With a company named Joe’s Racing Products, it should be no surprise that founder Joe Constance has a passion for short track racing himself that continues to this day. Unfortunately, risk comes with racing, which caught up with Constance sustaining injuries in a karting crash in the off season.
After months of recovery, Constance has no intention of hanging up his helmet, as he is ready to get back into the seat of his favorite kind of racecar, the Super Late Model. His first outing? The biggest race of the year in not just his home of Washington State, but the entire West Coast, the Summer Showdown at Evergreen Speedway.
“I had surgery, but it’s been almost four months now since my surgery and I’m feeling pretty good. I’m ready to get back in the car. I actually raced a Micro-Sprint a couple of weeks ago and I raced a Hornet Car, just messing around. But I’m really itching to get back in my Super Late Model,” Constance told Speed51.com.
Even before his accident, the time and resources available for him to go out and race has gone down for the 54-year-old motorsports veteran. He has given much attention to the racing business and his family, who are now in the racing business.
“It’s getting tough because I’m racing with my kids too. I have three kids that race. So I’m trying to run myself, plus I have the business to take care of. So I’m busy most of the time.”
The weekend ahead is set to be a breath of fresh air for Constance, who does not get many opportunities to race at Evergreen. He returns to the 5/8-mile oval that is the site of many victories in his long career.
“I love racing at Evergreen Speedway. I don’t get to race my Super Late Model very much anymore, so anytime I can get back in it’s pretty exciting for me.”
Even more exciting for him is that he will return to a track with its flagship event that is stronger than ever.
“There’s a lot of good guys that are going to be there for the Summer Showdown. It looks like the car counts are going to be mid-40’s or so, which is great to see. I think it’s a great event. Doug and Tracy Hobbs are doing a great job with Evergreen Speedway promoting and getting good people that are passionate. It’s great for the sport.”
While Constance is no stranger to the Summer Showdown, last season marked a change as he went into the race as an independent competitor for the first time. At the same time, he showed promise until the late laps.
“I’ve run the Showdown the last two years, but last year I went at it alone. We struggled a little bit at first, but we had a pretty good car in the end. Unfortunately, we ground off the rack bolt so we had to quit 20 laps early. But we were coming up in the end.”
As an independent, the cards are stacked up against Constance, but he feels that he and his crew are going into the weekend with plenty of fight.
“I’m going there to win, but like I said there are a lot of heavy hitters there. If I’m in the top five I’ll probably be happy. But we’re going to do everything we can to get to the front,” Constance said.
“I don’t have the budget that a lot of these guys have. Since all my kids are racing they eat up a lot of my racing budget. I feel like we have a car that can win. It just depends on the circumstances. I built the engine myself. A lot of guys don’t do that. I’m probably a little bit down on horsepower than the other guys, but with long runs I think I’m going to be good.”
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Joe’s Racing Products Photo