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Former Gator picks up win at Swainsboro

Despite his young age, Joshua Bishop is a force to be reckoned with in the local racing scene. In the past two weeks, the former Bulloch Academy athletic standout recently placed in the top five in three different races.
    On July 24, Bishop, 18, finished fourth at the Swainsboro Raceway in the Zaxby’s Crate Late Model division. He followed that performance with a second place finish at the Ray Cook/Schaeffer’s Southern Nationals Series Late Model Race at Modoc Raceway.
    Bishop saved one of his best performances for last by winning the Zaxby’s Crate Late Model division at the Swainsboro Raceway Aug. 1.
    “If you don’t win, then you’re not having fun,” said Bishop as he got ready for yet another race at Swainsboro Saturday night. “I definitely earned some respect. You can only gain so much respect if you don’t win anymore.”
    Although Bishop didn’t win the pole for last Saturday’s race at Swainsboro, the former Gator fought for the lead. Bishop said he was able to drive hard into the corners, giving him the edge over his competition.
    A little bit of bad weather over the course of the week played right into Bishop’s hand.
    “It rained a good bit last week and then during the race, the clouds covered up the track. Whenever it’s cloudy it keeps the moisture in the track and gives it a bit more grip,” explained Bishop. “The weather played a big part.”
    Bishop said he continues to work hard to earn the respect of his peers and fellow drivers, but admitted it can be challenging without the right amount of backing.
    Bishop, who’s sponsored by Pope Construction, Kennedy’s Heating and Air and Benton Metal Depot, said after his first place win at Swainsboro other competitors began to take notice.
    “Some of them came up to me and would tell me ‘hey good job,’ or ‘hey nice race,’ and I knew then that I started gaining some respect,” Bishop said. “It’s all thanks to my sponsors Pope Construction, Kennedy’s Heating and Air and Benton Metal Depot. It’s huge because if you’re not backed by sponsors then there’s no way we could compete against the other guys.”
    For now, Bishop is focused on taking it one race at a time and getting better at perfecting his craft. However, one day Bishop said he hopes to drive in the super late model division.
    Bishop will start attending Georgia College in the fall.

    Horace Holloman may be reached at (912) 489-9408.