Making his debut in TC America this season, Joey Essma had a top 5 finish during the season opener at COTA in TCA. He is running the #22 Subaru BRZ tS with TechSport Racing. Get to know Joey better on this week's Driver Download.
Team: TechSport Racing
Car: Subaru BRZ tS
Hometown: Browns Summit, North Carolina
Birthday: May 21
Favorite Track: Road America
Daily Driver: ’15 Scion xB
Dream Car: R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R
Racing Hero: Michael Andretti
Favorite Food: Sushi
Favorite Hobby: Wrenching on cars!
Occupation: Race Engineer
Favorite Vacation Spot: Sanibel Island, Florida
Pets names: Spoopy & Huck (ferrets)
First Car: ’12 Scion xB
Favorite Movie: Fight Club
Favorite TV Show: Peaky Blinders
How was the season opener at COTA?
COTA was a lot of fun! It was my first time at the track, so it was a big learning experience. Especially with it being my first race in the series. But I really enjoyed how aggressive everyone raced and look forward to getting back in the car. This time with a working right rear shock! We had a blown shock at COTA, and that hurt me a bit, but we’ll be back strong at VIR!
How did you get into racing?
My dad has worked in racing all his life and bought a kart for my brother and I when I was 5. I’ve been into racing ever since!
What is your favorite racing memory?
I have a lot of great memories running ChampCar with our crew, we’ve had lots of interesting experiences! However, I think a memory that really stands out is winning the F1600 race at Road Atlanta in the rain. I had a back and forth battle with another driver all race and pulled the final move into turn 10 to seal the deal.
What’s the story behind your helmet design?
The orange stripe going up the side forms a “J”, and that same orange strip along with the white stripe and the green between the two colors forms an “E”, so my initials. The rest I just filled in to complete the design. I designed it myself and spent a few months on it!
Something interesting about you or a hidden talent?
I enjoy photography.
If you could invite 3 people to dinner who would it be and why?
Ayrton Senna- great racing advice, great stories!
Dan Sommer (Hoonigan)- he’s my cousin, he’s got great stories, he’s a talented fabricator and driver
Michael Andretti- He was my favorite driver when I was a kid and would love to catch up with him again
You just finished your college degree, tell us what it is and how it relates to your racing or how it has helped your racing career or vice versa?
I just graduated from UNC Charlotte with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. I’ve had a lot of exposure to engineering, fabrication, etc. through my dad, so mechanical engineering just made sense. It really reinforced everything he’s taught me. I know that whatever happens, I want to be involved in racing. Mechanical Engineering will help me do that. It also helps me understand more about what the car is doing so I’m able to give better feedback to the team!