Josh Hart went from piloting a 13 sec. Ford Pickup to a 5 sec. A/Fuel dragster in six short years…all the while, creating Burnyzz Speed Shop a burgeoning “do it all" automotive empire.
Prior to 2009, Josh owned a successful asphalt paving company in Fort Wayne, IN. Growing tired of the vagaries of Midwestern weather, he and wife Brittanie did a thorough search for more hospitable climes. Location selected, the business was sold, and off they went to…Ocala, FL.
Once in Ocala, Josh began participating in “extracurricular" racing activities as he had in Indiana. New friend, Gene Selby, convinced him to go legit, take his considerable driving skills and Ford Lightning to NHRA's fabled Gainesville, FL. facility. What followed for the next five years was a succession of faster and faster race cars.
In 2013, Remo DiGenova relinquished the seat in his S/C dragster to Josh, who, at the jump, bettered Remo's performance. Soon he was the S/C's owner, eventually converting it to a Big Block powered 7 sec. Top Dragster.
Lusting for yet more, in 2015 Josh began his preparation for A/Fuel. A year later, he was wheeling a new 295 inch Dan Page built dragster, powered by an injected nitro burning BAE Hemi. A shrewd judge of talent, Josh recruited Gene Gallant as crew chief. Gene, brother of renowned NHRA champion Art Gallant, had labored in his brother's shadow for years. Gene proved to be up to the task. In his first season, Josh missed finishing in second place by one point, in the ultra-competitive NHRA Division Two TAD competition. Josh and Gene are assisted by Gene's brother, Donny, John Kohlweiss, Robert Mullins, Mike Marko and most especially Josh's wife of 15 years, Brittanie. Flying the Advanced Auto Parts colors this season, Josh and team are making serious noise. As of this article, they're three for three in capturing the #1 qualifying position, including NHRA's Norwalk, OH national event.
What helped to make all this possible? Josh and Brittanie's Burnyzz's Speed Shop. Starting out as a modest 2000 sq. ft. operation envisioned to be a low key, low stress automotive business, it has morphed into a 25,000 sq. ft. complex with 10 full-time employees. Burnyzz's staff will handle the simplest task, say change your oil, to restoring a classic muscle car, all the way to, as their moto states: “If you dream it, we'll build it" constructing from the ground up, your hot rod vision. Additionally, they scour the country for Classic American Muscle and offer it up for sale in their showroom, capable of holding over 50 cars. To fully understand the scope of their operation, you need visit www.burnyzz.com.
A final note: Josh swears, even though a hard-core car guy, drag racer, he didn't realize Ocala was also the home of, some might say, the King of Drag Racing, “Big Daddy" Don Garlits. Several years ago, Don payed a visit to his new neighbor and he and Josh quickly formed a friendship. Gar enlisted him to assist on the Electric Swamp Rat dragster, which appears to be “Big's" last project.
Josh Hart is indeed living the American Dream.
Article courtesy of Pete Ward. Photos courtesy of Ron Lewis.
NHRA National Events
- March 15-18, 2018 Gatornationals, Gainesville, Florida
- April 27-29, 2018 4-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, North Carolina
- June 21-24, 2018 Summit Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio
- May 31-June 3, 2018 Route 66 Nationals, Joliet, Illinois
- Aug. 29 – Sept. 3, 2018 U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis, Indiana
- Sept. 14-16, 2018 Carolina Nationals, Charlotte, North Carolina
- Sept. 20-23, 2018 Keystone Nationals, Reading Pennsylvania
- Oct. 11-14, 2018 Fall Nationals, Dallas, Texas
Lucas Oil Regional Events
- March 9-10 Gainesville, Florida
- April 20-22 Richmond, Virginia
- May 25-27 Reading, Pennsylvania
- June 29 – July 1 Lebanon Valley, New York
- Aug. 3-5 Atco, New Jersey
- Aug. 24-26 Bowling Green, Kentucky
- Sept. 7-9 Epping, New Hampshire