CONCORD, N.C. – After parting ways with Ray Graham’s racing operation at the end of last season, Super DIRTcar Series stalwart Peter Britten knew it was time to try something new.
As such, the Queensland, Australia, native will take on the challenge of fielding his own equipment this year as he makes a run at the Super DIRTcar Series championship.
In addition, the No. 21a is also slated to go for another track championship at New York’s Albany-Saratoga Speedway as well.
For Britten, the time felt right and the Big-Block Modified landscape is certainly fertile enough to start his own team. However, he knows it won’t be without its challenges.
“Being a car owner is a little bit of a double-edged sword,” noted Britten. “There’s a little bit of excitement. It’s nice to have your own stuff for sure. You have a chance to build your own team up. On the other hand, having to be a car owner isn’t necessarily all that fun sometimes, especially in the beginning.
“I am building up the team from not much at all. There’s a lot involved to get the thing up and rolling,” he added. “It’s a lot of work, but at the end of the day, it’s the right move for me right now.”
There hasn’t been much “off” in Britten’s off-season. When he’s not keeping in shape, working in the shop, or representing Troyer at trade shows, he’s being a dad to his three-year old daughter Addison.
Ever since the final checkered flag fell at the Can-Am World Finals at the Dirt Track at Charlotte, Britten has been a busy man.
“I’m not just a driver. Dylan, who works in the shop, and I do everything ourselves, so I am very hands on with everything I do,” said Britten. “You mix into that some responsibility with Troyer, going to the Philadelphia Race Car and Trade Show, PRI, and the Syracuse Motorsports Expo – there’s not that much of an offseason. Meanwhile, I’m trying to be the best Dad I can be.”
One of the benefits of owning his own racing operation is that he can choose his hours.
“Instead of working all night, I can put down the tools at a regular hour and spend the time with Addison.”
A constant in Britten’s American racing career has been his friend and fellow Super DIRTcar Series racer Rich Scagliotta, and that won’t change in 2019.
“We’ve always had a very close relationship. I consider them part of my family,” said Britten of the Scagliottas. “We’ve been racing together for a long time now. Apart from the year I raced at HBR, we’ve raced out of the same trailer my whole career now. It almost doesn’t seem right going racing without mine and Rich’s car out of the same hauler. He owns the truck and trailer. He’s nice enough to cart my car around wherever we go racing. Obviously, that’s a big help because as we all know the price of fuel and the cost of owning a hauler is a lot. I wouldn’t be able to do this without their assistance.”
Last year, Britten was forced to sit out the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park due to a back injury. Fortunately, the rest helped him heal and he did not aggravate the injury during the rest of the 2018 season.
Despite the setback and the pain, Britten managed to finish seventh in Super DIRTcar Series points.
“My back is on the mend. If you talk to anyone with serious disc issues, it’s not something that goes away quickly,” Britten pointed out. “It takes a lot of time and you keep working at it. I have made a lot of progress from a year ago to this point when I unfortunately had to miss Florida.
“I’m not going to go jumping on trampolines or running marathons any time soon, but it’s well enough that I can work. I just have to be careful with everything I do and how I do it.”
This year, Britten will enter the DIRTcar Nationals feeling fit and confident behind the wheel of his own Troyer-built big-block modified. Despite not being a points-paying race for the Super DIRTcar Series Championship, there is plenty at stake at the DIRTcar Nationals.
“It’s a proving ground. It’s a preview of the season and a who’s who in the world of dirt track racing, said Britten of racing at Volusia. “Everybody says that whatever happens in Volusia doesn’t matter, because it’s nothing like what we race on, but I don’t buy into that theory. There are tracks that we go to that are similar, and in reality, every race track we go to is different. We go to tracks like Eldora and Charlotte, and I would say those two are very similar to Volusia. Anywhere that’s big and round is on the same scale.
“The track is very fast normally. It does fluctuate night-to-night though, Britten continued. “The track is different every night so it keeps you on your toes. Like anything, you just have to take it as it comes and that’s what we plan to do.”