The History behind Joe Newsham and J&E Performance Racing In The Northeast
Joe Newsham, Past To Present "The Chronicles"

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A Look At Joe Newsham Throughout His CarreerAs with any racer now in the news, some of their past history is lost to old magazines, internet posts and plain old bench racing stories that just embellish and confuse. This author had the opportunity to work closely with Joe Newsham and Team J&E Performance for many years and feels there is quite a story to tell of how this New Jersey engine builder / performance shop owner moved from the street to one of the Outlaw Racing histories most winning drivers and teams of 2008 and continues on as this is chronicled.

As far back as 2001, Joe Newsham inspired not only area racers but this author to visualize a concept that was gaining some recognition in the northeast as the hub of "Street Racing" with New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Delaware all vying for the rights to have the baddest street cars turned into a may lay of police intrusions that even the die hard street racers realized the cars were simply just to fast for the street so off to the tracks for grudge runs or test and tune events. Looking forward at Raceway Parks event, they had the "Quick 8's" available to run your street car and win a little cash and bragging rights.

Ed Harpers Role In Keeping J&E Performance Running Was Essential To Joe NewshamJoe Newsham and Ed Harper took this a step further to his home track of Atco Raceway and Sponsor of the Street Car Shootout at Cecil County Dave O'Donnell to bring streetable cars into a race format in which simple rules were defined and cars were ready to put on a show for fans that seemed similar to the now historical "Heavy Street" of the Orlando World Street Nationals where most would travel to just to get on a powerhouse video or come home with a big "H" on their window for trying to qualify with the big guns that were ruling some of the still in series organizations like NMCA and the NSCA which is gone now but brought their series to the northeast enough to make the racers want to step up and play a little harder.

Joe Newshams Black Nitroused Camaro At AtcoWhen I met Joe Newsham, he was handling a big block, nitrous assisted third gen Camaro and the Thursday night Quick 8's sent a shiver up my spine as some of the competitors put on a great show for the fans that was becoming larger with each event.
Newsham had the chance in the early days of his career to pair up with the likes of the originators of South Jersey's quickest street cars, Kenny Marquart, Scott Curtis, Mark Bowen, Shawn Zubler, Marino Cintron, Lou Denny, Bill Mitchell, Leo Barnaby, Bobby Bammann, Tom and Todd Kasper, Dave Hance, Harold Caldwell / Charlie Dolbin, Scott Guadagno, Dave O'Donnell, Jack Gulli, Carmen Damiani, "Rockin Rob" Cherkas, John Franco, Larry Wood, Frank Soldridge, Rodney Bitgood, John Razler, Kenny Staib, Jerry Morgano, Anthony DiSomma, John Chemen, The Harris Brothers and so many more there are too many to mention in one paragraph.

Shawn Zubler

Larry Wood Never Let The Fans Down In His Flamed Mustang On Nitrous
Larry Wood

Kenny Staib Would Reign Supreme As The 2003 Atco Champion With A Screaming Small Block Chevy
Kenny Staib

Finishline Performance Dave O'Donnell Came Away With Many Wins In The Brutal Camaro
Dave O'Donnell

Bill Mitchell Started Out Showing His Stuff On Nitrous, Now He's In A Similar Truck With Twins
Bill Mitchell

Ken Marquart Thrilled The Fans With His Street Driven Malibu Running In The Low 8 Second Zone
Ken Marquart

Tommy Kasper Known As Turbo Tom Was One Of The First To Use Hairdryers In Quick 8 Competition
Tommy Kasper

Brad Harris Had Many Interesting Rides Through The Years, This One Was Hard To Beat As A Single Turbo Entry
Brad Harris

Jack Gulli was A Standout Racer That Was Always In The Running Since Quick 8's Started
Jack Gulli

John Franco Surprised Even Himself As He Bolted On The 10.5's And Took Winners Circles Consistantly
John Franco

Anthony DiSomma In A Nitrous Car, You Bet, He Cut His Teeth On Spray
Anthony DiSomma

Lou Denny In His New Chevelle Was Spectacular With A Small Cubed Big Block Chevy In The Series
Lou Denny

Carmen Damiani Was One Of The Most Exciting Drivers Of The Time Launching Hard In This Image
Carmen Damiani

Scott Curtis Was Stunning In Competition Driving Around Racers To A Points Championship in 2006
Scott Curtis

Marino Cintron, Had Competitors Shaking In Their Seats With His Wild Little RX7
Marino Cintron

Rockin Rob Cherkas In Some Early Years Action, The Alky Belching Vette Was A Crowd Favorite
Rockin Rob Cherkas

Charlie Dolbin Wheeled Harold Caldwells Mustang To Many Victories Shown Here At Cecil County
Caldwell / Dolbin

Rodney Bitgood Ran His Ultra Clean Camaro Into Many Winners Circles In NSCA and Quick 8's
Rodney Bitgood

The Late Leo Barnaby III, Took Control Of The Quick 8's And A Championship Was Part Of His Accomplisments, RIP Leo Barnaby
Leo Barnaby III

Bobby Bammann Helped Quick 8's Evolve To Where They Are Today In His Third Gen Camaro
Bobby Bamman

I personally was lucky enough to be part of a growing race coverage website that saw an opportunity to bring these racers to the internet and into the world of digital media with Matt from Matt allowed me to give coverage a try and snapping a few pictures also to add some content to this race series which opened many doors for us as we first started with Weston's Performance with a bigger idea coming on our part.

Leo Barnaby Was One Of The First On The Scene To Bring Out A Full 25.2 Chassis To The ClassJoe Newsham and Ed Harper added a great aspect to our website to co-sponsor this event with them which in turn grew with each race and all was good until the threat of the 25.2 chassis appeared on the horizon and quickly had racers trying to decide their futures if they could step up and race or need to stop and take on another hobby as it was at the time. NHRA was in fact looking out for the safety of the racers, anyone of them will tell you the cars were getting much too fast at this weight and speed with the 25.5 chassis and it was in their best interest to keep them safe but it changed the whole aspect of how "Quick 8" racing would be looked at in the new designs of the cars now slated to be upgraded.

Harris Brothers Racing Paved The Way With Father Paul Harris Dropping In A Large Points Fund SponsorshipNewsham's performances along with others led the now defunct to do simple things like add a website awarded points system and small gratuitous placement in the website for the Quick 8 racers to be know and recognized with simple awards for "Driver Of The Year" in their "Top Eliminator Club" and added coverage with front page placement with Newsham taking many months at a time over the years. Race tracks took this as a sign to finally give the racers more recognition also and a points system was implemented at most of the events and area tracks. This was surely one of the turning points for this class and the racers, they knew something would be ready for them at the end of the year and worked hard to compete against the likes of Joe Newsham and show up to race, even in the times of change Atco, Cecil and Raceway Park had upwards of 55 different cars race during the year in a very specific class.

Joe Newsham Used The Fourth Gen Platform To Garner Many Wins Over The SeasonMany racers were at odds about trying to compete with the new rules for this class and still compete in others as tracks tried to manage their own series, Newsham stayed with the idea that whatever comes, he'll take it on and give the best shot at it he could; it was a defining period for racers with the advent of the 10.5 "W" tire and the 25.2 chassis. Newsham moved from the third gen Camaro to a fourth gen on nitrous for a time but made a transition to a small cubed single turbo application to easily get into the seven second zone but heavy hitters were coming in to do battle and Newsham kept growing this cars potential while still maintaining a thriving performance shop in the area.

Joe Newsham Did Quite A Bit Of Damage During His Transition To The Cobra In This MalibuThis new transition left many racers on the sidelines also over a period of time even years to make a new car viable for the class that was now being based on Orlando rules as most are anymore. There wasn’t a conflict for Newsham as his program was doing well and many wins came about, even when the car was down and in transition Newsham used a Malibu to make sure he stayed in the series and supported it. These changes brought on talks with track owners to see if a solution between turbo, nitrous and blower cars could be equalized which they did a fine job of since no one really knew the potential of racers and their foresight of how much a turbo could produce in power since most were single and not twins as of yet.

When the twin turbos showed up, bigger cubes for nitrous and better blowers stepping also, the lowly big block Chevy with a single four barrel was history at this point. Turbos were hit or miss for most and nitrous was reigning supreme on large cubed motors like a 598 was big at this time, 648's and bigger were coming, twin turbos were inevitable to have in this arena.

Joe Newshams Suprising New Combination Of The Cobra With A Big Block Chevy Did Well In Orlando 2005Fast forward to bigger, badder and better "Street Cars" Joe Newsham set aside the Camaro to open up the performance and racing endeavors with a new chassis from Montana Brothers Race Cars and a 2003 Mustang body filled with a J&E Performance 540 with a single turbo, as close to a outlaw car as you could get at these times with Newsham's shop being the main builders it was easier to take a chassis and the renowned building of Montana Brothers to make this chassis instead of Newsham sitting out months to build his own, he never wants to be off the track at all. The new Mustang was a hit with area fans as Newsham kept this car as street legal as possible in many aspects, real glass, stock front end, interior and more but again the rules would change and Newsham gritted his teeth at having to turn his Cobra into a plastic fantastic full race car so in went twins instead, still keeping allot of the originality of the car intact, it looked the part, menacingly, awesomely fast and quick.

Newsham's inherent driving skills and thrive for competition led him into the realm of all the area racing at a breakneck pace taking victories at almost all major events until once again the rules were opened up and in came the baddest of the bad at the time, Gil Mobley's race cars with both Chuck Ulsch and Richie Sexton were coming hard and fast through the ranks, Leo Barnaby had already broken through the barriers of the scene and owned enough crowns to feel accomplished in all aspects as he also provided the same services as J&E Performance but only in chassis design. Scott Guadagno of Scotty's Racing Engines also was hard to take out at local events while he sat in Pete Biellos Camaro as a Hitman. Most feared by all racers was what was going on in Texas and closer to home, down south with Tim Lynch making headlines whenever he hit the track. Newsham again felt the need to upgrade to an all out street appearing car but going by full outlaw rules to take on some more racing venues in his schedule.

Tim Lynch Is Just A Pnomenon In This Class Owning Most Of All The 10.5 Records
Tim Lynch

Leo Barnaby In His Last Showing Before His Passing Came Out To E Town Strong, He Will Be Missed
Leo Barnaby

Chuck Ulsch And Gil Mobley Are and Will Be And Unstoppable Combination
Chuck Ulsch

Scott Guadagno Is A Pure Hitman In Pete Biellos Outlaw 105 Camaro
Scott Guadagno

Richie Sexton Powers Gil Mobleys Sheer Horsepower Madness GTO Into Winners Circles With Ease
Richie Sexton

The car was put on a diet shedding most of its stock components for more lightweight carbon fiber and better turbos. Newsham gave racers fits as he competed against them at the same level with less and taking wins away when the numbers just didn't swing his way, Newsham would still come out ahead in many races now in the history books as an accomplishment to his tuner Chris Cline, and Team Members, Ed Harper of J&E Performance.

Newshams Winning Season Was Capped Off At The Al-Anabi Shakedown At E-Town 2008, A Huge Ending To Team J&E Performances SeasonSince the movement to true "Outlaw Rules" Newsham has had the chance to take advantage of his specific knowledge of all the racing in the area and farther away and use his skills to go on to a winning program throughout his latter years. This Cobra Mustang has been a thorn in the side of many racers and Newsham with his white knuckle driving skills would prove the winning combination in his latest year. The 2007 year was not disappointing for the team for the most part, but the car was seeing some bugs that could have had Newsham taking victories at any race he felt like going, this shop owner found the solution and finally had the car on track to do what it was supposed to do at each race, win or go rounds to take points championships and winners circles. Newsham became the fear factor in Outlaw 10.5 racing as the 2008 season was coming around.

Newsham's competitors knew he would become a force in the series now filled with a schedule that took him into the southern based ORSCA racing series by Year One, 1320X a new series started by Nate Pritchett, The home based Atco Quick 8's and Cecil County's Street Car Shootouts with the year end super events like Orlando and The Shakedown at E-Town being the crown jewels of the season.

Outlaw 10.5 Drag Racing Champion Joe Newsham, J & E Performance Owner2008 proved to be the best season so far in Newsham's own racing career taking away championships at the local tracks for one, Cecil County Dragway Outlaw 10.5 Points Champion 1/8th mile format, Atco Raceways "Quick 8's" Harris Storage Points Champion 1/4 mile format, 1320X winner in his first attempt, the ORSCA / Year One Points Champion of the Mickey Thompson Outlaw 10.5 1/8th mile format and the icing on the cake of the winner of the 6th annual Shakedown at E-Town 1/4 mile format.

These credentials alone speak volumes of Newsham's dedication not only the class but the true meaning of competition in various stages of anyone's career pointing his way to leadership and fellowship with other racers and tracks notoriety as he makes his way through magazine articles, Internet coverage, photos and videos found all over the internet chronicling Joe Newsham as a standout in this racing arena.

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