Joe Godsey of Edinburgh began his racing career in 1994 running a Bomber car he built himself.
Then 20 years later he captured his first career track championship in the UMP Modified division at Brownstown Speedway in a car owned by Tony Stewart.
The Godsey name has been synonymous with winning in race cars. Joe’s grandfather, Ray Godsey Sr. of Bedford, began his racing career in the 1960s and is a member of the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame. Following in Ray’s footsteps are several family members who frequent the local racetracks each weekend.
Joe Godsey, who is 36 and works as a unit foreman for INDOT in Amity, is off to a terrific start to the 2015 racing season, scoring three feature wins at Twin Cities Raceway Park in Vernon including the last one on May 9. Godsey first drove for Stewart back in 2013 running about eight times for the three-time NASCAR Cup champ.
Last year, Godsey was in the ride full time and enjoyed an excellent season on his way to the track title at Brownstown.
“We have gotten off to a better start this year than last,” said the Lawrence County native, who moved to Edinburgh in 2007 to be crew chief for fellow racer Chad Stapleton. “We just try to go each week to have fun and get better. Tony has helped us out so much it’s unbelievable. It’s a Larry Shaw race car that Tony got back in 2009.”
“One night Tony won with it at Eldora, and then he brought it back to Steve Barnett’s race shop in Franklin. He and Steve drove it a few times, and then one time he asked me if I wanted to drive. I didn’t hesitate when he asked me. I said sure. If I am going to work on them, I wouldn’t mind driving it.”
When asked if it was difficult living up to the Godsey name, Joe said. “I have raced from Australia to North Carolina, and when they see that last name Godsey, they asked if I am related to Ray. I used to work on my grandfather’s race cars when I was 5 or 6 years old. I am proud of what he has done for me and the entire family on and off the track.
“He still goes to the races every week. He won a ton of races. I asked him once how many races did he win, and he said, ‘I am not sure, but I can tell you how many times I finished second.’ That just goes to show you how competitive he was, and that has continued on today with the rest of the family that race.”
Godsey’s sponsors on the No. 14 racer include Tony Stewart Racing, J.D. Byrider, Rush Truck Centers, Mobil 1 and Bass Pro Shops.
Godsey’s pit crew consists of Tony and Derrick Blair, Nick Gieseking and Anna and Grant Godsey. His wife, Abby, serves as the team manager.
Local racing results
Bloomington Speedway, May 8
Non-Wing Sprint feature: 1. Brady Short; 2. Nick Bilbee; 3. Casey Shuman; 4. Bradley Sterrett; 5. Michael Koontz.
Modified feature: 1. Derek Groomer; 2. Chad Combs; 3. Jeff Deckard; 4. Jake Humphrey; 5. Dustin Bruce.
Super Stock feature: 1. Tyler Cain; 2. Steve Peeden; 3. Steve Hollars; 4. Josh Turner; 5. Jason Hehman.
Hornet feature: 1. Austin Burton; 2. Gregg O’Neill; 3. Jeremy Smith; 4. Jake Bland; 5. Whitney Baldwin.
RaceSaver Sprint feature: 1. Eric Smith; 2. Ryan Tusing; 3. Kendall Ruble; 4. Luke Bland; 5. Zach Hamilton.
Twin Cities Raceway Park, May 9
Indiana Pro Late Models: 1. Skyller Lewis; 2. Remington Gill; 3. Joe Janowski; 4. Steve Barnett; 5. Dustin Shoulders.
Modified feature: 1. Joe Godsey; 2. Jacoby Hines; 3. Bryson Clark; 4. Greg Owens; 5. Billy Haager.
Super Stock feature: 1. Matt Boknecht; 2. Tyler Cain; 3. Troy Clark; 4. Josh Turner; 5. Colton Sullivan.
Pure Stock feature: 1. William Burton; 2. Ronnie Pardue; 3. Mark Bruce; 4. Willie Sallee; 5. Matt Wheeler.
Hornet feature: 1. Bill Grant; 2. Austin Burton; 3. Zach Burton; 4. Brian Moore; 5. Josh Neal.
Lawrenceburg Speedway, May 9
Non-Wing Sprint feature: 1. Thomas Meseraull; 2. Joss Moffatt; 3. Jarett Andretti; 4. Nick Bilbee; 5. Kyle Robbins.
Modified feature: 1. Matt Hamilton; 2. Joey Kramer; 3. David Spille; 4. Trent Green; 5. David Smith.
Pure Stock feature 1. Willy McRoberts; 2. Scott Hensley; 3. Houston Roark; 4. Chris Combs; 5. Scott Beeler.
Hornet feature: 1. Kendall Eberhart Jr.; 2. Dalton Smith; 3. Andrew Roark; 4. Tim Baird; 5. John Hampton.
Upcoming racing schedule
Brownstown Speedway, (812-358-5332)
Tonight: Super Late Models, Crate Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks and Hornets.
Twin Cities Raceway Park, (812-346-7223)
Tonight: Non-Wing Sprints, TQ Midgets, Mini-Sprints, Modifieds and Hornets.
Lawrenceburg Speedway, (812-539-4700)
Tonight: KISS/MSCS Sprints, Modifieds and Hornets.
Paragon Speedway, (765-537-2366)
Tonight: Non-Wing Sprints, Bombers, Super Stocks, Hornets, and Pure Stocks.
Bloomington Speedway, (812-824-7400)
Friday: KISS/MSCS Sprints, Modifieds, Super Stocks, Hornets and RaceSaver Sprints.