MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Thirteen-year-old karting and micro sprint star Brent Crews will contest the full POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League season with CB Industries.
Crews will drive the No. 86 Spike/Speedway Toyota-powered midget under the guidance of team owner Chad Boat, with sponsorship from Pristine Auctions — a longtime supporter of Boat’s operation.
The teenager will begin his pursuit of rookie-of-the-year honors when the POWRi national midget season opens with a doubleheader March 19-20 at Monarch Motor Speedway in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Crews recently debuted in a winged 360 sprint car in February with the USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour and Boat believes that getting him behind the wheel of a midget will only further his development.
“I think there’s somewhat of a natural transition from micros to midgets and sprint cars and, with where they’re going with the 360 as well, I think it will really compliment him when he gets into the midget,” said Boat of Crews. “Being able to go to Millbridge (Speedway in North Carolina) and see him run quite a bit last year was cool. I think he has as the skill set to go far and to be successful.
“We’re really excited to have Brent on board and look forward to seeing what he can accomplish this year.”
Crews will join full-time teammate Ryan Timms on the POWRi trail this season for CB Industries, with Jade Avedisian running approximately 20 races in a third entry.
Crews won four times in micro sprint competition last year at Millbridge, capturing victories in both winged and non-winged micro action at the sixth-mile dirt oval.
“I think (Crews’) résumé will just continue to grow,” Boat tipped. “A lot of his (road course) karting accomplishments are super impressive as well, away from dirt racing. … Growing up, I did a little bit of road-course karting, so the wins and championships he has on that side, too, are super impressive.
“What he was able to do at the (Tulsa) Shootout, I think, caught the attention of more dirt open-wheel guys,” added Boat. “Running third in the Outlaw Non-Winged feature, that’s probably the closest thing to measure his potential by, because it’s the most power that micro is going to have. The car is still a little bit smaller, but I think that’s probably the closest thing he’s run to a midget so far, and he’s done really well in it, so I believe he’ll be able to continue that progression.”
As the season progresses, Boat hopes all three rookies will learn from one another, strengthening CB Industries as a whole.
“I think at the beginning of the year, we’ll just be getting him comfortable in the car and then it’s about figuring out how to race,” Boat explained. “Obviously, we have three super-talented drivers running POWRi this year, with Ryan Timms and Brent full time and then Jade part time. I think the biggest thing for all of them is just getting used to racing around the POWRi regulars, because they all have the skillset to be successful, but just need to learn how to race the heavy hitters.
“Once they figure that out, I think that the sky’s the limit for our team, realistically.”