BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Austin Brown will try to rebound from an unfortunate start to the season when the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series races at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill., on tonight and Macon (Ill.) Speedway on Saturday.
Brown won his heat at Jacksonville, Ill., in the sole event of 2013 on April 26, but was caught up in an early accident and crash damage took him out. He finished 22nd.
The 23-year-old from Millstadt, Ill., won his first feature in POWRi National Midgets at Belle-Clair last Oct. 6 and also had sixth- and 10th-place finishes at the one-fifth mile track last season. Brown’s prospects at Macon for a solid result are also good. He finished third and sixth in features there a year ago.
Brown finished third in 2012 and fourth in 2011 in the POWRi Midget championship. He has raced in 43 straight features, no easy feat in a series where 10 or more cars regularly go home early. His goals for 2013 are to win more races and win his first championship.
“I think the first win is always the hardest one to get,” Brown said. “Even in my Micro career, it took me a while to get the first and the next two definitely came easier. I’m hopeful it’s the same in Midgets. And the championship is what we’re running for.”
The POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series also are racing at Belle-Clair and Macon. Brown won’t be driving, but he’ll also have a keen interest in the events. It will be the debut of BOSS chassis, car built and produced by a partnership between Brown’s KBR Performance and renowned Spike Midget and Sprint Car builder John Godfrey. Kyle and Derek Schuett of Philo, Ill., have taken delivery of the BOSS and will drive them at Belle-Clair and Macon.
“John and I have worked together for two years designing them,” Brown said. “He welds up the frames and a lot of the parts and I put them together. We’ve sold seven and I’m putting them together with the front axle, rear axle, plumbing, motor, wiring for the first few cars. I’m trying to finish Jacob Patton’s car for this weekend.
“I graduated from college (Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville) in December with a business degree and I always liked working on race cars. John always wanted to build a Micro and thought we could build a successful Micro.”
Brown, who has three wins in POWRi Micros, will be driving a BOSS in some events this season.
“I haven’t had time to put mine together,” Brown said. “Once I get a break and get it built, I want to try to race it as much as I can when we run with the Midgets.”