24 JOSH HART
The American Dream on Steroids
JOSH HART WENT FROM PILOTING A 13-SECOND FORD PICKUP TO A FIVESECOND A/FUEL DRAGSTER IN SIX SHORT YEARS, ALL WHILE CREATING BURNYZZ SPEED SHOP, A BURGEONING DO-IT-ALL AUTOMOTIVE EMPIRE.
Prior to 2009, Josh owned a successful asphalt paving company in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Growing tired of the vagaries of Midwestern weather, he and wife Brittanie did a thorough search for a more hospitable climate. Location selected, the business was sold, and off they went to Ocala, Florida.
Once in Ocala, Josh began participating in extracurricular racing activities, as he had in Indiana. New friend Gene Selby convinced him to go legit and take his considerable driving skills and Ford Lightning to NHRA’s fabled Gainesville, Florida, facility. What followed throughout the next five years was a succession of faster and faster race cars.
In 2013, Remo DiGenova relinquished the seat in his S/C dragster to Josh, who, at the jump, bettered Remo’s performance. Soon he was the S/C’s owner, eventually converting it to a big-block-powered sevensecond Top Dragster.
Lusting for still more, in 2015 Josh began his preparations for A/Fuel. A year later, he was wheeling a new 295-inch Dan-Pagebuilt dragster powered by an injected-nitroburning BAE Hemi. A shrewd judge of talent, Josh recruited Gene Gallant as crew chief.
Gene, brother of renowned NHRA champion Art Gallant, had labored in his brother’s shadow for years, and he proved to be up to the tasks required of his new role. In his first season, Josh missed finishing in second place by one point in the ultra-competitive NHRA Division Two TAD competition. Josh and Gene are assisted by Gene’s brother, Donny, John Kohlweiss, Robert Mullins, Mike Marko, and most especially, Josh’s wife of 15 years, Brittanie. Flying the Advanced Auto Parts colors this season, Josh and team are making serious noise. As of this article, they’re three for three in capturing the #1 qualifying position, including NHRA’s Norwalk, Ohio, national event.
What helped to make all of this possible? Josh and Brittanie’s Burnyzz’s Speed Shop. What started as a modest 2,000-sq-ft operation, envisioned as a low key, low stress automotive business, has morphed into a 25,000-sq-ft complex with 10 full-time employees. Burnyzz’s staff will handle the simplest task, say, changing your oil, up to restoring a classic muscle car, or as their moto states: “If you dream it, we’ll build it,” constructing, from the ground up, your hot rod vision. Additionally, they scour the country
for classic American muscle and offer it up for sale in their showroom capable of holding more than 50 cars. To fully understand the scope of their operation, you need to visit Burnyzz.com.
A final note: Josh swears, even though he’s a hardcore car drag racer, that he didn’t realize Ocala was also the home of, some might say, the King of Drag Racing, “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. Several years ago, Don paid a visit to his new neighbor, and he and Josh quickly formed a friendship. Big enlisted Josh to assist on the Electric Swamp Rat dragster, which appears to be Big’s last project.
Josh Hart is indeed living the American Dream.
Josh swears, even though he's a hardcore car drag racer, that he didn't realize Ocala was also the home of, some might say, the King of Drag Racing, 'Big Daddy' Don Garlits. Several years ago, Don paid a visit to his new neighbor, and he and Josh quickly formed a friendship.
RIGHT. Brad Anderson Enterprises provided the building blocks for Hart’s estimated 4,000-hp nitro-burner. BELOW. Check out BAE’s interpretation of a 426-style Chrysler Hemi head.
Josh’s work environs. Many drivers say A/Fuelers are more challenging than an AA Fuel Dragster.
Josh’s words to live by are emblazoned on his dragster.
LEFT. Josh chose Gene Gallant (brother of NHRA top tier performer Art Gallant) as his crew chief. RIGHT. Josh’s business successes have allowed him to live the dream.