At the age of 18, Joey Mucciacciaro has done a lot of short track racing up and down the East Coast. And while he cherishes those experiences, he’s learned that sometimes quantity isn’t always better than quality. This upcoming season, the driver known as “Mooch” will focus his goals on one team, one car, one series and what he hopes to be one championship.
After running a part time-effort on the CARS Super Late Model Tour in 2015, Mucciacciaro will make a full-time run at the tour championship with team owner Lee Faulk in 2016.
“I know Lee Faulk and all our guys have been working really hard this winter getting our equipment together,” said Mucciacciaro at the CARS Tour Media Day. “In my stable I’ve got a couple new cars coming out. I just worked really, really hard this winter on putting the funding together and finally being able to come out and try to run the season right.”
In addition to securing sponsorship for 2016, Mucciacciaro shaved down his schedule and planned their goals around the CARS Tour.
“We sat down and said ‘What are the areas that we need to improve on to be able go out there and perform?’” Mucciacciaro explained. “We had a bunch of great sponsors come on board. We tried to simplify our schedule a lot and we just want to focus on the CARS Tour. Unlike seasons in the past I’d run New Smyrna Speedweeks a bunch, I skipped out on that to try and put a full effort to chase after this championship this year. I plan on doing some other big races after that, but that’s our main focus. Hopefully we will put some victories in by the end of it.”
Joey “Mooch” will also be able to rely on the input of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Stephen Leicht, who will be driving with the Faulk team as a teammate to Mucciacciaro.
“Stephen’s great, I talked to him a few times last year about being his teammate. He’s been great about giving me information and feedback,” said Mucciacciaro. “He’s got a very good understanding of the sport. Like anything else it’s like NASCAR, the more cars you have out there the better information you can get back to build the team. Having two cars versus one is always better in my eyes. I like being able to bounce feedback off of someone, I think we’re really going to work well this year and really help each other progress.”
With his eyes set on running for the CARS Tour championship in the Southeast for 2016, “Joey Mooch” will be unable to run any Modified races in his home state of Connecticut, a division that has had a deep connection with his family and the start of his driving career. Though his ultimate goal is Stock Cars, he will always be proud of where he started from.
“I’d like to be looked as being someone from Connecticut,” said Mucciacciaro. “I kind of took a different route. My dad has always been a diehard Modified guy, he grew up racing Modifieds with his buddies. So it’s a way different route then many people thought I’d go. I really like Super Late Model racing, I like all the competition it brings. I really think this CARS Tour is the place to be if you want to get a lot of recognition.”
“Mooch” will look to kick off a successful 2016 season on April 2 when the CARS Late Model Stock Tour season begins at Southern National Motorsports Park.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, LI, MA) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Joey Mooch Racing Facebook