Brandon Overton will has made the move to drive for Joey Coulter in 2019
Cover Photo: Mike Ruefer
Joey Coulter is putting Overton in his car and moving to Texas but he’s by no means hanging up his helmet
For 2019, Brandon Overton has made the move to Rum Runner Racing, a dirt late model team owned by Joey Coulter. He will drive the #2 machine with a mini #76 in the lower corner of the number.
The car made it’s debut in the opener for the Wild West Shootout in Arizona. The new driver/team combination opened with a top-5 result in their debut showing.
Joey Coulter, the former NASCAR driver, isn’t retiring. However, he will be dialing back on his own racing program as he and his family make the move to Texas.
The late model team owned by Joey Coulter will remain in North Carolina. Brandon Overton will be the new driver.
Joey Coulter talks the deal with Brandon Overton
How did you and Brandon Overton link up?
“The first time I ran on dirt was early 2012. I was down there crate racing at Screven Motor Speedway. At the time, my crew chief Harold was park of Wolf-Pack Racing. Brandon was a Wolfpack customer,” Joey Coulter told RacingNews.co .
“We pretty much just hit it off. Brandon came and got in my car and made sure there wasn’t nothing falling off of it. We just kept in touch ever since, about everywhere we’ve ever raced. If we’re at the same race track, we’ll park with each other. We’ve always shared notes and things like that.”
“It’s just one of those deals where we were buddies and real good competitors. When all this came up, there wasn’t a whole lot of driver shopping on our part. I went straight to him and said, ‘Look, this is a chance. If you’e going to come drive for us, now is the time to do it.’ “
Overton helped Coulter learn the traits of dirt racing
Is it fair to say that he kind of showed you the ropes of dirt racing?
“Oh yeah, for sure. He was definitely one of the big ones that did. Him and Randall Chubb. When I started, they were already working together with that Wolf-Pack deal.”
“He taught me a lot, still does. For whatever reason, we’ve always been able to communicate with each other really well.”
Between 2011-2014, Joey Coulter was running the NASCAR Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. In 91 truck starts, he collected 43 top-10 runs and a win at Pocono Raceway. He ran the full season in trucks all four years and came up with a series best of 3rd in the standings in 2012.
“That was the biggest problem I had. Coming from pavement, everything’s backwards. The vocabulary’s different. You have to talk about your car a totally different way.”
“Brandon, he would explain something to me and I could understand it. Then, we’d go change something.”
So, you could feel what was going on with the car. You just couldn’t necessary describe what was going on?
“Yeah. And a lot of the times, even if I did feel something, I didn’t know whether it was suppose to feel like that or not.”
“That first night there at Screven… Brandon got in the car, jumped out and said, ‘Man, this thing don’t have any brakes.’ They’re all looking at me like, ‘How come you didn’t say anything?’ I don’t know. They’re half the brakes I’m used to driving with anyways.”
“Racing in general is all about a 1-10 scale. I had a 1-10 from pavement racing that is completely useless. Between Brandon and Randall, right early on, they really helped me get that scale shifted over to dirt.”
No brakes at all? Was a cable cut or they just had air in them?
“They just had some air in them. It just didn’t stop as good as it should have.”
Joey Coulter isn’t retiring
Is this you pretty much stepping out of the drivers seat to still be in racing but more from a management side?
“Yes and no. I’m not by any means retiring, quitting or stepping aside. Those words are not in the dictionary at the moment.”
“The biggest reason is, my wife’s worked for Simpson for almost five years. She just got an opportunity to take a huge management position in their corporate office, which is in Texas.”
“We’d be the dumbest two people in the world if we didn’t make that jump. Just the logistics of that, it doesn’t make any sense. To spend all the extra money to fly me back and forth sixty times a year to go race.”
“It’s still a business.”
“We still gotta make money. At the end of the day, if we can get somebody like Brandon who can go out there and win those high-dollar races… We can get to the end of the year and feel like we didn’t just dump a whole dump truck of money off the side of a cliff.”
“It is a business decision. I have no plans to stop driving.”
Well, no racer does. So, you’ll still jump in the car every once in awhile?
“Oh yeah. Right now, I think we’re shooting for 10-20 races.”
Joey Coulter Racing in 2019
Will it be a separate car?
“That’s the thing, I’ve been in deals where you have a two car operation and somebody comes and drives the other car every once in awhile. It just always seems to not work out.”
“So, we’re going to try to operate it like two separate deals. That way, Brandon’s stuff is his stuff. They can go run. Then, we’ll have another car for me mess around in.”