Tomlin brings home national race circuit win
One local man is making National news and fulfilling a childhood dream simply by winning races. Josh Tomlin, Attorney at law at The Law Office of Josh Tomlin, LLC in Caruthersville starting racing go karts in 1993 when he was only 5 years old. He had always watched his dad, Randy Tomlin, race and wanted in on the action. He continued racing for the next 5 years until he decided to pursue basketball and baseball.
After his high school graduation in 2007, he began to miss competitive sports and talked his dad into getting a race car. By 2009, he was back behind the wheel.
Early in this years season they struggled getting out of the gate. By March, they had turned their luck around with their first win on March 18 in Columbus, Mississippi. “From there, we picked off a few more wins and it kind of sank in that we were pretty good,” said Tomlin. “After 8 or 10 wins, someone pointed out that we were in the top 10 in national points so we decided to go for it. From that point forward we had one goal and that was to win the national title. We spent 26 weekends straight on the road traveling. Sometimes racing 3 and 4 days in a row.”
Racing in a national circuit means a lot of travel. To be eligible for the Nesmith National points standings racers must compete at tracks that are sponsored by the series. The closest track is two hours away in Camden, Tennessee. Tomlin spent most of his summer traveling Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama. Finding themselves in Louisiana on more than one occasion and overall competing in five different states at 17 different tracks.
While the driver plays an important role in winning races, Tomlin realizes it is not a one man show. The team is owned and funded by his father, Randy, his car builder Race McMahon of Forward Race Cars out of Mount Vernon, Illinois and his crew chief Darrell Beckham, each plays a vital role in their winning ways.
To say the least, racing is an expensive hobby. To be competitive it takes not only hard work and a great supporting team but funds as well. Tomlin was blessed to have everything he needed to do his best on and off the track. “I am very fortunate, I had my dad, as well as sponsorships and I also had a great crew chief. Darrell is probably the hardest worker I have ever seen,” says Tomlin.
He thanks his many sponsors for their support this season, Tomlin Transportation of Hayti, First State Bank and Trust, R & P Oil Company, Irions Seed, Rick Young, Forward Race Cars, Terry’s Auto Repair, Ellington Insurance, Parish Farms, Modern Fabrication, KBC Graphix, Dennis’ Barber Ship and Oliver Race Engines. Without each and every one of these businesses and individuals, Tomlin says it would not be possible to do what they do. But at the top of the stack is always his father. “Dad has supported me throughout the years not only financially but by going everywhere with me when he could have been doing other things.”
His father had much to be proud of this year as Tomlin ended the season with a perfect score of 700. He explains they take your best 14 finishes for the year. “We had 26 wins total so it sounds like we had it wrapped up pretty early but that wasn’t the case. You only get credit for one win per weekend. We had several weekends where we would capture two or three wins in a weekend but we could only use one. So the others were thrown out unless there was a tie between myself and another driver. That actually happened. Chad Winkles and I both had a perfect score of 700, which was 14 wins. The tie breaker came down to total wins and I won because of my 26 wins total.”
So what does it feel like to be from the little town in Hayti yet be named to the national honor of the 2017 Nesmith Street Stock National Champion? “It’s pretty neat to be from the Bootheel of Missouri and win something like this, especially considering how much traveling we did to get it done. Lots of other drivers are from similar small towns but racing is kind of a thing of the past here so it makes me proud to be able to represent my hometown on such a big stage,” said Tomlin.
Tomlin shares that winning is what keeps him racing. Competitive by nature he loves to work hard and push forward to win and be successful. “There was a lot of hard work and a lot of lost sleep over the past 7 or 8 months,” he says. “I would be lying if I said that it would be fun even if we were losing. But I do enjoy the people we meet. I have met some really great people and made some lifelong friends. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Most importantly though, it’s always worth it when you make your loved ones proud. Seeing my dad’s face light up after winning or doing something to make him proud is about as good as anything you could ask for.”
Life is hectic for this young man as he works full time while traveling and racing. “Darrell Beckham works full time on my cars and without that I wouldn’t be able to do it. Between going to school over the years and now working my own job, I don’t have much time to spend in the shop. He makes it easy on me,” says Tomlin. In December of 2016 Tomlin graduated from law school and immediately opened his own law firm. There, he has a general practice where he handles a wide variety of cases. Those who know him say his winning and competitive ways are not just limited to the track but carry over to the courtroom as well. Watch for Tomlin to continue to bring home the wins as he furthers the legacy passed on from his dad.