The HoneyBadger – Joe Freeman

The original Badger. The Captain at the Helm. The one who melts brake fluid reservoirs with hood-exit flamethrowers and keeps going, blows turbo wheels out both ends, and wins comp events in borrowed cars. This HoneyBadger truly don’t care, except when he does. Get to know him below.

The Baby Badger

A true California cowboy and always fascinated with automotives, the Honeybadger grew up fixing and riding junked dirt bikes around his grandpa’s cattle ranch before he was even a teen. This quickly evolved into cars and became a still-vigorous obsession with them. Particularly, Porsche 944s, the first of which he saw rusting away in his neighbors yard as a teen. After graduating in diesel automotives from Denver, CO, Freeman came back to California and started down the rabbit hole.

All Downhill

Although Freeman had has several “fun” cars, from 4×4 Mazda Pickups sliding in parking lots in the Colorado snow to a boat of a Buick Regal hitting triple digits down country roads, the trouble started in late 2007 when he acquired his first victim in a black, non-turbo Porsche 944. Although this particular Porsche was not long for its new owner, it started an obsession that, in a few short years, found the Honeybadger earning his nickname, collecting beaten and abused cars, and even living in rented shops in lieu of houses and apartments to be able to keep his collections. But he still had a ways to go.

In 2011, while living in a shop in the central valley, the Honeybadger unknowingly became neighbors with a drift shop. He soon picked up another 944 and, one rainy night while the drift shop had its doors open, Freeman slid his car in the parking lot by accident. Choirs of angels began singing and the heavens opened up. Freeman caught the slide and the rest is tire-burning, motor-blowing, comp-winning history.

The Birth of the Brigade

The Badger Brigade as a group was a slow burn start. Also in 2011, Freeman met Suzy Valdivia and her Monster at the start of her road race addiction. In fact, along with a group of mutual friends, Valdivia and Freeman attended each of their first ever auto crosses together; the Honeybadger drifted the entire course, to the side-eyes of the auto crossers and the cheers of Valdivia. They instantly became friends.

Later on, Freeman began to cross paths with Miguel “Migs” Senquiz. Casually, they began to talk shop at various drift events where Migs and his team were regulars and eventually Migs began to use the Honeybager’s new shop space. If Freeman and Valdivia’s fist-bumped friendship began at first contact, the self-contained nature of Migs made their friendship cold molasses to start. Eventually, gravity won out and Migs became the ying to his yang, the wry and calm to Freeman’s wild and captivating.

The concept of the Badger Brigade came about at various times for the Honeybadger. Tired of shady organizations and disorganized teams, Freeman started the idea of a team without the teammates. The idea began to take shape when all 3 future members of the Badger Brigade collided at the beginning of 2019 and have been hard pressed to spend a weekend completely apart since then. Unanticipated, unexpected, and soon to be unmatched, the animals found a den.