From Bill W
March 9, 2011 – Brian Brown’s 2011 sprint car season got underway where 2010 ended…at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Nevada. This time, the World of Outlaws were present, and despite two rough qualifying runs and some bad luck, the Grain Valley, Missouri driver was able to surge through the field for a pair of respectable finishes last Wednesday and Thursday. He will take this weekend off before putting the 360 in for action in Malden, Missouri on March 19.
With a stout field on hand including Tony Stewart, who Brian ran second to in Vegas last Fall, the FVP #21 would qualify 16th in the field on Wednesday. “We were given two hot lap sessions, and we were fifth and seventh quick in those. To come out and qualify sixteenth after that was tough. I came off turn four the first lap a little low, and the second lap, I swung around too far in four. I have to pin that on myself. That put us at a disadvantage the rest of the night.”
An encouraging first lap of the heat race turned sour quickly and he had to qualify through the B. “We got a really good start and we were up racing for third coming into turn four,” says Brian. “I just got over the edge a bit and knocked the Jacob’s ladder out of it. We fell back to ninth and drove back to seventh. That put us in the B, which we were able to follow Jac to the checkers there. That wasn’t a bad thing. We needed the laps being a new team with a new car and all of that. The way this motor runs (a Capetta purchased from the R19 team), the fueling, gears, etc are a little different. You have to be on as soon as you push off with the Outlaws.”
After a slow start, Brian would finish just outside of the top ten in Wednesday’s main event. “We were shuffled around a little,” he says. “Some guys were making some desperate moves early on. That put us in a couple of bad spots that we survived. At one time, I think we were back in the 20th range. We were able to pass some cars there and get up to eleventh. There was some carnage, so to come out of that unscathed with a decent finish was a good feeling.”
A sloppy track greeted drivers in Thursday’s finale. A draw to come out first in the field for qualifying is usually an advantage, but not on this day. “There was so much slime on the track that we had four flights of hot laps,” says Brian. “Las Vegas Motor Speedway made the decision at that point that we needed to go out and qualify, or load them up. Unfortunately, I was the first one out to qualify (19th quick in the end), and the track got better and better after I went out. You can’t spot those guys that many spots, but we continued to race well. The heat went well.”
Brian qualified through the heat this time and would line up inside row nine for the feature. “We started behind Terry (McCarl in 15th) and Kraig Kinser (13th),” he says. “They got together on the start, and I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Andy and Chaddy were able to get it repaired and got us sent back out. We went back to 23rd and the next 27 laps went non-stop. We were able to climb up to ninth.”
There was no sign things were going to change in Brian’s pursuit of the leaders until a late red flag. “I really felt we had a fifth or sixth place car,” he says. “Then we had a red flag and the right rear tire was down to four and a half pounds. Just a little bad luck last weekend, and we ended up twelfth.”
The FVP #21 team rated their first two races as a success and is looking forward to the rest of the season. “We’re right there,” says Brian. “We just need some time to get everyone on the same page with things, and that will come. This was a good start. We’ll keep plugging away. I think we have a very good chemistry.”
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For up to date information on Brian Brown, visit www.BrianBrownRacing.com!
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Scott Burns asks: Do you run more or less stagger than most other drivers?
Brian answers: I don’t really know. That’s something you keep an eye on, but it’s tough to keep track of what you are doing, let alone everyone else. We probably run the least amount of stagger of anyone…especially with the 360 stuff. A lot of guys run 92 (inch tires) and we are on 94. It’s kind of like drag racing. The more even the tires, the faster they’ll go down the straightaway. As long as you can get through the corners, you want to be close to that. I think we’re pretty close to everyone in that respect though.
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 Brian’s rookie season at the Knoxville Raceway in 2002, he won the 360 point championship. He recorded six wins, including five in a row from July 20 through the end of the season. Clint Garner was second in points that season, followed by David Hesmer, Josh Higday and Doug Wilson.
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Brian would like to thank FVP, Searsboro Telephone Company, Impact Sign and Lighting, Champion Brands, Splash, Ditzfeld Transfer, Maxim Racing, Smiley’s Racing Products, Weld Wheels, Housby Trucks, My State Insurance Rates, Arctic Cat, K&N Filters, Hostiowa.net, FSR Race Products, TI64, Fuel-Safe Tanks, Awesome Racewear, Wolfe Eye Clinic, 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, GoPro, XYZ Machining, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Peterson Fluid System, Red Devil Brakes, Schoenfeld Headers, www.Impact4800.com and WSIB Insurance for all their help!