January 30, 1951 |
Chesapeake, Virginia, United States
|Achievements||1976 Langley Speedway Late Model Track Champion|
|NASCAR Nationwide Series career|
|1 race(s) run over 1 year(s)|
|Best finish||105th – 1984|
|First race||1984 Bobby Isaac Memorial 200 (Hickory)|
Joe Falk (born January 30, 1951 in Chesapeake, Virginia) is an American auto dealer and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner, as well as a former stock car racing driver. He is the owner of the No. 33 car in the Sprint Cup Series, as well as of Little Joe's Autos, an automobile dealership in the Virginia Tidewater.
Driving career 
Falk started his racing career at Langley Speedway, where he won the track's Late Model championship in 1976; he was also the winner of what some regard as "the [track's] best Late Model race of all time", in 1983.
Falk drove in one NASCAR sanctioned race at the 'national series' level, competing in the Busch Series (now Nationwide Series) Bobby Isaac Memorial 200 at Hickory Motor Speedway in October 1984; he finished 17th after starting 23rd, driving a Pontiac for Bubba Nissen Racing.
Team owner 
LJ Racing 
Falk entered NASCAR team ownership in the Winston Cup Series (now the Sprint Cup Series) in 1997, fielding the No. 91 Chevrolet in a partnership with Ron Neal under the LJ Racing banner, with driver Mike Wallace and sponsorship from Spam. The team struggled to make races, and Wallace was released midway through the season; Spam left the team shortly thereafter, and several other drivers drove the car later in the year, with little additional success. Kevin Lepage joined the team towards the end of the year, and would drive the No. 91 through the first half of 1998 before leaving to join Roush Racing. He was replaced by Morgan Shepherd, and then Todd Bodine, who would score the team's best finish in the Cup Series, fifth, in the final race of the 1998 season at Atlanta Motor Speedway.[N 1]
LJ Racing entered the 1999 season with driver Steve Grissom; Grissom was released after failing to qualify for two of the first four races, being replaced by Dick Trickle, who drove for the team for most of the remainder of the year. The team would qualify for two races in 2000, at Atlanta and Richmond with Todd Bodine driving, before closing down.
LTD Powersports 
Falk returned to team ownership in the Sprint Cup Series in 2011, running the No. 50 for LTD Powersports with driver T.J. Bell on a limited basis starting with the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Bell competed for Rookie of the Year during the season, but only qualified for five races, four of them with Falk's team, which failed to qualify for nine additional races.
|T. J. Bell||4||0||0|
Circle Sport 
|Base||Mooresville, North Carolina, United States|
|Series||Sprint Cup Series|
|Race drivers||No. 33 Landon Cassill
Austin Dillon (shared with Richard Childress Racing)
|Debut||2012 Samsung Mobile 500 (Texas)|
|Latest race||2013 Southern 500 (Darlington)|
For the 2012 season, Falk joined Hillman Racing, owned by former Cup Series crew chief and Germain Racing team manager Mike Hillman, Sr., as a partial owner; the team attempted to qualify for the 2012 Daytona 500 with driver Michael Waltrip, but failed to make the race. Falk also co-owned Hillman Racing's Camping World Truck Series team.
In April 2012, Falk announced that he was purchasing the No. 33 Sprint Cup Series team from Richard Childress Racing. The team, one Childress had planned to run for only the first five races of the season, was transferred to Falk's ownership after the race at Martinsville Speedway; Falk planned to run a number of drivers in the car, renamed Circle Sport, over the remainder of the season, including Tony Raines, Jeff Green, Stephen Leicht, Austin Dillon, Hermie and Elliott Sadler, and C. E. Falk. However in late May it was announced that Leicht would be competing for the team for the majority of the remainder of the season, attempting to win Rookie of the Year honors, except for the June race at Michigan, where Childress ran the No. 33 for Austin Dillon. Cole Whitt also ran some races in a start-and-park role. Leicht would win Rookie of the Year honors despite competing in just 15 races, finishing with a team-best 26th at Watkins Glen. For 2013, CircleSport maintained its alliance with RCR. Former BK Racing driver Landon Cassill took over the No. 33 for the majority of the season with Dillon in the 33 as an RCR entry; Falk is listed as team owner of the #33.
- The team's best finish in any series was second in the only Winston West Series race they ever entered, the 1997 Auto Club 200 at California Speedway. Having failed to qualify for the weekend's Winston Cup Series event, they posted a late entry to the West Series race, and Mike Wallace drove from the back of the field to finish second.
- Wagner, Lon (August 9, 1997). "Joe Falk's first year as a Winston Cup owner has been a bumpy ride". Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk, Virginia. p. C1.
- O'Brien, Marty (April 2, 2012). "Joe Falk purchasing No. 33 Cup team". Daily Press. Newport News, Virginia. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- Pearce, Al (August 13, 1997). "Looking Back: Hanbury Was A Race Chaser If He Had To Be". Daily Press. Newport News, Virginia. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- "Joe Falk's NASCAR Nationwide Series races". Racing-Reference. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- "Trying to make sirloin out of Spam: Joe Falk determined to succeed in Winston Cup racing". Roanoke Times (Roanoke, Virginia). May 25, 1997. pp. B2.
- Pearce, Al (June 26, 1997). "Shifting gears not easy for new owner". Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia). p. B1.
- Zeller, Bob (June 27, 1998). "Lepage to leave Falk for Roush". Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Virginia).
- "Bodine happy with 5th place". Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina). November 9, 1998. p. 4B.
- Hodges, Jim (June 22, 1997). "It's No Way to Break In a New Track". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, CA. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
- Shacklette, Buddy (February 6, 1999). "Grissom happy at LJ Racing". Daytona Beach News-Journal (Daytona Beach, Florida). p. 09B.
- Patterson, Ken (April 8, 1999). "Grissom seeking ‘right' situation". Anniston Star (Anniston, Alabama).
- "Trickle takes over for fired Grissom". Washington Times. Washington, D.C. March 19, 1999.
- Cavin, Curt (August 3, 2000). "NASCAR squeezes out small teams". Indianapolis Star. Indianapolis, Indiana. p. I5.
- "Joe Falk Owner Statistics". Racing-Reference. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
- "Ron Neal Owner Statistics". Racing-Reference. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
- Rodman, Dave (May 5, 2011). "Notebook: New point system grows on you". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- Pearce, Al (September 2, 2011). "Andy Lally confirmed as Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year". AutoWeek. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- Rodman, Dave (February 17, 2012). "For Waltrip, winning Daytona 500 is everything". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- O'Brien, Marty (February 22, 2012). "Falk, Waltrip seek Daytona 500 spot". Daily Press. Newport News, Virginia. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- Hiestand, Michael (February 23, 2012). "Michael Waltrip is a renaissance man". USA Today. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- Pearce, Al (April 1, 2012). "Richard Childress Racing selling one of its four NASCAR Sprint Cup teams". AutoWeek. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- "RCR's No. 33 gets more races". Winston-Salem Journal. Winston-Salem, North Carolina. April 5, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- Pearce, Al (April 16, 2012). "Raines a surprise pick for the No. 33 car in Sprint Cup Series". AutoWeek. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- "Circle Sport Hits The Track With ROTY Contender Leicht". Circle Sport Racing. May 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- "Austin Dillon Event Preview: Michigan 400". Richard Childress Racing. June 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-13.