He set fast time and took the lead at the halfway point and held off fellow series contender Austin Kunert to pick up the win.
After struggling over the next three races, the series returned to Anderson for the Redbud 400. His team showed their resiliency throughout the race. After battling back from being two laps down in the middle stages of the race, his team put him in position to win the race. He made a move past Stephen Nasse to take second on the final lap before contact sent him around in the final corner and relegated him to a 14th-place finish. Despite the misfortune, Brock was pleased with how his team fought back into contention and showed their strength against top-notch competition.
From there, Brock used consistency throughout the “Chase” and to get himself locked into the championship battle at the Winchester 400. Just like he and his team’s 2018 season, they fought back after being one lap behind the championship leader. Brock finished eighth in his first Winchester 400 start to win the ARCA/CRA Super Series championship and complete the comeback.
When his team started competing in the ARCA/CRA Super Series full-time in 2017, the goal was to win the championship. After fighting on and off the track, their dream became reality in 2018.
“Oh, it has fully sunk in,” Brock said. “It’s always been my dream to be a champion of a large, big time touring series. That’s what we fought so hard for. And after what we went through, that’s just icing on the cake. Even more emotions and feeling, and it’s exactly everything I can dream about being champion.”
As for 2019, Brock will look to defend his ARCA/CRA Super Series championship while competing in different races around the country when his schedule allows. He says there will be less pressure to perform next year, just having won the series championship.
“We’ll be running the CRA Super Series again full time and we’ll be hitting a bunch of short track races all over. From Florida to Michigan, we’ll hit some races. Just whenever CRA’s not racing, we’ll be somewhere doing something. Now I can go back and fight for even more championships with maybe not so much stress on top of me knowing that I’ve already won one.”
-Story by: Koty Getyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)
-Photo credit: Speed51.com