Shelton man races his way from construction to a NASCAR gig

SHELTON — As recently as two weeks ago, Ron Miske spent his days working his construction job, while spending his off hours on his true passion — racing cars.

Now Miske has turned his passion into his profession, taking a job with 23XI Racing, the NASCAR team owned by all-time greats in their sports — Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan — and moving his race-loving family from Shelton to North Carolina.

“This is really a dream come true,” Miske said. “I love my job, I love living in Mooresville, North Carolina. It’s an amazing place for my kids to grow up.”

Miske’s job is hauling Cup Series Race cars from track to track all over the country. He will also be in the garage assisting during each race and, he says, “walking around with every NASCAR driver that’s on TV.”

Officials with 23XI Racing could not be immediately reached for comment.

Miske has been involved in racing for nearly 30 years, first drag racing and most recently running Legend cars — a hobby he has undertaken alongside his 12-year-old son Tyler. Miske said his 40 years of truck driving experience was also key to getting his dream job.

“I got hooked up with this job from a good friend of mine,” Miske said. “(23XI) needed another driver for the NASCAR hauler so my buddy said I would be a perfect fit. He put my name into the office. The team called me and said they were very interested in interviewing me because of my experience. They hired me on the spot after my interview.”

Miske said he will be rotating weeks with his friend who will also be his co-driver.

There are four divisions in NASCAR — the ARCA Series, followed by the TRUCK series, the XFINITY Series and then the CUP series, which is the top level. Miske will be working with at the CUP level, where the drivers are past Daytona 500 and NASCAR Cup Series champion Kurt Busch; Bubba Wallace; and newly signed third driver Tyler Reddick.

“I will be a behind the wall tire catcher for the No. 23 car of Bubba Wallace,” Miske said. “In time you might see me on TV during pit stops.”

Miske’s love of racing has been passed to his children. Tyler had become a fixture on the Legend racing circuit as a 12-year-old, and Olivia, 14, who attended every race, checked tire pressures and got Tyler in the car, buckled in and off.

“It’s the most amazing place for my son Tyler to get recognized by the professionals with his racing career as well as my daughter, Olivia, to start her racing career,” Miske said.

Miske had been working for Burns Construction in Stratford, where he planned to remain until his retirement.

“Then this amazing opportunity came up out of nowhere,” he said. “When I left Ken Burns, Sr., and Kenny Burns, Jr., both wished me the best and said I will forever have a job there if I ever came back to Connecticut.”

Miske’s wife, Jill, left her role at the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, where she had worked for more than two decades.

“We are lucky enough to have our dream come true and enjoy this beautiful place, live out my dream job and finally live peacefully,” he said. “This is truly the happily ever after.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

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