When you see the race car driven by Josh Detwiler with a Mountain Dew bottle atop its roof, don’t rush to grab it or the driver’s attention. If you do, you just fell victim to Detwiler’s practical joke.
“I drink a ton of Mountain Dew — my family gives me Mountain Dew for Christmas and my birthday,” said Detwiler, of Rogersville, Tennessee. “I figured, hey, that would be funny if we could get [a Mountain Dew bottle] stuck someway on top of the car and see people’s reactions when they try to grab it.”
Detwiler doesn’t carry any ordinary Mountain Dew bottle on his car.
“Luckily, my brother-in-law [sister’s husband], works for Pepsi,” Detwiler said. “He had a bunch of those metal bottles, which were a collector’s item. I used a grade 8 bolt, drilled holes, and stuck the bottle on the roof. People either love it or they think it’s dumb. I think it’s funny.”
Detwiler calls himself a practical joker and class clown. His playful attitude and antics earned him roles as a mascot in the NBA and Minor League Baseball.
“It was a fun, especially being 18,” said Detwiler of his experience as a professional mascot. “I got paid to be a class clown, which I was always in trouble for that [in school].”
Nowadays, he works construction with his father in their family business. He recently returned to pure 4s on pavement at Tennessee’s Kingsport Speedway. He had a brief foray this year in sportsman late models on dirt at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tennessee.
Whatever Josh Detwiler races, you can count on him carrying the bottle of his favorite beverage on his roof — just for instances like the one he experienced at Walmart.
“I was at the red light coming out of Walmart, and I feel the back of the truck hike up,” Detwiler said. “I look in the rearview mirror and there’s a guy on the back of the trailer. He tries to yank [the bottle] off [the race car] and then looks up and starts dying, laughing.”
The Outside Groove Executive Editor has covered motorsports since 2000. His many awards include the 2019 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Jim Hunter Writer of the Year and the 2013 Russ Catlin Award for Excellence in Motorsports Journalism.