Joey Coulter started the day seventh at Pocono Raceway, looking to back-up his second place run at Toledo Speedway. However, bad luck struck as mechanical problems resulted in a 26th place finish.
“It just wasn’t that good of a day,” Coulter said in looking back at Pocono on Monday. “Problems started back on lap 15 when we had the flat tire and got down a lap. With how good we were running, I thought we could get the lap back. Then we had the ignition problem, in which the guys at the shop are looking over the car and the guys at Mallory are running tests to see what happened.”
The results at Pocono could be seen as a reflection of their year as they’ve had good cars all year, though just haven’t had the finishes. Toledo equaled his first top five of the year and after the issues last weekend, he sits 11th in points.
“With how the team has communicated and how the cars have been, I’d say it’s been good,” he said in reference to how the year has gone so far. “We just haven’t had the finishes to show for it…I’d say about a three or a four.”
Coulter began racing in 1998, racing go-karts at West Coast Kartway in Naples, Florida, and then also started running the WKA Horstman Gold Cup Series in 1999.
Some of his go-kart accomplishments include more than 50 wins, brought home 100 trophies, four state championships, the CJ Marvin Sportsman of the Year Award (2000), second in the National Championship standings and winner of Summer Nationals at G & J Kartway in Camden, Ohio (2005.)
Following go-karting, he moved up to the Florida FASTTRUCK Series in late 2005 where he earned four top-fives in his first four starts, including a second place finish. He moved up to the Pro Division in 2006, in which included veterans twice his age, where he won four of the first eight races and finished fifth in the championship standings.
In 2007, he moved up to the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series, in which he says was a big jump for his career.
“It was a big jump as it was on national TV with interviews,” he said.
Coulter gained lots of attention while racing in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series as he finished in the top 10 multiple times, including top-10s at the 2007 Thanksgiving Classic at Kenly and Baileys 300 at Martinsville Speedway.
His first stock car victory, though, would come in December of 2008 at Southern National Raceway Park in Kenly, N.C.
2009 marked his rookie season in the ARCA Re/Max Series which resulted in two poles, seven top fives, 13 top 10s, and a fourth place finish in the season ending point standings.
So far this year he sits 11th in points, though is still focused on winning his first championship.
“We’re still going for the championship,” he said. “I still think we can win it.”
Coulter goes into Michigan this weekend, looking forward to rebounding. Last year, he finished fifth and was 11th quickest in testing last month.
“I am looking forward to this weekend,” he said. “After we run bad, I always look forward to the next race even more.”
He also is looking to possibly getting his first win, which would mean a lot to him.
“It would mean a lot to me,” he said. “Rip It puts money out to put their name on our car so it’d mean a lot to get them a win also.”
Coulter looks to run up front and put the No. 16 Rip It Coulter Motorsports Chevrolet with help from his spotter, driver coach and racing idol Randy Renfrow.
“He’s ran some NASCAR truck series races and once ran a dirt race where he lapped everybody up to third place,” he said of Renfrow. “He can drive the wheels practically off of anything and that’s what I want to be able to do.”
Though his team and spotter won’t be the only people watching as a lot of people others will have their eyes on the ARCA Series this weekend, as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series are at the track this weekend.
“I don’t even think about it,” he says in reference to the NASCAR guys being there. “They have a job to do there. Even though they’re probably tuning into the race, they’re more so working on their goal. We’re there to do our job and they’re there to do their job.”
Though when looking five years ahead, he hopes he’s on that side of the garage.
“With how we’ve been running, hopefully in one of the top three divisions running for a big team as I’d like to give my mom and dad a break,” he said when I asked him about where he saw himself in five years.
Photo Credit: Ashley McCubbin