Beyond the Track: Justin Bosch

Without a doubt, Team Penske haulers turn heads throughout the country. (Photo provided by Justin Bosch.)

Drivers. Spotters. Crew chiefs. Pit Crew members. These are all jobs that come to mind when one speaks about NASCAR. Certainly, these folks are on the front lines. This Beyond the Track series will introduce you to a handful of the countless people that play a unique role in bringing NASCAR to the track and TV week in and week out.

Meet Justin Bosch: Team Penske Hauler Driver

While he is currently the Hauler Driver for Ryan Blaney, Justin Bosch has driven for all three Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series drivers in his eight-year tenure with the organization. His time behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler also includes a stint with Team Penske’s IndyCar Series.

Growing up in Miami, Florida, NASCAR wasn’t high on Bosch’s radar. However, through his father’s co-worker, he fell in love with fast cars after the untimely passing of Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

 

Bosch’s Unique path

Originally, Bosch had his eyes set on being a tire changer. After serving our country in the military, he moved to his family’s mountain home in North Carolina. There, he drove 170 miles each day in order to go to school and follow his dream.

Bosch had acquired his CDL license while working for his father’s landscaping company. So in addition to working as a tire changer, he spent time driving haulers for various Late Model, ARCA, and NASCAR Truck series teams.

A neighbor learned that Team Penske was looking to hire a hauler driver and Bosch applied for the position. 

 

IndyCar to NASCAR

Once hired by Team Penske in 2012, Bosch began his hauler driving career with the IndyCar Series. At the conclusion of the 2015 and 2016 IndyCar seasons, Bosch shifted gears and assisted the Cup Series teams in the NASCAR Playoffs. He drove first for Joey Logano’s team and then Brad Keselowski’s.

Additionally, in 2015, he had the opportunity to serve as the air jack crew member when Juan Pablo Montoya was victorious in that season’s Indianapolis 500.

In 2017, Bosch was brought on as the full-time hauler driver for Logano’s team. He spent half of the next season with Blaney’s team, but mid-season was shifted back to Logano’s team. This worked out in his favor as he was fortunate enough to celebrate Logano’s 2018 championship run with the No. 22 team.

A memorable night for Justin Bosch celebrating Joey Logano’s 2018 NASCAR Cup Series championship. (Photo provided by Justin Bosch.)

The 2019 season saw a return to Logano’s team, but the 2020 crew swap within Team Penske shifted him back to Blaney’s team. 

Shop to Track to Shop

The week of a NASCAR hauler driver is busy, to say the least. Bosch shared that Monday and Tuesday typically make up their weekends. Obviously, with the current situation and shortened time at the track, their timeline has slightly changed. However, he was kind enough to share what goes into their work week during a normal season.

Being a hauler driver means long days but beautiful sights traveling throughout the country. (Photo provided by Justin Bosch.)

Pre-Race Preparations

Wednesday begins the week as a turnaround day. This means he and his co-driver go through their hauler to restock parts and consumables on the truck. Additionally, they remove and add parts and pieces that may or may not be needed from one weekend to the next. 

Unless it is a West coast race, teams typically leave the shop mid-afternoon on Wednesday. From there, it is a straight drive to the track. 

Prior to parking the hauler on Thursday evenings, they take time to wash and shine up the big rig, making it “Penske-esque.”

After that, Bosch and his co-driver unload the hauler and set up the garage so the next day is smooth sailing. This setup includes, but is not limited to, getting the toolboxes and mechanic cart ready. Additionally, at the hauler, they set out carpets for a more professional appearance, and coffee makers, as well as snacks and goodies for quick, on-the-go fuel for team members.

Lastly, the observation deck is set in place on top of the hauler. This deck stays in place through practice and qualifying sessions for crew chiefs and team owners to have a bird’s eye view of their drivers and cars. 

 

Practice & Qualifying

During these pre-race sessions, Bosch is still busy working hard with the crew members. After getting the car through technical inspection, he runs fuel or the cooldown units during mock qualifying runs. 

Additionally, he is willing and ready to jack the car, pull off tires, or lend a hand with the mechanics if needed – whatever it takes to allow his driver to “get more practice time on track.”

Once qualifying is complete, Bosch takes down the observation deck and begins to tidy the hauler for transportation back to Mooresville, North Carolina. 

Justin Bosch is always at the ready to help where needed at the track. (Photo provided by Justin Bosch.)

Race Day

Race day brings more preparations to hit the road post-race. Bosch and his co-driver will clean up the garage area, leaving jacks and jack stands in the event Blaney needs mid-race maintenance. During the race, his co-driver works with the fueler, handing the gas can over the wall. 

After the checkered flag, Bosch assists the crew in strapping down the car. This is to ensure it is done to the liking of the hauler drivers. 

They get cleaned up in the track restrooms and hit the road back to Team Penske. Once arriving, they unload the car for the mechanics to arrive the next day.

 

West Coast

Trips out west are admittedly a beast of their own. These trips can take upwards of 46 hours and require a great deal of coordination and planning. 

For these cross-country travels, teams leave around lunchtime on Tuesdays and travel nearly non-stop, stopping only for fuel and mandatory breaks each shift. 

 

Work Continues in the Off-Season

The entire off-season is devoted to preparing for the upcoming season. Bosch and the other Team Penske hauler drivers are hard at work each day. They start by unloading the entire hauler. Doing this allows them to heavily inspect all parts and pieces, repairing and replacing as needed, and painting or powder coating for a clean, fresh finish.

In January, the exterior hauler maintenance begins. Bosch shared that the most time-intensive part is waxing the haulers from top to bottom. This takes a two-man crew upwards of two weeks, putting in 8-9 hour days. This detail is saved for last so the haulers are not subject to the elements throughout winter. 

Countless hours of work goes into making sure the haulers are eye-catching, but cars and equipment arrive at the track safely. (Photo provided by Justin Bosch.)

 

“When you enjoy it, it’s fun!”

No doubt, Bosch has a unique job. He admits the time away from family is the most difficult aspect, and that when it comes to the road crew, they are “gone the most.” But, he knew what was in the cards when he joined turned his focus to working within motorsports. 

He confessed that “when the world stood still” this spring with the COVID pandemic and he was able to spend weeks at home with his family, it made him appreciate the time he is home all the more. 

When asked to share the best part of his job, Bosch was unable to narrow it down to one thing. 

It is obvious he takes great pride in the fact that his hauler turns heads as he travels down the road. He said, “Penske equipment is noticeable. Everyone knows we have the best and we take care of it. ”

Laughing, he reminisced on the many times he has seen folks in their cars taking pictures of the hauler as they traversed down the road. He admitted that as long as his co-driver isn’t sleeping, he will always honk the horn for kids, and sometimes adults, that drive by, pumping their arms.

Bosch closed with, “I get to do what I want to do!” 

 

Keep your eyes peeled the next time NASCAR is near your town. You just might see Bosch behind the wheel, making sure the Team Penske cars get to their destination safely. 

In the meantime, feel free to follow Justin on Twitter as he often posts pictures from his time at the track.

Thank you to Justin Bosch, Ian Moye, and Team Penske for making this behind the scenes feature happen! I hope our readers enjoyed learning more about the role of a NASCAR hauler driver. 

Terra Jones

As a life-long NASCAR fan and lover of words, I'm fortunate enough to put the two together here at The Podium Finish to bring our readers and motorsports fans news, features, and interviews from the world of wheels. Originally from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, I moved westward to graduate from Middle Tennessee State University. I now reside in central North Carolina with my husband, our three boys, and our dog, Charlotte. While my heart is at the race track, I also enjoy watching baseball, as well as college football and basketball. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com