By Bill W
May 24, 2010 – It was another successful week for the Brian Brown Racing FVP #21 team with two more podium finishes in big events at Jackson Speedway in Minnesota and the Knoxville Raceway. This weekend finds Brian Brown at least three nights, with a possibility of five!
Last Friday night was the Jackson Spring Sprint Nationals sanctioned by the JSTS 360 series. With a nice purse and plenty of contingencies, Brian again found himself at one of his favorite race tracks. “Van Wyhe Livestock and Folkens Brothers Trucking do a great job with that race,” he says. “Jon McCorkell and his team at the track do a great job too. The fans are as passionate there as anywhere, and I always look forward to going there. They are always thankful for us towing all the way up there. I look forward to coming back for the Jackson Nationals.”
Most thought the fourth heat was stacked, and Brian would agree. He started third and ran second. “I think it was the toughest heat of the night with Jake (Peters) up front, Shane (Stewart), Billy (Alley), Jerry Richert Jr. and Lee Grosz,” he says. “With the passing points, you have to go, and we were able to get up to second on the first lap. One bad corner would have been all it would have taken to turn things bad.”
Brian was able to make the 10-car 8-lap dash, but drew the final row. A pair of incidents left him with a DNF. “The draw has been biting us this year,” he says. “The first lap Jack (Dover) crashed, and we had parts hitting our car. The left front brake line was torn off, the nose wing was torn off, and it put a hole in the right side of the hood. We were able to fix the brake line, which is the most important thing. We were able to drive back up to sixth, but a mud clod came through the hood and broke the throttle linkage.”
Officially score ninth in the dash, Brian started inside row five for the 25-lap main event. “It was tough to pass early on,” he says of the track conditions. “You had to be on the bottom of one and two, and three and four weren’t too wide. There was dust on the top. Eventually, the top blew off in one and two, and that’s how we started moving forward.”
The last half of the race, Brian found himself charging forward and with a caution late in the going, he was third behind Sammy Swindell and Shane Stewart. “The caution made me feel like we were in a good position, the way we were moving,” he says. “I made a bad corner in one and two, and that let Shane get away from us a bit. We were able to reel him back in, but couldn’t do anything with him. We settled for third. Shane and Sammy are good racers, and our job is to get better.”
It was on to Knoxville Saturday night, where Brian started the evening second in points. He would be the first car out for qualifying and register the fourth quick time of the night. “The air was so bad (humid)…it was at 4000 feet,” he says. “There was a time, where it almost felt like running the car through water. We weren’t as fast as we’d like to be. I look at Sammy and Shane being there as a gauge to see where we are in qualifying. Sammy was four-tenths better than us, and you know when the Outlaws come, there will be ten of them in that range. We’ve got a lot of improvement to do there.”
Brian found Sammy in his heat as well, and ran from fifth to third. “The heat wasn’t the easiest in the world,” he shares. “We had some good cars in front of us. You have to get up and get going. We had a good start, and it turned out well in the end. Looking at the times, Sammy was in the same heat and was three-tenths faster. You kind of see a pattern there.”
With the invert draw at six, the Grain Valley, Missouri driver lined up inside row two for the 20-lap feature. Chaos ensued for several drivers behind him, including Swindell. “I saw during the red that Sammy and Austin (McCarl) were in the work area,” says Brian. “I’m sure a lot of people counted Sammy out, but I didn’t. We got to racing with Lynton (Jeffrey) for the lead, and that lasted six or eight laps.”
On the eighth lap, Brian took the lead, but Swindell was on the move. Sammy took the point on lap twelve. “I thought we were running decent laps out front, but then Sammy reached us,” says Brian. “It felt to me like when you are driving down the interstate and someone goes by you at about 90. That’s exactly what it felt like. He got a half a straightaway on us, and then we had a yellow with four to go.”
Desperate times call for desperate measures. “I threw everything but the kitchen sink at him,” says Brian. We were able to get a good run off of four, and put the slider on him. We were able to clear him, but I bucked the cushion a little on exit, and couldn’t get turned back to block him. I tried another one later, but probably did it a little too soon. There was no doubt that a faster car whipped us. We need to put our nose to the grindstone and work a little harder.”
The bright side saw Brian take the point lead at Knoxville for the first time this season, as he holds a five point advantage over Don Droud Jr. with a long season ahead. “Taking the point lead is fine and dandy, but getting beat like we did is frustrating,” he admits. “If you get caught behind a lapped car on the white flag lap and lose, that’s bad luck. If you get beat in an open track when you think you are making good laps…that hurts.”
Brian looks forward to taking the FVP #21 to ASCS-Midwest events at a pair of Nebraska tracks he has had great success at this week. On Thursday, he will head to I-80 Speedway near Greenwood, and Friday’s event will be at the Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction. After returning to Knoxville on Saturday, Brian will assess whether to take in events on Sunday in Jetmore, Kansas with the Lucas Oil ASCS National series and on Monday at 81 Speedway in Wichita with the NCRA.
Funk for Congress
Brian supports Dave Funk in his run for the 3rd District Iowa seat in the U.S. Congress! Dave is running for Congress because he believes in a better way for the 3rd District. He has fresh ideas and has both the energy and resolve to bring common sense policies back to Iowa.
Visit www.CongressNeedsFunk.com today!
Follow Brian and FVP Racing on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube!
The FVP marketing team has launched a Twitter page, a Facebook page, and a Youtube page (make sure to subscribe to all!) to keep up to date with Brian and FVP racing! You can become a fan and follow along by clicking on the links below:
For up to date information on Brian Brown, visit www.BrianBrownRacing.com!
Catch Brian at the track for the new t-shirt, and it will also be up on the website soon!
Jerry Bass asks: What kind of music do you listen to when you are traveling to and from the races?
Brian answers: It’s country. That’s pretty much the only kind of music there is. When the #21 rolls in, it’s got several hours of country music in it already. They need to get a few new ones. I think we have the words down on all of the new ones.
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.
In his career at the I-80 Speedway, Brian has five wins in only twelve features won (36%). He has recorded eighth top fives (66%) and ten top tens (79%). His latest came on July 2, 2009 in ASCS-Midwest action. Jack Dover was second, ahead of Jonathan Cornell, Doug Lovegrove and Don Droud Jr.
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Marketing Partner of the Week – Maxim Chassis
Brian says, “Chuck and Karen Merrill are not only great people, but they put everything into putting the best car out on the market. I’ve always been a supporter of theirs, and with Brian Brown Racing, you’ll always see their chassis.”
Brian has been partnering with Maxim since 2003. After years of success as a car owner, Chuck Merrill started his chassis business in a rented three-bay garage in November of 1988. The first car was driven by Johnny Herrera at the Florida All Stars Sprint Week in February of 1989. By June of that year, Maxim moved into a 7,000 square foot facility. By 2001, Maxim had grown substantially producing 304 chassis that year. In 2002, Maxim moved to its present 12,500 square foot location in Springfield, Illinois. Maxim continues to offer their customers unmatched service and support, and currently has 17 quality employees, and builds over 400 chassis on an annual basis. Their world-famous “K-car” was designed for Steve Kinser, and has won ten Knoxville Nationals titles and fourteen World of Outlaws championships! To top it all, Maxim offers a warranty if you are not completely satisfied with your car. For more information on Maxim, visit www.racemaxims.com!
Associate Marketing Partner of the Week – Engler Machine
Brian says – “Tim Engler is one of the nicest guys in this sport. When it comes to the choice on injection for our motor, I don’t see us running anything but Engler.”
All of Brian’s 410 motors and his current 360 motor have the new injection from Engler Machine & Tool. Engler Machine was started in 1980 by Tim Engler, his main line of business at that time was plastic injection molds. Over the years he has diversified very widely leaning more towards “high performance products”. He now builds fuel injection systems, custom made pulling chassis, gears, shafts, specialty CNC products, racing engines and some custom machining. Tim has been involved in tractor pulling and holds 13 national titles in that sport; he no longer pulls himself but, has been influential to the success of many other pullers through his advice and building capabilities. He races winged sprint cars when time allows this is something he truly likes and wishes he had more time to do. Visit them online at www.EnglerMachine.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!