Emily Mikkelsen and Justyn Melrose
ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A race team owner who was charged earlier this month for violating sex offender registry regulations has been charged in another county.
On Friday, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said that they had charged Joel Richard Courage with sex offender employment violation after they say their investigation determined that Courage was supervising multiple minors on his race team, E33 Motorsports, which they say “helps find and develop young drivers” for racing careers.
E33 Motorsports operates out of Mooresville in Rowan County.
The North Carolina Sex Offender Registry states that Courage was convicted in February 2008 for 11 sex crimes with a minor in Sacramento, California that happened in October 2007.
On Aug. 8, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office Sex Offender Registration Unit received a tip that Courage was running the race team, according to a news release, and began investigating.
A LinkedIn page for Courage shows that he has been the owner of E33 Motorsports LLC since January 2022 after previously working as the senior manager of Rick Ware Racing from February 2020 to October 2022.
Courage was charged with seven counts of failing to register as a sex offender, as well as falsification of verification notice and failure to return verification by the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office and arrested on Aug. 9 and received a $100,000 secured bond.
On Aug. 16, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office reached out to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office about Courage’s charges and they began their investigation. He was served with the warrants from Rowan County by the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday and he was released after posting a $25,000.00 secured bond.
Courage was indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on Aug. 17, 2023.