In the past two seasons Brian Brown has emerged as the biggest threat to Donny Schatz’s domination of the Knoxville Nationals.
Last year, Brown finished a very close second to Schatz and he was again second to Schatz in a World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series event at the track earlier this year.
In the August issue of SPEED SPORT Magazine, readers get a unique look at Brown and what makes him different from his competitors. Here’s an excerpt from that story written by Bill Wright.
By Bill Wright
“There is a big difference between sponsors and partners,” Brown explained. “A sponsor is just someone who gives you money. A partner is so much more. I want to do everything in my power to help Casey’s General Stores sell gas and FVP to sell batteries. That goes for all my partners. Don Long from Searsboro Telephone Co., everyone. They are far more to me than a sponsor. Each and every one of them is a friend that goes beyond racing. At times, it pulls you in a hundred different directions, but that’s part of my job. I need to go that extra mile. I want to do everything in my power to help them, just like they are me.”
While many sponsors — and even car owners — go without updates on the race team, Brown has every platform covered.
“They are all part of my team,” Brown said. “I don’t want them going to work on Monday and not knowing what or how the race team did. Whether we got a win or we crashed, I always let them know what’s going on. They are what make this race team what it is. They are all involved in this whole process.”
Brown says the Knoxville Nationals are his team’s first priority.
“Everything we do is focused on August at Knoxville,” he explained. “That’s the bottom line. The rest of the year is just preparation for that. I think we’re in as good a shape as we’ve ever been heading in.”
While many drivers become reclusive during the Nationals, Brown is the opposite. Walk up to him and have a conversation and one may believe it’s a guy sitting in section D rather than someone who might win the race.
“A lot of the drivers like to go by themselves the day of the race,” he said. “I am a fan first. I think I’m one of the biggest sprint car fans in the country. I like to go and interact with the fans and be in that atmosphere. I don’t want to miss that atmosphere. I like to talk with and meet new people. I’m one of them. It’s the Knoxville Nationals. The only difference between me and them is at 6 p.m., they go to their seats and I go to the pits and put my driver’s suit on.”