By Bill W
August 24, 2010 – Though he would have preferred to win one of the features at the 36th Annual Jackson Nationals, Brian Brown emerged as the champion after having the most consistent finishes of the competitors on-hand. The driver of the FVP #21 feels honored to be listed among the events champions. This weekend, he’ll hit the Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois and return to the Knoxville Raceway where two events remain for him to capture his second 410 track title.
The draw didn’t go as well as it could have, but Brian fought through it on the heavy ½ mile. “We were pretty decent there on Friday,” he says. “The track was narrow for the heat, but we did manage to get up to fourth after starting eighth. That gave us enough passing points to start 12th in the A.”
Brian immediately made his way to the front, and in the late-going, had a shot at the win. “We had a good 17-lap run, and the car was great,” he says. “We passed Brooke Tatnell and Chad Meyer to get in the lead, but the yellow came out and they determined the lap didn’t count. It was too bad, because I felt we had the best car in traffic.”
Tatnell made a move from third to the lead, while Brian settled for second. “We restarted in second behind Chad Meyer there,” says the Grain Valley, Missouri driver. “He blocked the middle, and I tried to go around on the outside. Brooke slid in front of me there and we were back in third. By the time I got by Chad and ran Brooke down, it was too late.”
Another tough draw saw Brian start seventh in Saturday night’s heat. Despite being caught up in an accident, he would run from 7th to 3rd. “We didn’t draw well, and on the very first lap, someone spun in front of us and I had nowhere to go,” he says. “The header was caved in, and it knocked the top wing around. We were still able to come back and finish third.”
Starting outside row three for the finale, Brian surged to second, and made a bid at the lead. “We had a late restart with a handful of laps to go, and I got up beside Lee (Grosz). I just couldn’t clear him enough to slide him,” he says. “He did a good job.”
The two runner-up finishes tied Brian with Tatnell for the best combined finishes. Brian won the tie-breaker for Jackson Nationals champion by finishing second to Brooke’s third on Saturday. “Overall, it was a great weekend for the FVP #21 team,” he says. “We were able to win the overall title as the most consistent car. Of course, we would have liked to win one of the nights, but to have your name with the Jackson Nationals champions is special. It’s been around a long time, and there’s a reason for that. It’s an event. It will mean something to me for a long time.”
Brian was looking forward to returning to the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia on Sunday. He had won the State Fair race three straight times with the Winged Outlaw Warriors there. The night started with mechanical problems. “We broke a rocker arm in the heat race, so we had a motor change to make,” he says. “We were running towards the front in the feature, and got into a tractor tire that they had put between the concrete walls.”
The damage was significant and Brian would have to restart at the tail. “I didn’t even feel the hit, but it bent a wheel and some other stuff,” he says. “We were able to get that fixed, but with the track the way it was, we were only able to get back up to seventh. It was disappointing after winning that race the previous three years. It was the driver’s fault, definitely. I was just trying to make something happen.”
Brian is looking forward to Friday’s race in Granite City. “Kevin and Tammy Gundaker have done a great job with that facility,” he says. “They’ve turned a dark ½ mile into a well-lit high-banked 3/8. I’m looking forward to getting over there and contending with the ASCS National guys.”
The 2007 Knoxville track champion has a 90-point advantage heading into the second to last night of racing on Saturday. “We need to go in there and do the best we can to set up the final night on September 4,” he says of his quest for another Knoxville title. “I’m sure Don Droud Jr. will be ready. He’s not going to go out there and play dead. We’ll have to come out with all our ducks in a row.”
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Brian’s new t-shirts are here! You can choose from two styles!
Butch DuMont from Alexander, AR asks: Are you planning on running the Short Track Nationals? I bet you missed being there last year.
Brian answers: Definitely. That’s a place where we’ve had some success over the years. Tracey Clay and the group down there do an outstanding job with it. It’s one of the highest paying races, and for a fan, it doesn’t get much better than that. To make Saturday’s lineup, you have to be hitting on all cylinders. We’ve been able to do well there, but we’d like to win our first one this year. After Knoxville, I think we’ll be hitting the ASCS National races.
Got a question for Brian? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we may answer it in this section! Put “? for Brian” in your subject line.
Brian’s last trip to Granite City was with the World of Outlaws on June 8, 2008. Despite qualifying in the 20th position, he rebounded to finish fourth in his heat, and charge from 19th to 12th in the main event. His best finish on the old ½ mile there came with a second place finish to Jerrod Hull on October 2, 2005 in the Gifford #17G.
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Marketing Partner of the Week – Ditzfeld Transfer
Brian says – “Ditzfeld Transfer is a family deal. Ronnie and his sons were our very first sponsor. They haul our motors, and if I would need anything hauled across the country, I would call them first.”
Ditzfeld Transfer has been with Brian since the start of his racing career, and was his first sponsor. The Sedalia based family owned trucking business has been in operation for over 45 years, and has a commitment to maintaining the highest level of service. Currently, Ditzfeld Transfer utilizes more than 50 power units and 160 trailers. To learn more about Ditzfeld Transfer, visit www.DitzfeldTransfer.com!
Associate Marketing Partner of the Week – XYZ Machining
Brian says – “Tim Norman and his wife do a great job there. We use their mounts and posts. They make a great product.”
XYZ manufactures aluminum and titanium racing components as well as custom products for other industries. Their company pays close attention to the three things important to customers: on-time delivery, quality work, and excellent customer service. Visit them on the web at www.XYZMachining.com!
Brian would like to thank FVP, SuperClean, Splash, Ditzfeld Transfer, Searsboro Telephone Company, www.FaxMeService.com, Housby Trucks, Maxim Racing, Champion Brands, My State Insurance Rates, Smiley’s Race Products, Impact Sign and Lighting, Arctic Cat, K&N Filters, Hostiowa.net, FSR Race Products, Fuel-Safe Tanks, Awesome Racewear, Wolfe Eye Clinic, Weld Wheels, Bell Helmets, CP Pistons, Carrillo Rods, A1 Mortgage, Rockwell Security, Paul’s Auto Body Supply, Engler Machine, Vortex Wings, Ostrich Racing Engines, Penray, All Pro Cylinder Heads, Butler Built Seats, Rod End Supply, KSE Racing Products, Winters Performance Products, Santomauro Racing Products, Cometic Gaskets, Kaeding Performance, Donovan, Magtech, ISC Racers Tape, Racing Optics, Pro Shocks, Don’s Truck Wash, Gardner Farms, Hoosier Tires, XYZ Machining, Funk for Congress, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Peterson Fluid System, Red Devil Brakes, Schoenfeld Headers, www.Impact4800.com and WSIB Insurance for all their help!