By T.J. Buffenbarger
(August 8, 2019) — Brian Brown and his Casey’s General Stores/FVP sponsored team have entered the Knoxville Nationals over the past decade as the most likely among the regular competitors at the Knoxville Raceway with a shot at winning the biggest event in sprint car racing. This year Brown has some amazing statistics built up at Knoxville leading into the Nationals. Instead of adding pressure to an already intense time of year, instead Brown seems to have a quiet confidence about him.
“I don’t think so. If anything, it just gives us more confidence knowing that we have the package that we can go out and set quick time, win our heats from sixth, and is good for 16 or 19 second track in the feature. It just gives us a better understanding of what we need to do.”
Brown has changed his approach over the years to the Nationals. Rather than let the hype and buildup envelop everyone, Brown and his team take the same approach to the Nationals as they would any other event. The only difference being the race car Brown has stashed away since the World of Outlaws event at Knoxville in June and will bring back out for Thursday’s preliminary event.
“We’re just going to treat it like any other weekend, just like we did when the Outlaws came to town and we were pretty good there,” We haven’t run (his Nationals car) since the Outlaw show. We feel like this car is a way better car than we have been running, and that one almost won on Sunday. I feel like we have a good opportunity, we just need a little of the luck that goes along with it.”
One might think it is risky to change cars considering how well Brown has run recently including a # place finish at the Capitani Classic on Sunday. Brown hopes some of the differences between the car he used Sunday and the one that was stashed away since June will be a difference maker.
“It just acts a little different. The characteristics of the car we are going to run at the Nationals is going to suit a little slicker track, so we should be good.”
Some of Brown’s success in 2019 can be traced back to the season finale at Knoxville Raceway last year. With the Nationals behind them Brown and his race team decided to try some setup changes with the car that turned out to be beneficial.
“After the Nationals the last week of the year here at a local show we just tried some things that really…sometimes if you get into May, June, and July you kind of get yourself in little bit of a box and we don’t really want to try something. After the Nationals last year, it was a good opportunity to do some things with our car that we have been wanting to do and it really worked. Then we just kind of fine-tuned that ever since.”
Those setup changes combined with the knowledge his team has gained all year has made his car move manurable around the Marion County half-mile oval. Brown hopes those changes are going to be the key to running well all week at Knoxville.
“Basically, we have had the same basic setup on our car since 2010, we have just fine tuned it over the years. This year we have come onto some stuff fine tune wise that has made me be able to run the bottom better and still run the top. I think that’s what is going to take be able to win any race this week is being able to go both spots on the track.”