Day Motor Sports Driver Profile: Josh Baucom off to fast start in Limited Modifieds

BENTON, Louisiana — When you compete against the best racers around in one of this nation’s most competitive regions, winning features on a regular basis can be a daunting task. Take more than a passing glance at the Ark-La-Tex area’s Limited Modified ranks, and you’ll understand the challenge. 

For 36-year-old veteran racer Josh Baucom, this ultra-competitive division is the ideal arena to show his skills. Last year, he won two features, earned 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 21 starts. Last weekend, he carried that momentum into this season with a solid top-five run at Boothill Speedway. 

“I feel pretty good about this year after that strong start last Saturday,” Baucom said. “Obviously, we improved our program last season, we got a little bit better as the year went on. As long as we’ve been doing this, top fives are great – but we go out there to win. It’s kind of disappointing when you don’t. 

“So we’re pleased with that effort last week, but of course will be looking to improve that by a few positions next time out. We learned a ton last year, gained some momentum, and now the plan is to keep her rolling forward. Thing is, everybody else has stepped it up big-time, as well. It’s not easy.” 

Now in his 20th year on the ovals, Baucom has driven just about every type of race car ever made. 

“I started out back in 2004 when I bought a Mini Stock,” he explained. “It’s gone now, but it was a nice little rear-wheel-drive, entry-level four-cylinder division. They got cut after I ran one year, so I bought a Limited and pieced that thing together. I was a kid fresh out of High School; paying for everything. 

“We made it work, and progressively got better. I ran that car until about 2016 or 2017, but at the time was looking for a change. So I sold the Limited, and ended up buying a Pro Mod. That’s a three-link Modified on a slick tire down here. I got into that class just because it kind of sparked my interest.

“I had that Pro Mod about three years or so, then went out and bought a Crate Late Model. I ran it for a few nights one season, and I knew right off the bat a fella needed way deeper pockets than mine to be anywhere close to competitive in that class. So I sold it, and got back into the Limited Modified deal.”

After all of that bouncing around, this Shreveport Super Ball landed in a place he could call home. 

“I ended up trashing that first Limited; so I built me another one. I eventually sold it, and now have this B Mod deal going. I also drove a Modified for Mike Washburn a few years ago for a few nights; that’s kind of what sparked my decision to get out of the stock-framed stuff, and into an actual race car.

“So I think I have Mitchell to thank for that. Once you sit in a four-link Modified, or even a Crate Late, just something that’s not a stock-frame car, it just drives different. I kind of got acclimated to that feel. So when they decided to incorporate the three-link B Mods into our area, I gladly jumped right into it.” 

As we mentioned earlier, the level of competition Baucom faces in his region is as intense as it gets. 

“With the level of talent we have around here, it’s super hard just to finish inside the top 10,” he said. “In fact, that top-five we had last weekend was really good, so I’m not taking anything away from that accomplishment. You’ve got to have a very good night just to make the show these days at Boothill.” 

When Baucom puts on his safety suit and gets ready to race, he straps into an older yet nice machine. 

“This is actually a 2014 GRT chassis here in my shop,” he explained. “We’ve gone all through it; I’d say updated but that word is overused these days. I’ll just say it’s been rebuilt and reworked to the point where it’s very competitive and comfortable to drive. For being a decade old, it’s a very solid race car. 

“It’s powered by a motor from PTS that only has about six nights on it. I bought a fresh one halfway through last year, so we’re good to go on power. When the setup is right on the car, she motors along pretty well. A strong engine in an older but still very competitive chassis works just fine for me.” 

Along with his two decades of experience and capable race car, Baucom has several valued supporters. 

“I want to thank Jeffrey Beshea with Beshea Logging; Brad Couch with RV Auto and Collision Repair; Dominator Race Cars, Brandon Buhler with Total Custom Carbs and Dyno; Troy Keith with The Dent Pro Plus; and PTS Race Engines. I couldn’t do this without them.” 

With the new season now officially under way, Baucom has sights set squarely on Victory Lane. 

“Obviously, we want to win all of the races that we can,” he said. “But as long as I can tote my family around to the race tracks, I’ll be happy. As long as we can home back home with a smile on our faces, I think everything is going to be good. 

“We’ve got several races planned for the Pro Mod, and I’ve going to run my Limited as much as we can when time allows. We hope to be at all of the B Mod shows for sure, and hope to just be at a track somewhere every weekend. It’s what we do, and we try to get good results while having a good time.”

By Phil Whipple, Staff Writer
Photo by Chaz Brzeski