Bulloch Academy graduate Joshua Bishop, 18, is no stranger to racing. Some would say it’s in his blood. Despite being one of the youngest racers in the area, Bishop is still turning heads in the late model racing world.
Bishop, who races on dirt tracks, recently finished fourth at the Screven Motor Sports Complex. He also finished with the fastest qualifying time in the Zaxby’s Crate Late Model division at Swainsboro Raceway and came away with a second place feature finish.
Bishop learned everything he needs to know about racing from his grandfather, Tommy Snell. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather was no easy task. Snell has over 45 years of racing experience along with 500 feature wins. As Bishop gains more experience with each race, it seems as though Bishop is moving in the right direction.
“It was definitely big shoes to fill. I started out pretty good, but he (Snell) has won over 560 races. If I can accomplish half of what he’s done, I would be pretty good,” said Bishop, who has been racing since the age of nine.
When it comes to racing, it’s a family affair for the Bishop household. Bishop’s father, Chris Bishop, is a part of the Joshua Bishop Racing crew. Joshua also said his sister, Tori Bishop, comes to watch.
The elder Bishop said watching his son compete at a high level is something he’s proud of.
“He’s driving in the fastest class of car you can drive. His grandad has done it and he’s been around it all his life. for him to be able to be successful and run up front at a young age...well it’s just really good when things work out,” Chris Bishop said. “The people in these races aren’t going to give you anything. He has to go out and earn it.”
Earning respect in a tough racing world is something Joshua Bishop has done with stride. The Gator baseball standout said it’s been tough competing against racers with more sponsors and experience.
“The majority of guys I race against are 30 to 50 years old, there’s not many of people my age,” Joshua Bishop said. “It’s really hard earning the other guys respect because they have a lot of backing and sponsors so it’s definitely hard, but once you get going it becomes a little easier.”
Having family right by his side for most of his accomplishments in racing is a great feeling, Joshua Bishop said, but it also has it’s challenges.
Tempers can flair out on the racetrack, but it’s a different feeling when it’s your family.
“We got a new car and we’ve struggled a bit. There’s plenty of times we’ve had disagreements and how we would set it up or how we should be racing,” Joshua Bishop said. “It’s trying, but a lot of those times we get mad turn into funny times.”
The Joshua Bishop Racing crew have their eyes on the prize for the upcoming Firecracker 100 this Saturday and Sunday. Joshua has three career wins under his belt and admits winning is the best part of what he does. He hopes to take home a win at the 100.
“This isn’t a laid back sport. If you do it for fun you won’t win, and if you don’t win it won’t be fun,” Joshua Bishop said. “I like winning.”