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Meyer ready for a change of racing luck

Larry Woody • May 19, 2017 at 8:30 AM

If the racing team of Mt. Juliet driver Joseph Meyer had a theme song, it probably would be a version of the mournful old Hee Haw melody:

If it weren't for bad luck, he'd have no luck at all.

"My goal this season? Just to have a little good luck for a change," says Joseph, who kicked off the season earlier this spring at Fairgrounds Speedway with a 17th-place finish in the Super Late Model 100.

Joseph started at the back of the field, worked his way into the middle of the pack, but could advance no further.

"Blame it on the crew chief -- that's me," said Joseph's dad Joe. "I tried to do some things with the car that didn't work. I messed it up."

Joe has been involved in stock car racing since the early 1970's, primarily as mechanic and crew chief. He knows that streaks of bad luck are part of the sport, and reminds his son that luck tends to run in cycles.

"We're due for things to turn around," he said. "In fact we're overdue."

Joseph, 30, is an engineer, a graduate of Mt. Juliet High and Tennessee Tech University. He stated racing in the Mini-Cup Series at 14 and has been involved in the sport ever since on a limited basis.

"I enjoy racing, but it can be frustrating," he said. “I know we’re capable of doing better than the result show, and that’s where the frustration comes in.

"But we're not giving up,” he adds. “We're building a new car that we will run some out-of-state this year, in addition to running the All-American 400 at Nashville."

If Joseph needs inspiration he can look to Sterling Marlin, who let the Meyers use his Columbia racing shop while theirs in Mt. Juliet was being renovated. Sterling ran 278 NASCAR Cup races over 18 years before finally winning one -- the Daytona 500, the premier racing in NASCAR. Then he came back the next year and won Daytona again.

"Sterling is the greatest guy in the world," Joe said. "He'll do anything for you. We really appreciate his help."

Joseph takes a realistic approach to his racing struggles. He knows that when he enters an upper-level event like the Fairgrounds regional race he is up against some stiff competition.

"A lot of those cars come from North Carolina where they have NASCAR Cup backing," he said. "When you're racing part-time against a car backed by someone like Kyle Busch, it's pretty tough."

Not that he's complaining.

"The only way to get better is to race against people better than you," he said. "It makes you work harder. That's what I hope to get out of the races I plan to run at Huntsville, Ala., and Anderson, Ind., this season."

Joseph is not discouraged by the bumps in the road.

"We'll keep working," he said. "This run of bad luck can't last. We just need a couple of good finishes to turn things around."

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Fairgrounds: The Fairgrounds is running a limited schedule of races through the spring and summer. Information about times and tickets is posted on the track's website.

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Highland Rim: Lebanon's Hunter Wright leads the championship standings in the Legends Series at Highland Rim Speedway.

The Ridgetop track runs every Saturday. Visit the track's website for information about times, tickets and point standings.

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Superspeedway: After some interest was reported earlier this year from an anonymous party, there has been no further progress in finding an operator for idle Nashville Superspeedway.

Most of the surrounding Gladeville property is scheduled for industrial development, but the fate of the multi-million-dollar racetrack remains in limbo.

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