Although many drivers would be more than satisfied with a seven win season, sprint car driver Brian Brown is accustomed to many more victories on an annual basis and is looking forward to the opening race of 2012.
Brian Brown suffered through a back injury during a portion of the 2011 race season.
"During 2010 we had fourteen wins, and our goal going into this season was to have more wins than we had the prior season. So in my eyes, we kind of went backwards a little bit in 2011. At the season's end, you have to look back at the overall picture figure out why you didn't win as much, and what can we do better, so we can win more in 2012. That's what we're doing right now," explained Brown. "We're really working hard to get our program back to where we feel like we can win fifteen races a year. Our goal is always twenty to twenty-one wins and we really need to be in that fifteen to twenty range to feel like we've had a successful season."
Fans would likely suspect that a back injury might have played a role in fewer checkered flags than Brian Brown Racing team expected during 2011. During hot laps at the 360 Nationals in Knoxville, Iowa in early August, Brown's engine showed signs of mechanical failure. After changing the engine, Brian qualified, but their luck quickly went south during the heat race when he compressed a vertebrae in his back. "I would say, that would be the low point of the season," Brian recalled. "Going into the 360 Nationals, our goal every season is to win."
Although not totally happy with their win/loss ratio in 2011, Brian and his crew did experience some high points as well. Recalling racing in the month of June at the Lucas Oil Speedway at Wheatland, Missouri, Brown said, "We had some motor issues in our heat race. Having to change motors, we started last in the B feature and finished second. Then we started twentieth in the A feature and won it. Anytime you can start that far back and put on that good of a show for the fans it's always good, especially since a lot of the local people who support and help us were there. There's nothing like winning in front of folks who support you."
"We also ran pretty well this season at the Knoxville Nationals," he continued. "I think we ran sixth or seventh. We're still in contention to win that event year after year and hopefully, one of these years we'll get that."
Brain Brown and the Brian Brown Racing team are anticipating a successful 2012 season.
Referring to his wins during this season, Brown credited his entire team with their success. "You've got to have a good team, and we had some really good guys who worked for us this year. If something goes wrong, they're the guys who take the brunt of the blame, but if you win, the driver gets all of the credit. We try to keep everybody's morale up. I think you can attest all of your wins to everybody on the entire team doing their job."
"The competition level is so close that if you're off one bit or one way or the other, you're not going to win. It takes a total team effort, and there's no way that I could ever go out and win a race by myself. I might be able to help the cause, but if I don't have any air in the tires or fuel in the tank, it doesn't really matter how well I can drive the race car."
Somewhat his own crew chief, Brian Brown has a knack for knowing what mechanical changes need to be made to improve the performance of his car. As such he is also acutely aware of the importance of maintenance, and protecting his engines from the rigors of the sport.
Referring to keeping the internal components of his motors contaminant free and well lubed, Brian commented, "We have been using K&N products since I first started racing, about ten years ago. I'm using the K&N carbon-fiber air box and filter oil and filter cleaner." Explaining the importance of using the best of the best, Brown continued, "It all starts with how much clean air is getting down in your engine. That's why we use K&N. They make the best filter on the market today."
Looking forward to the 2012 season, Brown said, "We're focusing on every component, every part, each person who works on the car and me as a driver to get a little better. Every single aspect is going to be looked at. We've just got to make sure that we dot every 'i' and cross every 't' if we want to accomplish our goals. I'm definitely not happy with seven wins, and the 2012 season can't start quick enough. We're going to work really hard and come back as focused as ever in 2012."
In closing, Brian Brown said on behalf of his team, "Without our fans and people who come to the grandstand, there wouldn't be any racing. You have a choice on what you do with your money, and we're thankful that you come out and support something that we love to do. Hopefully, we give something back by putting on a good show." Referring to his sponsors, Brown continued, "Again, thanks. We know you have a choice of who you want to market with, and we're glad you support Brian Brown Racing. Hopefully we can show you a return on your investment and we can continue to be partners for a long time to come."
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