Youth motorsport team owner charged with sex crimes

Published 12:10 am Saturday, August 26, 2023

MOORESVILLE — A race team owner in Rowan County was arrested earlier this month for sex offender registry charges.

Joel Richard Courage, a registered sex offender, was charged on Thursday with several charges stemming from the employment of minors.

A press release from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office indicated that per N.C. law, it is illegal for any offender who is required to register to work for any person or as a sole proprietor, with or without compensation, at any place where a minor is present. The offender’s responsibilities or activities would include instruction, supervision or care of a minor or minors.

On Aug. 16, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Sex Offender Unit received information from the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office concerning Courage. During their investigation, they discovered that Courage owns a race team in Rowan County that employs several minors as drivers.

E33 Motorsports and Development is based in Mooresville. Its website describes the business as a “grassroots late-model team” that “helps find and develop drivers for teams like Rick Ware Racing, Spire Motorsports, SS Greenlight, Peck Motorsports and Reaume Brothers Racing for their growing NASCAR and IMSA teams.”

E33 Motor Sports is located at 2295 London Road in Mooresville.

According to the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry, Courage was convicted in February 2008 for sex crimes with a minor in Sacramento.

During the investigation, detectives discovered that Courage allegedly supervised multiple minors on his race team. The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office obtained warrants on Courage charging him with the offense.

He was released after posting a $25,000 bond.

Courage has reportedly been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR.