Millikan senior Joseph Daniele can’t remember a time where he didn’t have the urge to jump into a car and go for a joy ride.
Since he was three years old, Daniele has had a fascination with cars and a need for speed– whether it was a go-kart traveling 50 miles per hour or a Formula 4 single-seater traveling at speeds up to 165 miles per hour.
Daniele doesn’t remember watching Cars on repeat when he was young, but his father Shannon knew right away that his son had a love for cars at a young age, and it started with Lightning McQueen and his best friend Mater.
“We took him to see Lightning McQueen and just watched him watch that movie,” Shannon said. “At that moment it just clicked with me and his mom. Also, when he was pre-karting with his Lightning McQueen power-wheel it was his obsession and was just his thing. A parent, if able, should help their child pursue their passion. With Joseph it was easy. He had the passion from day one and we just facilitated his passion.”
Growing up Joseph was drawn to cars and that included any of the newest Hot Wheels when he was at the store with his parents.
“It just seemed like when I was young, I was born with a toy car in my hand. Any toy car I saw in the store and wanted — I’d get,” Joseph said.
At 18, Daniele has already had an accomplished career that has allowed him to travel all over the United States and internationally including events in Belgium.
“It was a beautiful country and the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to,” Joseph said of Belgium. “It was super nice and that track there is regarded as one of the most world class tracks.”
One of Joseph’s biggest accomplishments so far was being one of two selected to compete for the United States for the Commission Internationale de Karting (CIK-FIA) trophy in 2017.
As Joseph moves up the racing ladder on his journey to one day reach his dream of competing in the Indy Car circuit – so do the costs of being able to compete at each level.
While Joseph’s parents have been able to support his dreams and one more year in the Formula 4 circuit, the aspiring Indy Car racer is looking for support from his community – from Long Beach – as he aims to take another step up the ladder.
On his website, Daniele has created opportunities for interested parties to contribute to his ultimate dream of competing at the Long Beach Grand Prix in his hometown — a moment that he’s dreamed about since seeing the Grand Prix when he was young.
“A lot of people in Long Beach don’t know about the Long Beach Grand Prix which is OK,” Joseph said. “But the people that do know, realize that the Long Beach Grand Prix is the No. 1 most prolific street race to win in the country. If you win that, for the week you’re celebrating. You’re the baddest man on the planet. Whether I lived in New Jersey, or on the East Coast – that would still be the one race I want to win.”
“I think it’s so crazy I was born and raised here and that would mean an insane amount more,” Joseph said. “It’s already crazy to win that, it’s like winning the Super Bowl. But if I won it, it’d be like 10 Super Bowls. It would be the highlight of my life.”
Those interested in learning more about Joseph’s journey, sponsoring his car, or donating can visit josephdanieleracing.com.