Impressed, are you, with how fast Bitcoin has zoomed into public consciousness over the past couple of years? Well, there’s fast, and then there’s Justin Boston fast. That’s the kind of fast that involves driving a motorized vehicle that is not a plane up to 201 miles per hour on a race track, around which he usually averages somewhere between 173-177 miles an hour over grueling 200- or 250- mile races.
Boston is a Maryland native and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver affiliated with the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) group based in the racing hub of Charlotte, North Carolina. Having recently picked up his chief sponsor in BitPay, the world’s leading Bitcoin payment processor, he and his BitPay logo-adorned Toyota Tundra pickup will be lining up Friday night, February 20 at the fabled Daytona International Speedway in Florida for the NextEra Energy Resources 250. The event will be carried live on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Boston is a personable and articulate 25-year-old who has been moving very fast on things with wheels ever since his parents gifted him with a tiny motocross bike for his fifth birthday. That innocent-seeming gesture for what they figured would be their son’s occasional amusement triggered a lifelong passion that Boston has since modified but never relinquished.
“My dad took to hiding the bike in the back of his truck because they couldn’t get me off it,” Boston remembers. “It just intrigued me and turned into something way more than my family ever dreamed it could be.”
Though his parents weren’t racing fans at the time, Boston quickly got on a youth motocross circuit that involved racing weekends all over the region.
“I loved motocross and did it from the time I was 7 up till nearly 13,” he says. “Sometimes we’d drive 12 or 13 hours and I’d be doing my homework in the back seat. Racing always brought our family together, and there’s a great community involved. It was never something I did to get away from people, but to get closer to them. And it also let me push my own boundaries.”
Those boundaries were sorely tested over the years as Boston suffered the almost inevitable nasty spills in what he describes as a “gladiator sport.”
After covering their eyes at one too many accidents playing out in front of them, his parents asked for a family pow-wow to discuss their sub-teenage son’s career choice. “They couldn’t stand to see me get injured all the time,” he says. “I understood. But I really loved it, so I got desperate to find something else.”
After taking up serious wakeboarding for a time, he discovered the glories of stock car racing at age 16 after watching a NASCAR race in Delaware. That prompted enrollment in a racing school in Charlotte and the long (most always oval-shaped) roads that have taken him through various racing classes leading up to his coveted affiliation with KBM. The BitPay sponsorship and lining up for the legendary Daytona series next week followed.
“In racing, they say, ‘All roads lead to Daytona,’” Boston notes. “If you win there, you remember it the rest of your life.”
How likely is that win? “If everyone knew how races played out, there would be no reason to race,” he says, sounding as confident and intense as one would expect from someone whose parents had to hide his bike from him not all that many years ago.
Ironically to mere mortals who look at cars nearing 200 mph and can only think, “Danger! Danger!”, Boston sees NASCAR driving as far safer than the motocross of his youth. “It’s definitely a rush driving that fast, but it’s a relative speed, too, because your competitors are right there doing the same. It’s a very mental sport, and you train yourself to stay focused when you’re tired and hot.”
Temperatures in the cockpit, he says, can run 30 degrees above ambient temperature, meaning that a balmy 80-degree Florida day can mean 110 degrees in the cockpit, where ingesting copious doses of fluids is also part of the focus drivers must keep.
“I was pretty much self-taught in stock car racing until I hooked up with my race team KBM last year,” Boston says. “That really launched my career to a new level, and the good thing is, stock car racers can have long careers. It’s really fun driving these things, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do.”
Boston figures to make it fun and profitable for Bitcoin enthusiasts next week by promoting the Twitter hashtag #jbossbitcoin, to which people can post thoughts, reflections, witticisms, photos, and other creative gestures of support. Winning posts will earn ChangeTips in Bitcoin from the cryptocurrency-savvy Boston Racing team.
“I’ve been following digital currency for a long time now, so when I heard from BitPay a few months ago and we started discussing sponsorship possibilities, I got pretty excited,” Boston says. “It’s a great group, and we are going to have big fun with ChangeTip during the race. It’s a very cool way of showing support for my team, and for us to show our appreciation right back.”
Andrew Hidas is a senior consulting editor for BTC Media. He has an extensive background in media, where he has done everything from operating an ad agency to editing books to serving as editor and writer for various magazines, newspapers, digital publications and blogs. He loves the intellectual puzzles posed and solved by the world of digital currency.