Hunt the Front is a race team and online community. Our YouTube vlog provides a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to run a grassroots Dirt Late Model program with drivers Joseph Joiner and Jonathan Joiner. From working in the shop with the crew to winning races on the racetrack, Hunt the Front takes you along for the ride.
Welcome to the Hunt the Front website! My name is Jonathan Joiner. I’m a high school English teacher by day and a race car driver by night. I also find time to run the Hunt the Front race team and YouTube channel in between all of that.
I live in Milton, Florida, with my amazing wife Shadow and our son Tennyson.
Along with being a good Christian, I have five main goals in life. The first three are to (1) be a good father, (2) be a good husband, and (3) be a good teacher. The fourth and fifth goals are to (4) go fast and (5) win races.
My brother Joseph and I drive race cars, Dirt Late Models to be specific. Our weeknights are spent working on our cars, and on most weekends you can find us at a dirt track competing in the sport we love supported by a crew of family, friends, and fans.
Much like breathing, racing is something I’ve always done. Whether it was watching my father, driving my own car, or working on my brother’s, for as long as I can remember, racing has played a significant role in my life.
My father drove race cars when I was a kid. Through Daddy, my brothers and I learned what it meant to be racers. We spent countless hours with him in the race shop, and we tagged along with him on hundreds of trips to dirt tracks across the Southeast.
My own racing career started in 2000, when I was thirteen-years-old, in what was affectionately known as the Hogg division. My first race car was nothing more than an old Chevy Nova with a four-point roll cage. I spent three years competing in the various lower divisions at my hometown track Southern Raceway, as well as Flomaton Speedway in Flomaton, Ala. and Northwest Florida Speedway in Baker, Fla.
In 2003, I moved up to the Limited Late Model division, and spent the next five seasons racing a mixture of Limited, Crate, and Super Late Model events. After winning the Crate Late Model track championship at Southern Raceway in 2008, I scaled back my racing efforts to finish college and start a career. From 2009 to 2015, I raced only a handful of times, while most of my time around racing was spent helping my younger brother Joseph.
In 2016, my racing career sparked new life when Daddy talked me into buying an Open Wheel Modified. I raced in the Modified division for one year then stepped up to Late Models in 2017. In my first season back behind the wheel of a Late Model, I won seven races and the Late Model Sportsman division title at Southern Raceway. I didn’t race as much in 2018, but did manage to win five more races. In 2019 I made the move up to the Crate Late Model division and won three out of 12 races and came just a few points short of winning the division championship at Southern Raceway.
But that’s enough about me. Let’s talk about the real star of our racing family: my brother Joseph. The youngest of the three Joiner Brothers, Joseph began racing dirt bikes in 2000 when he was five years old. He raced dirt bikes for a number of years, winning races all over the Southeast.
At the age of 12, Joseph traded his dirt bike for a roll cage and went racing in the Hogg division. Joseph raced one season in Hogg and another in the Hobby division before making the jump to Late Models in 2007, just before his 13th birthday.
Pretty soon, Joseph was winning races in both Crate and Super Late Models and went on to establish himself as one of our area’s top drivers. He’s accomplishments include multiple track championships at Southern Raceway, the 2013 Panhandle Challenge Series Championship and many big wins including a $10,000 Crate Late Model victory in the 2015 Southern 100.
Joseph’s breakout season came in 2019 when he won six races in 14 starts, including a sweep of Southern Raceway’s Southern All Star Series Labor Day doubleheader and winning a Southern National Late Model Super Car Series event.
I’m proud of what my family has accomplished in racing. We’ve won a lot of races, but we’ve lost a lot more. We’ve torn up race cars and blown up motors, but we’ve made a lot of great friends and priceless memories along the way. Through all the winning and losing, I’ve come to realize that I’m blessed to have a deep and profound passion for racing. Some people call what we do a hobby. To me, it’s a way of life.
My goal with our YouTube vlog is to record as many of my family’s racing experiences as possible and bring viewers an up-close look at what it means to be a dirt track racer. That includes the highs and the lows, the wins and the losses, the work and the gratification that people like us enjoy and endure week in and week out.
I hope our adventures illustrate how there’s so much more to racing than driving in circles around a racetrack. Through racing I’ve developed close friendships with people who I otherwise never would have met, I’ve been to countless places I never would have seen, and I’ve learned hundreds of lessons that I would never have understood.
Lastly, I hope our videos convey just how family oriented our racing program is. My family plays a huge role in when, where, and how I race. Unless Joseph and I are racing at different tracks on the same night, he’s almost always with me when I race, and I’m almost always with him when he races. My wife and son also come to most of my races and spend many hours with me in the shop. My stepmother Theresa (Joseph’s mother) plays a tremendous role in our racing as well and rarely misses a race. My twin brother Joshua lives five hours away, but he never misses a chance to give me and Joseph advice or to congratulate us on our accomplishments.
Then there are the countless friends and fans I like to refer to as our racing family. A few of them support us financially or spend hours in the shop with us; others simply stop by at the track to say hello. Some call me each week to see how I did; others follow along on through our videos. Whatever the case, these folks are a big reason why I race. Their encouragement and support are why I come back after a bad night and why I find pleasure in the good ones.
For the folks who don’t know me well or even at all, I hope you hang around and follow along as well. You may not be a part of the “racing family” I mentioned above, but if you have anything at all to do with racing you can probably relate to a lot of what you see from Hunt the Front.
Thanks again for visiting! I look forward to sharing our racing experiences with you and seeing where this goes.