IS PERRIS RACER JOEL RAYBORNE UP TOO
DURING COVID-19 CRISIS?
(Perris, CA, June 5, 2020)
Round #5 of interviews with
Perris Auto Speedway racers about what
they are doing during the COVID-19 crisis
is on the 2018 USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series
Rookie of the Year Joel Rayborne. The
17-year-old recently graduated from high
school and holds down a job as a
machinist, but he is chomping at the bit
to get back in his car as soon as the
USAC/CRA Series gets clearance to resume
racing. Here is what the enthusiastic
young driver had to say on a recent
You are 17 right now, but don’t you have a
birthday right around the corner?
I will be 18 years old on August 13th.
of Doug Allen
So, you just completed your junior year in
high school, correct?
I am actually a senior and I just
graduated last Monday.
Congratulations on that! Did the COVID-19
crisis have any effect on your senior
year? I know it has played havoc with
Alyssa Smith who races IMCA Modifieds at
The PAS. Lots of senior stuff got
So, I have been doing independent study.
Basically, homeschool for the last year
and a half. So, nothing really changed for
me. When they went away, my teacher went
away for about a month, but I still had
work (studies) that I could do. I got it
all done. Our graduation date is
technically not until June 25th, but I
finished early and graduated last Monday.
Will you have a graduation ceremony with
all that is going on?
They are talking about one sometime in
July, but I am not sure exactly. As of
now, there is no graduation (ceremony).
How did you like home schooling as opposed
going to classes at school?
It is really nice that you can make your
own schedule within reason. You have to
have around three credits a week done. I
was doing about four or five just to get
done. I like it a lot better than going to
school every day.
of Doug Allen.
What persuaded you to pursue homeschooling
in the first place?
They complained I missed to many days of
school for racing. I would miss a Friday
before every race to make sure we were
properly prepared before a race instead of
rushing Friday night and Saturday morning.
By taking Friday off we were able to be
properly prepared, got the trailer loaded
and Saturday morning we would hook up to
the trailer and be off to the racetrack.
Back to COVID-19 for a moment. What have
you been doing to occupy your time during
We worked a deal out with DRC, and we have
two DRC’s (chassis). A 2020 and 2018. I
have been building those and now they are
done. I have been working on the house a
little. We did a small bathroom remodel.
Fixing the fence, re-concreting some of
the posts that were falling over. There is
not much else to do.
You are saying “we.” You and your dad?
Yeah. Stuff on the house we always wanted
to do. Stuff we started and were slowly
doing. Now that there is no racing and the
racecars are done, we have been working on
Has your dad been working?
No, he has stopped working. He worked from
home until April 19th. Now he is waiting
to go back to work.
You said you have been working on the
house, but what else have you been doing
to occupy your time?
Iracing. I raced a sprint car race with
the USAC Iracing Series at Knoxville and
Eldora. I raced in a midget race in USAC
Iracing at Eldora as well. I ran the Speed
Shift Iracing leagues with Midgets and the
POWRi league as well.
Were you into Iracing before this pandemic
I think I got started in Iracing about
four or five years ago. My grandpa is
actually the one who showed it to me. My
buddy built us a computer and my dad had a
simulator from when my grandpa bought
himself and my dad one when he retired.
That is how I got started in Iracing and
have been doing it ever since. I have been
doing it since dirt was never even around
on there. I have done it with winged
sprint cars, non-wing sprint cars, and
midgets. I have also been running the CSI
Pavement Sprint Car League. That is
actually a blast to run.
How do you do in that stuff?
The pavement sprint car I have only run
one race. I finished 12th. In the midget
stuff, I think I had a couple top 10s. In
the USAC Knoxville sprint car race I
finished 13th I think and the Eldora one I
finished 16th. It is real tough to drive
the sprint cars on there for sure. It was
fun to battle with those guys.
How much do you think that helps you in
racing your real sprint car?
We do not have a motion base or anything.
Not having a motion base, you do not feel
the car and you do not react with the car.
It doesn’t so much compare to real life.
It keeps your reaction times up because we
race midgets on little small tracks. I
think that is about it.
You are a machinist?
Yeah, I work at a company called Nocturna.
You are 17 and a machinist. How long have
you worked for Nocturna?
Two years. He was really busy one summer
and he asked if I wanted to come help. It
is on the way to my dad’s work. He drops
me off about 4:30 (AM) and that way he can
be to work by 5:00. I work from 4:30 to
sometimes 2:00, sometimes 3:30. I have
been here at 4:30 in the morning and we
have had so much to do I stayed here until
8:30 at night. It just depends on what we
have got to do. Today I am making a couple
race car parts.
Is that a full-time job?
I worked two or three days a week. The
rest of the days I did schoolwork. I did a
couple extra credits to get done. During
the summer I was here for two months or
however long summer was. We are kind of
slow right now.
I know you are into RC Racing and Fishing.
Have you been doing any of that stuff?
All the RC tracks are closed. Our buddy
Lavandis, I have been playing with him on
some drag racing cars. He has got his up
to 120 or 130. I have only been able to
get mine up to 102 miles per hour. I have
to figure a couple things out. I have been
doing that a little bit. We used to go
every night that we could to Tony’s
Hobbies. I have not been fishing in a
while. We were going to go with some
buddies until this (COVID-19) all
What kind of fishing are you into?
I used to do it a lot as a little kid, but
I have not done it in a while. We used to
go out on my dad’s grandparent’s boat. All
ocean fishing. We would fish in the harbor
or go a couple of miles offshore and we
would go to Catalina probably 20 times a
year. Went to San Clemente Island once.
All ocean fishing.
What is the biggest fish you ever caught?
I don’t actually know. I guess a crab
would be bigger than any fish I ever
caught. We used to go lobster fishing, but
we would catch more crabs than lobsters.
We caught some King Crabs. I haven’t been
fishing since I was probably 12 or 13.
Back to racing. When we finally get back
to racing this year, what is different on
Like I said, we have a brand new 2020 DRC
and we have a 2018 DRC. Some of the best
cars (DRC) on the market right now. Our
spares package is a lot more built up. So,
we are prepared for anything that can
happen. We were going to maybe try some of
the Sprint Week races this year, but I am
not sure if those are going on or not.
If I were to tell you we are racing this
Saturday, would you be completely ready?
Yep! If we were racing on Saturday night,
I would go through the bodywork on it. I
would tell my dad lets take a trip to
Mel’s (Mel Murphy) to get a set of tires
because we are out of tires from last
season. We would have to get some fuel.
Prep the trailer and load it. That is
about it and we would be ready.
Lets make sure you get all of the sponsors
A&J Racing, DJ Safety, ROW Signs &
Graphics, Justice Brothers, Nocturna
Machining, Competition Suspension, DRC
Chassis. My biggest supporter would be my
dad. He basically does it all. He is the
truck driver, checkbook and all the rest.
I could not do it without him and my
grandma and grandpa.
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