When Josh Green was five-years-old, he wrote down at school that when he grew up, he wanted to be a professional racecar driver.
Green’s love of cars and racing came from his father and two uncles whom have always been into cars, which is how it caught Green’s eye as a little kid. The family would trek to NASCAR races and cars shows; by the time Green was five, he could name every car.
“I don’t think I actually thought I could do racing, but I always loved cars and wanted to be near them,” Green said.
While not quite an adult yet, the 16-year-old Chappaqua resident is already on the fast track to realizing his dream as a racecar driver traveling throughout the country most weekends to compete against peers that started years earlier. While many young drivers start soon after they can walk, Green only began racing a few years ago, yet has excelled at a breakneck pace.
Green already has plenty of accolades to his name, including the 2017 North East Super Series Champion, the 2018 New York State Champion, the 2018 Oakland Valley Race Park Club Champion 2018 and the WKA Manufacturers Cup IAME Junior Champion. He can also call himself a top rookie of the year, according to eKartingNews.
He’s a finalist for a USA scholarship shootout hosted by Lucas Oil School of racing and Cooper Tires where he could travel overseas to compete. And through it all, he’s remained modest and hard working.
A Natural Talent
Green only started racing in summer 2015, but his rise has been precipitous. He began going to Grand Prix New York in Mount Kisco and it was apparent quite quickly he had a tremendous amount of talent and upside. For Green, going fast came naturally.
Green began outdoor racing the next year, spending the entirety of 2016 taking part in club races and learning as much as he could at Oakland Valley in upstate New York. In 2017, he joined a new team and raced at bigger courses, including regional events like the Northeast Super Series and last year he began racing nationally
It’s been one steady step at time for Green, who has soaked up as much information as possible, all the way to his current open-wheel racing, in which the wheels are on the outside of the car’s main body with only one seat for the driver.
“Everyone wants to go race go-karts, like it’s fun, it’s just a fun pastime to do,” Green said. “But when you start taking it seriously, it’s a much different beast.”
Green, who also has a youth black belt in karate, has proven to be a quick learner. One of the most important things he’s learned in his nascent career is perseverance. “When something goes wrong, it’s important to push through it and refocus,” Green said. “Transitioning from indoor to outdoor courses can be very technical,” he added.
Currently, Green is racing with Team Pelfrey, which is an American racing team in the Indy Lights series.
Balancing Racing with Schoolwork
Off the track has been an adjustment for Green, but it’s been nothing but beneficial. As someone who struggled with school, Green has handled classwork better despite missing 30 to 50 school days a year due to extensive travelling. His teachers are generally accommodating as long as his grades remain high.
As much as Green would love to be a professional racecar driver, he’s level headed enough to know a career in engineering or another profession connected to driving could be his path, which requires education.
Green’s parents have always been supportive. They weren’t sure where his racing career was going, but people in the field continue to be impressed enough with Green that the only option was to move forward.
Father Eric Green said it’s flattering when people around the racetrack talk about his son and how they all want their kids around him as a role model.
He’s humble, Eric Green said, which is refreshing for a parent to see. “His talent speaks for itself,” he said.
Mother Lindsey Green said his focus on learning about the sport and attention to detail is unparalleled. “He’s grown up within racing,” Lindsey Green said. “If you compare him to other kids, I’d say he’s much more mature. I don’t know what he would’ve been like if he hadn’t been racing.”
Remaining humble and hungry has been a perfect combination for Green. Next season, he will likely move on to the USF 2000 series, which is another step closer to IndyCar racing.
“The ultimate goal is IndyCar,” Green said. “I think that’s 100 percent the ultimate goal and that’s sort of the trajectory I’m on.”
Editor’s Note: As we went to press, we learned that Green won a Team USA scholarship. Congratulations!