All Joslin’s Jewelry customers know that Gary Joslin is not only the heart and soul of the jewelry store – he’s the best in Kansas City! However, many customers don’t know that Gary has a passion for more than just fine jewelry – and it’s for NASCAR.
A gear head since high school, Gary first discovered his love for racing when he turned 16 and inherited his first car – a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle. Little did this adrenaline junkie know at the time, he would eventually be known as Gary “Jaws” Joslin and the speedway would become his home away from home. Gary spent a total of five years racing in both the Truck and Enduro 4-Cylinder Class at I-70 Speedway.
“My claim to fame is that I passed Carl Edwards the first time I raced with him,” said Gary. “He and the class champion wrecked, so I closed my eyes and drove through the smoke. It’s a miracle we made it!”
Gary’s racing days came to an end in 2005 after a crash during a truck race in Iowa. Going 130 mph, Gary crashed into a concrete wall so hard that he broke it in not one, but two places! The crash ended in a concussion and Gary made the decision to retire. “It would’ve been a shame to lose the chance to see my daughter grow up,” he reasoned.
Today, Gary cures his need for speed by spending race weekends helping the fire crew at Kansas Speedway. As the sponsor of Dalton Kirk, son of Fire Chief Rob Kirk, Gary gets to spend race days with an all access firemen’s pass. He gets the honor of watching the race from the pit entrance, cooking lunch and dinner for the other crews and helping the racers get on the back of the truck as they take their final lap around the track. “I’ve been up close and personal with all of the big names! Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jimmy Johnson and Danika Patrick – they’re all right there,” said Gary.
When Gary isn’t helping a customer select the ring of their dreams at Joslin’s Jewelry or assisting the fire crew at Kansas Speedway, you can find him in his “overachieving garage” converting old trucks into vintage race cars. With six trucks currently in the works, Gary has also built five roll cages and one super truck – all from his two-car garage right here in Overland Park, Kansas! His latest completed project? An orange 1955 Chevy that he recently took to Lucas Oil Speedway to race on the dirt track. Don’t worry – he was only going 50 mph, not 130!
“Racing is just plain fun! There’s so much more to it than just turning left,” said Gary. “I respect the racers a lot. Can you image their ability to focus on details for three hours going 180 mph?” Gary continued, “That’s the way we are in the jewelry business. It’s all about attention to the detail. You may be able to buy a ring anywhere in town, but you won’t buy the same quality ring I’ve got to sell.”
With the ARCA Menards Series Championship Race taking place this weekend at Kansas Speedway, you can bet Gary is counting down the days until he’s there cheering on from the pit entrance! Interested in learning more about Gary’s NASCAR history? Come by Joslin’s Jewelry located at 9529 Antioch Overland Park, KS 66212. Gary is happy to share his stories and would love to show you his one-of-a-kind selection of fine jewelry while you’re here!
Take a look at Gary’s racing days in the gallery below: