Gary “Jaws” Joslin is more than an expert gemologist; he’s an enthusiastic gearhead!

Gary “Jaws” Joslin

Joslin’s Jewelry customers may know that Gary Joslin is the heart and soul of Joslin’s, and is at the top of the list of the best certified gemologists in all of Kansas City. What customers may not know is that Gary has a secret passion for more than just fine jewelry. It’s true: Gary Joslin is a Nascar fanatic, long-time racing enthusiast and even a race car driver himself.

Gary “Jaws” Joslin

Turns out, this gemologist has been a passionate gearhead since his high school days! When Gary turned 16, he inherited his very first car – a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle – and quickly discovered his love for racing. Who could’ve guessed that this young adrenaline junkie would become known as Gary “Jaws” Joslin and find his way onto the speedway! For a total of five years, Gary raced in both the Truck and Enduro 4-Cylinder Class at the 1-70 Speedway.

“My claim to fame is that I passed Carl Edwards the first time I raced with him,” Gary laughed. “He and the class champion wrecked, so I closed my eyes and drove through the smoke. It’s a miracle we made it!”

Gary and young Elicia

The Racing Fiend Retires

Sadly, Gary’s thrilling racing days came to an abrupt end in 2005 after a crash during a truck race in Iowa. At the high speed of 130 mph, Gary’s vehicle smashed into a concrete wall; the collision was so forceful that the wall broke in two separate places. Gary suffered a concussion but thankfully no other injuries from the accident. However, the incident led Gary to the decision to retire. “It would’ve been a shame to lose the chance to see my daughter grow up,” he reasoned.

Elicia (middle) with racing father Gary (right)

Gary and daughter Elicia are close to this day! The adrenaline junkie’s little girl grew up to join the family jewelry business; Elicia handles the delicate work of custom designs. Read their special comments about their relationship in this Father’s Day post.

Still On the Track

You can take the gemologist out of NASCAR, but you can’t take the NASCAR out of this gemologist! 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 is more than happy to spend time 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.

Gary’s Big Win!

Jeweler, Race Driver, Mechanic

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. Gary has also built several roll cages and one super truck – all from his two-car garage right here in Overland Park, Kansas!

One particular truck overhaul has a special back story – it’s the same vehicle from Gary’s only win on the 1-70 Speedway in his Super Truck! It’s hard to tell if Gary is more excited about the win or about beating a guy who had previously won 14 races in a row.

Today the truck is an orange 1955 Chevy that he took to Lucas Oil Speedway to race on the dirt track. Don’t worry – he was only going 50 mph, not 130! Gary “Jaws” Joslin enjoys being a part of the KC racing scene along with several other “guys just having a ball,” he smiles.

“Racing is just plain fun! There’s so much more to it than just turning left,” Gary explains. “I respect the racers a lot. Can you imagine their ability to focus on details for three hours going 180 mph? That’s the way we are in the jewelry business. It’s all about the attention to 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,” said Gary.

Sarah, Gary, Elicia, Luna and Cameron

Recently Gary starred in a delightful series about Joslin’s, sharing the store’s history, its one-of-a-kind customer approach, and unique insights. You can watch each brief video of the Joys of Joslin’s here!

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!

Watch the Short Clip Below for a bit of Gary’s NASCAR days!