Watching NASCAR on TV, and then getting your parents to buy you a Go-Kart after seeing an article of a local Go-Kart Track, is all it took Paul Kusheba IV to begin his racing career.
He started off driving around his elementary school parking lot, and that’s all it took him to get hooked. It went from a hobby to telling his parents, what he wanted to do when he grew up.
Just how good did the kid from Monroe, CT get in the Karts? His very first race at Calf Pasture Beach at the age of five he took down the win. He only got better as time went and from 2001 – 2007, he took down a championship in each and every year running a kart.
The Championships didn’t stop there, Kusheba moved into the Legends Car Division and won the 2012 Championship at the Waterford Speedbowl. So winning a Championship for Paul was what he was expected to do each and every year.
One of his many highlights came while he competed on national TV in the Peak Stock Car Dream Challenge 2, and was in the top three in the finals.
With all the accomplishments to date and achievement to date was a major comeback. In 2010 Kusheba was in a bad wreck in a Legends Car at the season opener. To this story Paul has gone through four surgeries and was on a rigorous Physical Therapy schedule. The following year after many doubters would even think he would come back finished 3rd in the opener, and making a statement that he was back.
Kusheba currently runs in the SK Modified Division at the Waterford Speedbowl. He’ll be the first one to tell you after winning the “Rookie of the Year Award” in 2014, he’s been struggling to find that momentum that he’s looking for. Like many Teams Kusheba set up goals for the 2016 season and finishing more in the top-five with less DNFs. “I had a lot of up and down races the past two seasons in the Modified. I feel like our team can settle in early and get some good runs going week after week if we can do that we might be able to get a win or two under our belt.” Kusheba stated.
Running well every week has its tolls on a team. To run good, you have to have a dedicated team and a team that works hard. Kusheba has that and wants the fans to know that running on a low budget doesn’t change the character on the team. “We spend countless hours in the garage and also we are still learning how to get better finishes when we are on the track,” finished up Kusheba.
For Kusheba winning isn’t just winning, “It’s one thing to score a bunch of wins in a season, but to be consistently running and securing a strong finish throughout the year and to cap it off with a Championship would mean a lot to me,” stated Kusheba. “Not just for myself but for the whole family for all the hard work and dedication we went through,” Kusheba finished up.
Paul knows it doesn’t come easy and nothing is a given when you’re a racer. “It’s a very tough business nowadays but the racing community is a tight-knit family, so if I can perform on the track maybe this can open a few doors and allow me to keep my dream going,” Kusheba mentioned where he wanted to be in five years.
With a grueling schedule which comes with being a driver and all the hard work on and off the track, Kusheba is also a full-time student at Naugatuck Valley Community College. So if it’s not working or school Paul try’s to find some time to fish or hang out with his friend, but I’m sure he’ll find time to do some IRacing into his schedule.
Sponsors on the side of his SK Modified for the 2016 season are JK Motorsports, Race Dog Photography, and Critical Signs.
Paul will have a Chassis Dynamics built by Mike Paquette with a JK Motor under the hood of his brown and white #72 owned by his Dad (Paul Kusheba III).
His crew really consists of his family Mom (Jody Kusheba), his Dad and Spotter Christian Pedersen. “On some weekends I might have some friends that come to the track that will help out basically it just my family,” Kusheba stated.
Before closing Paul wanted to thank his parents for everything that they have given him and done for him in racing. “If it wasn’t for JK Motorsports, who helped me get started in racing and supplying the motors I wouldn’t be able to race a modified and for their hard work in the shop’” mentioned Kusheba.
You can find Paul on Social Media by going to his Facebook page Paul Kusheba Racing or on Twitter @PkushebaRacing.
The team also has a website at http://www.paulkushebaracing.com.
Paul has come close to getting that first win in the SK Division, so could this year be the year? If Paul has anything to say about it, it sure is.
Story by Alan Piquette
Photos provided by Paul Kusheba Racing