Joe Childs Collects Sportsman Championship

For a few months last season, Joe Childs felt as though he had lost his competitive edge because if he was on the tree, his car ran off, and if he missed the tree, his car ran on.

He fell behind in points, but when he and a friend discovered an issue with the car’s computer which was preventing the transmission from shifting properly and took steps to remedy it, his program began to turn around.

Soon, he earned a win at the Pontiac Nationals, two wins and a runner-up in Sportsman and went into the final points race of the season knowing he had a chance to earn the 2013 Sportsman championship if he played his cards right. He told himself he would remain cool, calm and collected and that he would accept whatever happened, but after the third round, when it became apparent that he would be the champion, he began celebrating and nearly forgot he had a race to finish in the ’99 Firebird he refers to as “bone-stock” that runs fifteens.

It marked his second Sportsman championship in a row, an accomplishment he said he was surprised about, in part because of the tough competition and the fact that he was pulling double-duty, as he also drives an ’01 Tram Am to high tens in the Pro class. He admits that juggling both can be a handful and that sometimes, while going down-track in one car, he catches himself thinking about what he’s going to dial in the other car.

At the track, he’s assisted by his dad, Gary; his wife, Heather and his stepson, Noah, who recently scored the winning touchdown that earned his elementary school team a championship, something that he said means even more to him than his own championship.

Away from the track, he’s a physical therapist assistant who also plays drums, collects baseball cards and considers his autographed Ken Griffey, Jr. cards to be among his most prized possessions.

By Mary Lendzion

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