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Northern Youngster Looks for Southern Success in 2019

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Sitting on the couch watching TV with his father, Joseph Costello II. asked his father to stop when he accidentally clicked through the channel showing the NASCAR race. He was three-years-old and began racing at five.

“I watched about 10 laps of that race, and I said, ‘I wanted to do this,’” Costello II. said.

The now 14-year-old has been full throttle ever since, transitioning to go-karts to racing dirt tracks in Pennsylvania.

A Mike Calinoff Generation Fast Development Driver will take the next step of his young budding career, moving to Legends cars 2019, after a successful debut this past Summer at Concord Motor Speedway. The new year will find him at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the prestigious Summer Shootout.

Additionally, he will race other southeast venues for a newly formed team, which will be announced in the forthcoming months.

“That’s going to be nerve-wracking for me with these new cars that I am driving right now,” he said. “I’ve got little to no experience in them, so little nervous going to a track that I’ve never run and know nothing about. But very excited to work with the guys, and possibly get a sponsor on the car to run full-time hopefully.”

Although he has competed on dirt as of late, his asphalt experience from go-karts and Slingshots could still help him.

“We’ve spent three years on dirt, and what I remember from asphalt is very little,” he said. “It’s going to be different as asphalt cars are set up very differently, as dirt cars slip in the corners while asphalt cars don’t, and there’s a lot of other differences that it’s hard to explain. If I remember my asphalt skills, I may have a good chance of getting in the top-10.”

Going into his new domain, Costello III is keeping his goals simple, hoping to keep the car in one piece and get more experience behind the wheel.

“Every day we get closure to the race, the pressure builds up a little bit,” he said. “No experience at Charlotte Motor Speedway, just a little at Concord. So since I’m just starting to learn how to drive a Legend car, it’ll be interesting to see how these cars handle at Charlotte and hopefully, we can keep the car in one piece, and get a good finish in it.”

Mike Calinoff, the former NASCAR Championship Spotter, owns Generation Fast — a driver development company geared to help up-and-coming racers forge a career path. Calinoff is high on his new driver.

“What I really like about Joseph is the way he thinks,” said Calinoff. “He approaches each level with a cautiously optimistic mindset; he knows his initial limitations, embraces them and then executes. That’s what makes champions.”

If he is able to put together a strong performance, it will certainly help towards the future as he hopes to move up the racing ranks – with Late Models being his next step.

“We’re going to test him (in the late models) regardless,” said Calinoff, “I’m confident that he can transition well to the bigger cars. The tell-tale will be the funding for those cars. But we have time to make that happen as well.”

Joseph will launch his website in the coming weeks. Check back at Popular Speed for the announcement.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.