COLUMBIA CITY — Racing is a lot of work and it takes a lot of money to get a competitive car on the track.
Hours are spent in the garage getting engines running smoothly, adjusting shocks and suspension based on the track conditions, and making repairs from previous races. Columbia City resident Joe Stevens has changed the racing game just a bit.
The Stevens-Miller team owns the cars, maintains the cars and even transports them to the race tracks. Then, drivers rent time in the cars the team provides and race in the Trans Am TA2 series.
The Stevens-Miller team currently owns four cars as part of the Arrive and Drive concept of racing. Drivers then fly in from around the globe from places like Finland, Australia and Asia to race in as many races during the season as they choose to participate.
The TA2 series began the first week of March and will conclude in November during Daytona Speed Week. The Stevens-Miller team is currently preparing cars to run in Indianapolis in June.
The team also maintains cars for drivers who own their own car. The Stevens-Miller team keeps those cars in top running order and gets them to every race for the drivers.
“We bring the cars to the track and facilitate them and do all the maintenance,” Stevens said.
After a rough run at the Detroit GP in which all four cars ended up the wall, the team will be taking three cars to Indianapolis.
Stevens went to school for general transportation repair and worked at a dealership doing any job that was asked of him. After spending some time working for a dealership owned by Roger Penske, Stevens began to think a little bit more about racing.
Stevens began working for the Leighton Reese racing team maintaining cars and in 2014 got on the track himself. He finished sixth in the series his first year and was hooked after that.
It was at that time Stevens partnered with Mike Miller and the two ran the team for a year before Miller wanted to move on to other business. Stevens took over the team and never looked back.
The team currently has two semis and a full staff including Stevens’ dad Gary, whom he blames for getting him into racing. The team owns several cars and is the only team to field cars from Ford, Chevy and Dodge. Still, demand for the Arrive and Drive experience continues to grow so Stevens said he wants to keep pushing forward.
“We want to have a steady stream of five cars in every race,” said Stevens. “Our reach is expanding.”
The team has only been in Columbia City for about a year. They were located in Michigan and had clients driving long distances from southern Indiana up to race. Stevens said it seemed logical to move a little bit closer and Columbia City was a central position. The team set up a workshop on Stevens’ property and started getting cars ready for the track.
The races in Indianapolis were June 15. Next, the team will begin getting cars ready to race in Ohio, Aug. 9-11.