By Michael Jaworecki Myracenews March 26th 2018
Westbury, NY- John Visconti III has been around racing his entire life. His Dad was a top flight Late Model driver at Freeport Speedway on Long Island and other tracks for many years. 2017 was another good year for the Visconti Motorsports running a Modified Crate type car at Riverhead Raceway on Long Island plus select NASCAR WMT races.
Just a few short months later John and Visconti Motorsports the Modifieds were for sale and Visconti Motorsports would be at New Smyrna Speedway near Daytona Speedway with a 10th place K & N finish
At New Smyrna they had a plan to stay near the front, which they did most of the race and make a push to the win late. Unfortunately, luck was not on their side as a tire losing air late in the race cost them several spots and they finished in 10th place finish.
The tire issue was not the first hurtle they had to overcome that weekend. Early in practice they blew the primary motor and had to go to a backup. They had to go to qualifying with very few laps on the car and still managed a 6th place qualifying run.
But the conversation didn’t stay with that first race for long. Our interview turned to how they got to the 10th place finish with a team that didn’t even exist a few months before the season opened.
That February weekend in Florida was the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people in the months leading up to the trip south.
John had gone to the fall non-points modified race at Charlotte Motor Speedway with his NASCAR WMT modified team. That was to be the final of 5 races on the NASCAR WMT tour for the 2017 season prepping for a full time run in the 2018 season.
Running a Modified race in the middle of NASCAR country was something John looked forward to all season, what happened that weekend changed all his plans for the 2018 season.
Brett Bodine who John has been friends with for years called John over to his office after the Charlotte race to discuss a new opportunity. Brett commented that he had followed the Visconti team for years and was impressed with the operation, its professionalism and just how they went about their business.
What came next was a total surprise to John, a NASCAR Xfnity team was available, Brett thought John should take a look which he did. John then reached out to his friend Tommy Baldwin Jr and he encouraged John to go NASCAR K & N east as Xfinity would be too big a leap.
Tommy suggested that John buy a new K & N car he just built. He felt Visconti Motorsports the chance to be competitive right out of the box if they went K & N racing. The car he showed to John was built with a lot of Tommy’s Cup engineering in it.
John had to look at the finances, the added travels and basically putting a team together in North Carolina while living in Staten Island.
Costs and sponsors were his priority, if he couldn’t afford to run the season this was not going to happen. Looking at the dollars after the initial purchase of the equipment it would not be much more that running the full NASCAR WMT season so that was a start.
John spoke with his sponsors and the main sponsor to come over was IGA Supermarkets, his longtime supporter Charles Reichert was on board.
From there everything quickly came together, John’s wife Marie would own the team becoming one of the few female team owners in NASCAR. Long time friend and crew member Bill Goffin also came south with John. Bill became the team’s general manager and partner. The number John and Marie selected for the K & N ride was #74, a number that has been on Visconti race cars for decades.
Next, they hired Brandon McReynolds to drive, Brandon McReynolds is the son of Larry McReynolds a long time NASCAR crew chief and Fox NASCAR broadcaster. Brandon has run in the K & N East and West series and brings almost 50 races of K & N experience to the team, he brings an experienced driver to the new team.
The crew initially was put together with a group of Xfinity and Cup team members They would work on their primary car during the day and then head over to the Visconti shop at night to work on K & N car. The dedication showed with how ready the team was in February during Speedweeks.
The team started in a garage owned by Tommy Baldwin Jr. There the team spent the winter months getting ready for the initial New Smyrna race. The team have since moved to another garage owned by Brandon’s dad. When they moved to the new garage they also hired a full-time crew to work on the car including crew chief Bruce Cook who was Kevin Harvick Sprint Cup crew chief when he won his championship.
With the first race behind them and 2 months off the team is really looking forward to getting back to the track. John, Brandon and the entire team want to have a race without a blown motor, tire issues and bad luck to show the fans just what they are capable of and they believe they can win right now.
Next up for the team currently running 10th in points is Bristol Motor Speedway in the Zombie Pro Auto 150 on April 14th a race that will be televised on NBCSN on April 20th. Then the team will tackle Langley in Va., South Boston and Memphis before having to make a decision.
The following race after that in a race at New Jersey Motorsports Park, a road course and as of right now the team has no road course car. If they are in the top 5 or so in points they will have to make some decisions like renting a car or skipping the race but as John pointed its still very early and we will cross that bridge when we get to it.
Welcome to the NASCAR K & N East Series, if the 2018 goes anything like 2017 John will probably own a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup team by sometime in September if not sooner.