By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer
For the first time since 2016, Josh White will fill the cockpit of a racing machine.
Following a lengthy break from the race seat, White has signed a three-race deal with Clubb Racing Inc. in the 2022 ARCA Menards Series season.
His first start will come on NASCAR’s home turf of Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 27 followed by the Illinois State Fairgrounds on August 21 and Bristol Motor Speedway on September 15. Additional races are dependent on sponsorship.
Meeting with team owner/driver Alex Clubb in 2020, White, 30, sparked up conversations to link up a deal to return to racing.
“Him and I always knew about each other and I considered him a friend,” White told Kickin’ The Tires. “I’ve learned a lot about his team. I feel that it’s a good fit because we’re both low-budget guys trying to make it. I feel that it’s a great partnership because we can be honest with each other and work towards our goals.”
Honesty has been a tent pole for White in his journeyman racing career. Beginning in Charleston, West Virginia, U.S. Marine Corps. Veteran White eventually made his ARCA debut in 2013 followed by a majority schedule in 2015, starting 17 of the 20 races that year for team owner and Vietnam veteran Wayne Hixson.
But struggles have always been a part of the ride, as a lack of funding resulted in start-and-park races throughout his ARCA career.
In 2016, White got a career-high opportunity by Jennifer Jo Cobb to make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Martinsville Speedway. By starting the race, White became the first U.S. Marine to start a NASCAR national series race since 1966.
The life-changing weekend, however, stood as his last behind the wheel. And in the five years since, the hard work to return was followed by personal and professional awakenings that have White ready to impress with Clubb Racing.
“In the last five years I haven’t stopped. I haven’t given up,” he said. “I’ve tried about everything and little did I know, I should have been looking in my own backyard. It’s easy to look up to and go after the big boys, the big teams, the big companies. But, it was another thing entirely to connect with people a little more on my level and I’ve found that’s where my success is going to be.”
The scheduled races couldn’t come with more variety: A 1.5-mile oval, a dirt track and a half-mile short track. For White, he looks forward to knocking the rust off.
“Those three tracks give me a good chance to get seat time on different tracks to get back into the groove,” he said. “I haven’t been in the driver’s seat for a long time and we are looking to learn and improve however we can.
“We’re not looking to go out and break records and win races just yet. I’ve been honest with my sponsors and they are expecting the same. Just clean finishes.”