Drag Illustrated Issue 176, May / June 2022 - Page 32


Complete faith in Joey driving , complete faith in whatever I asked him to do . Just a great guy .”
Oksas ’ complete faith in the people he surrounded himself with was one of the many reasons why Pierce enjoyed working with Oksas and his team . Pierce joined the team in 2019 after helping them at a couple races late in the 2018 season , and he ’ s been with them since then , guiding Scott to the WSOPM win and Joey to the MWDRS championship .
“ I ’ ve literally never had a customer , including my own father – my father trusts me very much – but this man , if I said flip the car over , he would walk
get back out in the car , and keep on the old legacy .”
When that time comes , Pierce will be there for Joey to help him continue to grow the program Scott built up over years in the sport .
“ I look forward to racing with him ,” Pierce says . “ He ’ s a hell of a driver . I don ’ t want him to give it up . I know it ’ s going to be tough . I want to be there for him . I look forward to it .”
Continuing his father ’ s legacy on the track is secondary to continuing his legacy off the track for Joey . Scott was known for his big , boisterous , lovable personality , and there was never a doubt that he was having the time of his life at the races , whether he was driving or Joey was in the seat . He was always quick to help others , and Joey
and it ’ s good karma .”
Oksas meant a lot to a lot of different people . That much was obvious in the days and weeks following his passing , as friends and competitors ran tribute decals and messages on their cars . Erica Enders and the Elite Motorsports team won the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas and dedicated the win to Oksas ’ memory , as the team was close with Oksas .
“ He was a really big part of our Elite family ,” Enders said after winning . “ He was just a happygo-lucky guy who would light up every room he walked in . I know that sounds cliché , but the world ’ s going to be a darker place without Scotty . We have a greaseboard in our trailer that usually outside and flip the car over , which he could probably easily do that ,” Pierce says . “ He had complete faith in me . Whatever I asked them to do , they did . He was the motivation behind our team , our team leader , our team spirit . I ’ ve never and maybe never will ever have somebody like that again .”
Like many other father-son duos in drag racing , Scott and Joey bonded over their mutual love for the sport . They worked together at the Oksas family business , Payless Water Heaters & Plumbing , and the racetrack was their escape .
“ Racing was kind of like our vacation or relaxation period to get away from work and all the other BS that ’ s going on in life ,” Joey says . “ It was good to be able to get away a handful of times a year and go do that . It was something he loves , and I love too . Those three or four days a week that we could spend together , going to and from races and being at the racetrack , was always a memorable experience .”
Joey , who won multiple races on his way to the MWDRS Pro Mod championship last season , was just one race into his title defense season when Scott passed . His passing understandably put the racing program on hold , but Joey does plan to return when the time is right .
“ As of right now , I ’ m taking a little break ,” Joey confirms . “ Just gotta gather everything and make sure I have all my ducks in a row before I can go back racing . There are some aspects of life that are present right now that I have to deal with . The end goal for myself is to get back out at the track , wants to carry on that generosity .
“ I know he always treated people with respect ,” Joey says . “ Always had a smile on his face . It didn ’ t matter who it was , he ’ d give the shirt off his back to anyone out there , whether it was a brand-new racing program that came out to race with us or it was a lifelong friend . I have that inside me , and I know that almost every one of those people out there would do the exact same thing for us . I just want to keep that going . Whether it ’ s offering someone to eat some dinner or grab a bottle of water or Gatorade or giving them the last part I have inside the trailer . That ’ s definitely one thing I ’ m going to keep on doing because it feels good has things to do on it . All that was on there this weekend was , ‘ Win Vegas for Scotty O ,’ and I ’ m really thankful to have done just that . He was riding along with us this weekend , and this one ’ s for the Oksas family .”
Past MWDRS Pro Mod champion Ron Muenks , who drives Dave Pierce ’ s nitrous-fed “ Purple Gorilla ” ’ 68 Camaro tuned by Jeff Pierce , raced under the Oksas Motorsports banner at the last couple races to earn points on behalf of the team should Joey decide to return later this season . It was a noble gesture , one that spoke to Pierce ’ s respect for Scott . “ He ’ ll never be replaced ,” Pierce concludes . DI
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