Top Fuel dragsters like the ones Huntington native Josh Hart races can touch speeds above 330 miles per hour. From a standstill, a skilled Top Fuel driver can reach 100 miles per hour in as little as eight-tenths of a second. Hart’s business ventures and motorsports career took off nearly that fast, but he’s never forgotten his roots.
“I have been very blessed in my life and it all started in Huntington. I learned a lot of tough lessons, but they made me the person I am today. I just felt the need to give back to the community where I got my start,” Hart said. “I have two beautiful children Londyn and Banks and I wanted to create a legacy for the youth of Huntington for them to pursue their dreams. I truly believe ‘Anything’s Possible’ and these donations are just the beginning. I want to continue to support causes in Huntington that will have an impact on everyone in the community. I want to thank Mayor Strick for all his support.”
Now, the 2003 Huntington North graduate – and National Hot Rod Association Top Fuel Dragster team owner and driver – is celebrating his hometown’s 175th birthday with a generous gift in support of the worthiest of causes: Huntington’s youth.
Hart will make a considerable donation to help Huntington Parks & Recreation install new, fully accessible playground equipment and turf at Drover Park that can be enjoyed by children and families of all physical abilities. On top of that, Hart is working with Huntington North’s automotive program to enhance their program in the future, sponsoring ballfields and purchasing helmets for Huntington Police Athletic League youth baseball, and supporting nonprofit United with Love’s local food bank ministry.
Hart and his team made a pit stop in Huntington on Wednesday on their way to the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. During Hart’s visit, Huntington Mayor Richard Strick read and signed a letter of commendation formally thanking Hart for giving back to the community and encouraging residents to follow his example of what it means to remember where we come from.
“The City of Huntington is grateful to Josh and the Hart family for their generosity and desire to give back to Huntington and its youth,” Mayor Strick said. “Josh’s story reminds us of the strong connection we all feel to home, no matter where we start from or where life takes us.”
Hart and his wife, Brittanie, relocated from Huntington to Ocala, Florida, in 2010 to launch a business they named Burnyzz Speed Shop. Starting with little more than a dream and their strong work ethic, the Hart’s grew Burnyzz Speed Shop from a simple detailing service into a 100,000-square-foot auto service facility, car restoration center and speed shop, according to an NHRA.com biography.
Hart began racing in 2011 and won three NHRA National event titles between 2017 and 2019. He reached the NHRA professional class in 2021, making history by winning the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, in his first Top Fuel division run. Hart is the fourth-ever driver to accomplish the feat in an inaugural run and was the first to do so in more than 20 years.
Hart now owns his own racing team and is sponsored by R+L Carriers. Learn more at joshhartracing.com, and look for the City of Huntington’s 175th-anniversary logo on his car at upcoming race events.