“Big Show” Joey Amantea, Big Moments in Florida, and Big Plans for 2023 – DTD Exclusive


A big track, a big outing, and a big future lies ahead for the up-and-coming Mount Pocono, PA native.

Joey Amantea (pronounced UH-mahn-TEE-uh), just a few months after turning 18, decided to head South, towing the JPA Masonry Amantea Real Estate Stinger Race Fuel No. 88J with a 410 powerplant underneath. The Pennsylvania native ran both small and large tracks in previous seasons piloting the USAC East Coast 360 machine, but tackling the ultra-fast Volusia would be another challenge.

In the first of two USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car features, Amantea qualified for the main, and finished 20th after smacking the turn 2 wall while running the dangerous outside groove.

Night two saw Amantea suffer another “pucker” moment, in the words of series announcer Chet Christner when he colorfully describes a driver’s near- disaster.

While running in a qualified spot in the semi-feature, Amantea once again hopped the cushion in the middle of 1 and 2, smacked the wall, this time all four wheels briefly losing contact with the wet outside clay, before wrestling his car back under control. The feature would go much better, rebounding from 22nd to 16th in the caution – free race.

“Making the show was a huge confidence booster. We’re competitive. I couldn’t really ask for much more right now. I needed to relax a bit once I kept hopping the cushion over and over. That’s where the lack of experience comes in,” said Amantea following his night one outing.

With less than a dozen wingless 410 starts, Amantea built his career running quarter midgets and wingless 600s at tracks like West End and Action Track USA. His nickname Big Show came as a child after wrecking his quarter midget during a USAC national event, restarted last, and won with a last turn, last lap pass.

“We’ve got a 70 plus racing schedule this year with more than 60 sprint shows between the 360 and 410. As of now I’d like to go for the USAC East Coast championship, but we’ll see what happens.”

Amantea credits building his fan base through social media and car aesthetics which catch the eyes of the younger generation.

“Not a lot of drivers have flames and skulls on the car, so when it’s done right people notice. We’ve also got a fantastic lineup of merchandise for sale at the track and online which helps.

Amantea hopes to settle down at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala for the annual USAC Winter Games 410 points openers before heading north and chasing the USAC East Coast 360 championship which begins April 1st at the Bridgeport Motorsports Park high-banks.