This article on Josh Fletcher was originally published in the March 2018 issue of Street Machine magazine
JOSH’S dad, Bill, is a Supercharged Outlaws veteran and former track champion; his step-mum, Suzanne, shares use of the 355ci Holden-powered Torana (which Josh has taken to a record seven Willowbank Street Series titles); and his twin brother, Dan (pictured above with Josh – Dan’s the one with hair!), is the crew chief on their dad’s car. Quite clearly, race fuel is thicker than water!
You’ve been racing at Willowbank for nearly 20 years, and yet you’re only 30?
Yeah, my dad has been racing there a long time. When we were kids, my brothers and I would be running around the pits and annoying everyone. It’s always been a family affair. I started racing Junior Dragsters when I was 11. My older brother, Ben, he raced Juniors first and then I inherited his car when he got too big for it. My twin brother, Dan, he started racing too, and also one of my step-brothers, Sam – we were running three cars for a little while there.
And you won a few titles?
In 2002, I won both the National Junior Dragster championship and the Willowbank track championship. I’ve won seven (Street Sedan) track championships in the Torana, and in 2015 I won the Supercharged Outlaw track championship.
So from Juniors, you went straight into racing the Torry?
Yep, I share the Torana with my step-mum. I originally got it to race myself but then she said: “There’s a class for females; can I drive it?” So she drives it as well; she’s won two championships.
Who’s got the quickest ET out of you?
I do! I can’t have my step-mum beating me; that wouldn’t be right. My PB is 10.79@124mph, which was about a year and a half ago. She has run a best of 10.90.
And what’s it like racing against your dad in Supercharged Outlaws?
There’s no better feeling than racing your dad, and my brother, Dan, is crew chief on Dad’s car, too. So it’s all fun and games until you put the helmet on; then it’s a different story! We just raced against each other in the final at Willowbank in January, but he beat me!
So Dad is still racing strongly?
Yeah, he’s 63 but he’s still as fit as a horse. He can outrun me! So while he’s still enjoying it and we can still afford it, he’s going to keep racing.
Has he still got a quicker PB than you?
He does, but his car has a bigger motor! I’ve got his old car and I’ve run the PB for that car, which was a 7.05@187mph. It’s running an 8/71-blown 361-cube small-block Chev.
Is it hard for a family to fund a race team?
Running two Supercharged Outlaws cars and the Torana does get expensive, but we have fantastic sponsors and we do a lot of the work in-house. That mentality all comes from Dad – I remember when we first driving Juniors, the deal was that we had to learn how to do all the work on the cars. And that’s how we do it now; we have some help and I get good advice from others, but we do the majority of the work ourselves. For instance, Dan is a boilermaker so he’s built all our trailers. It’s not a cheap sport, but you can do it on a budget.