KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Champions get up off the mat when they get kicked to the floor.
No one can say Brian Brown doesn’t pick himself up off the floor and get back in the fight.
After two consecutive second-place finishes in the Knoxville Nationals and a violent and heartbreaking crash less than two weeks ago that sent Brown and his team to a backup plan for the 54th annual Knoxville Nationals, all signs are pointing to Brown finally climbing to the top step on the podium on Saturday night.
Two years in a row Brown finished second to Donny Schatz during the Nationals, only to keep fighting and come back stronger than ever.
This year Brown went to school and it paid off with multiple wins at Knoxville Raceway and a boost in his confidence. But that confidence took another hit July 26 when Brown was involved in an accident with Ian Madsen and trashed the car he hoped to run in the Nationals.
Brown’s team bounced back quickly, winning the 360 Knoxville Nationals and $10,000 for the first time on Saturday and finishing second in the Capitani Classic the following night. Thursday Brown raced from fifth starting spot to claim a $12,000 victory on his qualifying night for this year’s Nationals. Brown also continues to lead the point standings which will crown this year’s Jesse Hockett “Mr. Sprint Car” titlist, worth an additional $2,500 should he claim the crown.
“This car is the car that we have run in the Knoxville Nationals the last two years and finished second,” Brown explained. “We won three in a row here and we put it away and figured we would save it for the Knoxville Nationals. We brought a brand-new Maxim out and it was better than what we had. Had quick time here two weeks ago, started sixth in the heat and won it and went for the lead and got into it with Ian Madsen and spun the car around and stuck it in the fence and bent the car in 25 different directions and killed our Knoxville Nationals motor all in one night.
“That’s the good thing about having Charlie Garrett engines and Maxim chassis. We pulled another engine out that we thought was just as good. We came back here and we were solid in the Cappy Classic and here we are.”