Jesse Iwuji is a NASCAR Driver and a US Navy Lieutenant from Dallas Texas in the U.S.A. As a NASCAR driver, Jesse competes in 3 different series. In the ARCA series he drives the No 34 car, while in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series he drives the No 36. In the K & N Pro Series, Jesse finished in the top ten from 59 drivers in overall points as a rookie in 2016 and again finished in the top 15 from 65 drivers in 2017. Jesse also won individual awards for advancing most positions in a race on 3 occasions through 2016 and 2017.
Jesse also competes in the NAPA Big 5 Super Late Model Series and finished 7th overall in 2016 before moving up into 5th place overall in 2017. As a result of his performances in those first 2 years, Jesse won both the 2016 and 2017 NASCAR Diverse Driver Awards in Daytona.
As a Naval officer, Jesse Graduated from the US Naval academy in 2010. During his time there, Jesse played American Football and ran track, representing the Navy in both football and track events over a period of 4 years. Once serving full time in the Navy, he was deployed to the Arabian Gulf in 2012 and again in 2014. He is currently stationed in Ventura, California where he is an officer in the Naval reserve.
Jesse’s story is a little different from many of the stories we’ve told. Growing up with Nigerian parents who have supported Jesse in all that he’s achieved, he didn’t have any involvement or interest with any type of car or even Go kart racing as a child or teen. He didn’t actually start racing till 2015, just 3 years before his Daytona debut. Jesse had come through the naval academy to become a successful officer after being invited to attend from Junior high school. After successfully playing football and running track, one might have though Jesse would have had dreams of perhaps pursuing those professions but instead he dreamed of being a pro driver. After attending a car show, he told one of the guys there his dream and not long after that with a lot of intense work around the clock and dedication to his goal as well as using all the skills he developed to become an successful officer in the Navy, he found himself on the starting grid of his first race.
So far so good right? but this is where Jesse literally hit a bump in the road. Jesse would end up wrecking the car in his first race and his second, oh and the third and fourth. Look to cut a long story short, Jesse wrecked the car 6 times out of his first 7 races. Anyone ese would have quit but Jesse always believed things would get better and continued to tell himself that.
With Football, track, the Navy and now NASCAR, there were too many things we wanted to know about Jesse’s journey so in this short space for now, we simply asked him to sum up his personal recipe for success that you guys could follow to be successful too. Here’s exactly what Jesse had to say.
” Stand up and proclaim to the world out loud what your end goal is. Fully insanely believe it will happen till the day you die. Do at least one thing every day 365 days of the year that would work to get you closer to the goal Never let others negative opinions become your reality no matter who they are in your life or what continues to not go right and blame only yourself for your faults. Don’t ever give up and know that even in the darkest point of the night the sun will rise. Any setback is just a set up for a phenomenal comeback.”
When it came to his faith and the part that played in his life and his success, Jesse said the key’s for him personally were to pray and trust in God, daily and to praise him for the blessings and good things that happen. Jesse believes that if you stay faithful to the few things God gives to you then he’ll give you so much more.
Jesse is no doubt looking forward to a successful 2018 in his 3rd season in NASCAR and given his background and work ethic it’s going to be exciting for us all to see if Jesse can improve on his standing from the last 2 years, as he continues to make his mark in the sport.