Story by Dick Hildebrand
JOSH INDIG, 21, considers himself a very fortunate individual. Blessed with an analytical mind and an innate ability to race cars, the Belle River native is realizing a childhood dream and his future looks bright.
He’s been racing Legends cars since he was 13 and in his words, “When I started, the only way you could be eligible for the series was to have had previous racing experience of some kind.” Well, Josh was at the right place at the right time, since he had been racing go-karts for years. He successfully completed a drivers’ aptitude test that proved he was competent enough to be on the track with the rest of the competitors.
In 2011 he ran in the Michigan Legends series and it was “very daunting. Every weekend there were 30 to 35 seasoned veterans at the track, some with upwards of 10 years experience. In my first race I got lapped twice and I was really slow…there were so many things I was worried about.” In race two, Josh was only lapped once. In the next race, the young phenom finished in the lead lap! The following year, Josh drove in 8 events, mostly in Canada, and took the checkered flag for the first time in Grand Bend. He completed the season with several second place finishes.
Unfortunately, health issues virtually sidelined the young racer for the next two seasons. “I was in high school and had collapsed lung issues,” he says, “in fact I had five episodes over a two year period. And racing wasn’t the cause. It could happen while I was sitting in class, or lying in bed…all random.” He did a bit of racing during the off-period, but heeded his doctor’s advice and avoided strenuous activity. Even then, he was still named Canadian Legends Cars Young Lions national champion in 2014. The following year, he returned to the sport full-tiome.
Josh’s love of motor sports began at the age of 4 after his father, Rob, head of the B.O.S. Auto Group in Belle River and a former Super Late Model racer, took his young son to the Glass City 200 at the Toledo Speedway. That was all it took…the young guy was hooked and by the time he was 5, he was driving his first go-kart around empty parking lots. At age 7, his father bought him his first racing kart. Before long, Josh was leaving his mark at local tracks. In his first year of competition in 2008, Josh was named Sun Parlor Karting Club ‘Rookie of the Year’ in Leamington. As he moved up the ranking ladder, he won two feature races in his first two Ontario Junior Rotax Go-Karting starts and twice was the Point Pelee Karting championship runner-up.
After six years of Karting, the team made the move to the travelling INEX sanctioned (inexpensive) Legends Car series in Michigan, eventually driving at tracks all over Ontario and many parts of the U.S. With his winning attitude, Josh is quick to point out that every circuit he has visited, has presented him with the chance to win, no matter what the track. Needless to say, he has lots of good stories to tell. He recalls travelling to New Jersey for the Turkey Derby on the American Thanksgiving. “40 Legends cars showed up. We unloaded and practiced 8th, but through a mix-up in the heat races, we wound up in an altercation with other drivers, so I ended up finishing last. As a result I had to enter a consolation race to qualify for the main event. I started in 17th and wound up 5th, but only the top four drivers made it. But I guess the officials liked my performance so they wrote me in as a ‘promoters choice’ in the 33 spot. I worked my way up, but because I started at the back of the pack I only finished 15th by the end of the race.” He’s also been at the Orlando Winter Nationals where he’s run against many top drivers who today have moved to various NASCAR positions and he has run at the Atlanta Motor Speedway Legends Car Winter Flurry event, where he finished second. Last year, with five feature wins, 3 second place finishes and a 6th place in 9 starts, he was the Ontario Legends Cars champion. As he puts it, “to be able to say I did that is pretty cool considering what our budget level was!” Many of the teams spend tens of thousands of dollars per year to race. They come to the track with back-up cars and full teams of people. In the case of Josh, it’s just him and his father….with occasional assistance from mom and another crew person. Their extra equipment generally includes tires, extra fenders, running boards and spare engine parts. Since the team has to pay its own way, sponsorships are vital. Josh has four primaries: Riverside Rentals, Walkerville Brewery, BOSGROUP.ca and Cross Trailers. They mostly supply parts to keep the car on the track. Cross Trailers, which are handled locally by B.O.S. modified one of their carriers for Josh’s racer. Keeping in mind that racing is #1 in brand loyalty and that race fans are three times as likely as non fans to buy a sponsor’s product, there is always room for more sponsorship. Prospects are invited to contact him for a personal consultation. His email is
, or call 519-728-2363 or 519-965-4933.
Extremely professional, the entry-level Legends series is seen as the most professional, small car, short track racing series and is a stepping stone to NASCAR. Many retired pro drivers compete for fun, while others see it as an opportunity to advance their careers. In fact, almost every NASCAR driver in the last 20 years has come out of Legends cars. Josh sees his next step either in Super Late Models or the NASCAR Pinty Series, the upper level of NASCAR in Canada.
Legends cars are manufactured in Harrisburg North Carolina and are 5/8 scale replicas of vehicles of the 1930s and 40s. Josh’s car is based on the 1937 Ford. Capable of reaching speeds up to 125 miles an hour and extremely difficult to handle, the short wheel-based rockets, until this season, have been powered by Yamaha 1250 cc, carbureted motorcycle engines, mated to 5-speed manual transmissions. Josh feels they are at their best on a 3/8 mile, partially banked oval track, but can be adapted for road racing. Next season will mark the introduction of brand new cars, powered by the fuel-injected Yamaha 3-cylinder, FZO9 motorcycle engine. Indig will be racing in one of the new models next year. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a good, used race car, Indig’s current #5 is for sale. Intending to stay with racing for the remainder of his life, either as a driver or a crew chief, Josh will graduate from the University of Windsor in August with an engineering degree. As part of his curriculum, he’s been a member of the university’s SAE team in designing, manufacturing and racing a Formula-style racer against other universities. At the same time, he’s currently wrapping up a co-op term with FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) which means when he graduates, he’ll already be a certified engineer. He’s been given what he terms a ‘wonderful’ opportunity of staying with the automaker but is definitely not ruling out the possibility of getting into a professional race team if an offer comes his way.
Josh Indig is firmly grounded. He’s a goal setter and knows where he’s headed and he works hard at it. Already in his pro racing career, he’s earned upwards of $15,000 to $20,000, which, instead of squandering, has put into his education. He believes in paying his own way and taking responsibility for his actions. And with his parents solidly behind him his racing enterprise is definitely a family affair.