Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Making the Grade...Josh Cartwright.

We've all heard it. When you grow up, you can be whatever you want to be. Whether it's go to a major university to pursue a career or become a professional athlete. Many kids grow into young men chasing a dream. 

Some kids choose both and are willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to prove to the world they have something special. For Josh Cartwright this has been the goal from the start. 

At 4 years old, Josh would start riding and like most he dreamed of racing under the lights. He wouldn't have to wait long. At just 8 years old one dream would be reached when he took on the KTM Jr. Supercross Challenge in Arlington, Texas. He'd continue through childhood with a successful amateur career. Between 2002 and 2014 Josh made 11 trips to the Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Tennessee to compete at the highest level.

Hard work pays off in big ways and in 2013 Josh would earn himself a championship in the College B/C 16-24 class. Ironically it'd be the same year he'd graduate high school and look at a future as a college student. His eyes were set on Florida State University.

In August of 2013 Josh made the move to Tallahassee to begin not only his collegiate journey but his push to become a professional supercross racer.

After one more year in the amateur ranks and points needed to obtain a professional supercross license, Josh would take to the tight confines of Amsoil Arenacross and land himself the help of Junior Jackson's ThermoTec Yamaha team. The racing in Arenacross is tight and technical. "My father compared it to trying to have a knife fight in a phone booth." Something that Josh says prepared him for the intensity of supercross.  He would earn his points and supercross would come full circle as he made his 250 class debut under the lights in Arlington. 

Tasting the first step of success wouldn't take long as Josh would make the main event when the series made its second stop in Atlanta in 2015. It'd be his only main event of the season and the 3 points earned would put him 32nd overall in the 250 East Championship. Josh wanted more. He'd then leave the familiarity of GPF (Georgia Practice Facility) and take an opportunity at a place simply known as "The Farm." The stomping grounds of the G.O.A.T., Ricky Carmichael would now become the training facility for Josh to take his racing to the next level. 

Heading into the 2016 season opener in Atlanta the starts were on point and Josh was feeling confident with his speed through the whoops. The number 519 qualified for the night show but struggled through the night and missed out on the main event. He'd head back to The Farm to focus on the following Daytona race. The work would pay off as Josh held off a hard charging Jimmy Albertson to take the final heat race transfer to the main event. Josh would land a spot on the BLUE Buffalo/Slater Skins/YAMAHA team as the series headed to Toronto. After qualifying 20th he'd just miss transferring from his heat but a 2nd in the LCQ sent him on to finish a career best 15th in the main event. 

Josh looks forward to consistently making main events and proving himself to be a top 15 guy. He leads a unique lifestyle. The life of a busy college kid and that of a professional supercross racer. He says its the bike that eliminates the stress. "Everything else goes away and I am in my own little world." 

Josh is sponsored by: Blue Buffalo, Slater Skins, Yamaha, Lake Hill Motors, FXR, FMF, Bell Helmets, Scott Goggles, Sandboxkings, Nihilo, Pro Taper, No Toil, Atlas Brace, Factory Connection, MX Culture, Alpinestars, Dunlop, Wiseco, Crank Works, UFO plastics, TLR, Motoseat, Galfer and Excel.

Driven by family who support Josh's every decision keeps him grateful and humble for the opportunities in his life. "I would not be here if it weren't for them." It's not just his Mom and Dad, but friends Blair Miller and Kyle Dangler who help at races and Rion who preps the track, along with Jeanie and Big Rick Carmichael. "Most people don't realize how much effort the riders put in for training, on and off the motorcycle." 

When it comes to effort Josh Carwright is a guy who gives it all. He's making the grade in the classroom and on the track. It's amazing the drive and determination one can have when they have the voices and determination to achieve every goal they set for themselves. 

#cheerprivateer for the 519 of Josh Cartwright.

Follow Josh on Instagram @jcartwrights519

-Kyle Pesci

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