At 28 years old, Josh Weller will start his eleventh season of sprint car racing and he’s more excited about 2014 then any prior season.
Known as “The Wild Child,” the native of Mertztown, Pa., has firmly landed in the seat of the Eldreth Construction 360 sprint car, the 2013 Rislone URC Sprint Series championship winning ride owned by Kenny Eldreth.
“We’re excited about the team and our goal is to go out and win races and hopefully, the championship will follow,” Weller said. “I really what to get Kenny back-to-back URC owner titles.”
Weller has been racing a long time, starting in quarter midgets in 1994. He earned the nickname “The Wild Child” on his way to some 86 victories. He advanced into micro-sprints where he enjoyed success and in 2003 he moved into 360 sprint cars with URC. That year, Weller was URC’s Rookie of the Year.
Weller has six URC 360 sprint victories and his talent was further demonstrated by winning 360 sprint features with ASCS and the USCS sprint car tours.
“The deal with Kenny Eldreth came to be fairly quick. We knew Kenny and well, he’s a good person with high integrity and honestly, I just want to win races for this guy,” said Weller.
Weller is a quiet, a rather reserve kind of guy, but when you get him talking about Kenny Eldreth and the coming Rislone URC Series, he begins turning more RPM’s then his 360 sprint car motor. With this energy and excitement, they very well will could make them the team to beat.
For Weller, this is also a lot about family. His wife (Tina) and daughter (Aubrey) are with him at all the races. His parents, Rick and Kim, are a big part of the team as well. Weller’s dad Rick, the long-time chief mechanic for the team, will again be the set-up man for the Eldreth Construction KramerKraft No. 25 sprint car. Joining Eldreth Construction as a team sponsor is Assured Automation, a New Jersey based business that handles automated valves and equipment.
The Rislone URC Sprint Series schedule features 25 race dates with many shows in Central Pennsylvania at the race tracks all sprint car drivers want to compete at. Williams Grove, Lincoln, Selinsgrove and Port Royal are all firmly planted in the URC schedule.
“My favorite track is Grandview. It’s a drivers’ race track and you can make or break your own night,” Weller said. “You don’t always need the best equipment, but at Grandview you need to have it running at the end of the race.”
Weller is known for his come from behind style. No matter how far back he starts, he somehow makes his way to the front by the end of race. In 2013, he earned the most hard charger bonus awards and one night, between the heat and the feature, he actually passed a total of 40 cars.
“We set our car up for the end of the race and let the track come to the car. As for the driver, I need to be strong the entire race, up on the wheel and you must just keep digging your way to the front, something I learned from racing the 410 sprints,” said Weller.
URC has several Super Series events on the schedule, facing off with some of the best sprint car drivers in Central Pennsylvania.
“For the Super Series races, we have to step up our program, it’s tough and we need to be on our game and they need to be off,” Weller said. “The competition at these shows are guys like Robbie Stillwaggon, Davie Franek, Chuck Hebing, Pat Cannon, Mark Smith and Blane Heimbach.”
So out of the gate, at the first green flag, the team of Weller and Eldreth plan to be a dominant force and they are very optimistic about 2014.