Muzik Keeps Family Name and Number on Track at Viking Speedway
The last name and number are well-known to race fans at Viking Speedway in Alexandria, going back decades.
Josh Muzik, 36, is the pilot of the yellow #23 Wissota Midwest Modified he races weekly at the half-mile. He’s in his 14th year in that division.
Before Josh Muzik hopped behind the wheel, his father, Ryan, was a well-known modified driver at Viking, piloting the #23 for many years. Ryan is a 2014 inductee into the Viking Speedway Hall of Fame and is a three-time modified track champion at the half-mile. In addition, Josh’s uncle, Greg, is a 2010 Viking Hall of Fame inductee and also was a three-time track champion.
Needless to say, Josh, who drives truck for Northern Metal Recycling, gets asked on a regular basis if he is related to those two.
“It’s crazy,” Josh said.
Josh has had some success himself with five career feature wins, including two last season. He finished a season-best second last Saturday during the track’s Midwest Modified special.
Ryan won three titles in the late 1980s at Viking and was part of the rise of the popularity of the modified class at Viking in those days.
“I was in the stands, or I begged Dad to come down to the pits every weekend,” Muzik said.
The love for racing carried over to Josh, who now is passing on to his own children, who race go-karts on Fridays and Sundays.
“It’s fun to do,” Muzik said. “My kids race go-karts Fridays and Sundays. I bring all the kids here and they love coming with to the track. It’s a fun family event.”
Ryan Muzik is still involved in racing, helping his son. The car is at Ryan’s house during the week, and Ryan does all the body work, including after a Week 1 crash that involved the #23 car.
“I do everything with my dad,” Josh said.
Josh Muzik’s most memorable feature win came in 2016. His grandmother, Ardelle, was in attendance. Shortly after that win, Ardelle Muzik died.
“She was sitting on the backstretch,” Muzik said. “It was the last night she was here, and she passed away the following week. She didn’t want to come but my uncle Randy talked her into coming. She was glad she did.”
This season, Muzik is fourth in the points after four nights, but is only 43 points out of the top spot. He had a really good run on June 11 at the Viking Midwest Modified special, taking second to four-time Wissota Midwest Modified national champion Travis Saurer.
He is aiming for his first career points championship.
“We’re trying to go for a track championship,” Muzik said. “We’ll see what happens. We will see if the luck plays on our side this year.”
Wissota Midwest Modified #23
Residence: Alexandria, Minn.
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