"The way my dad tells the story," says Brian Smith, "my mom had me early so we could make a race!" And so it began. He attended his first race when he was only 2 weeks old, and spent the majority of his childhood up until he was 10 years old at the racetrack. His father had spent the better part of 30 years drag racing throughout the West Coast, sometimes up to three times a week at different tracks. When Bayland's Raceway closed in the late 80's (the last of a long string of legendary tracks that shut down in California) he decided it was time to hang up his helmet.
Their family made the purchase of a beautiful 1967 Mustang and he returned to the track in 2010 to compete in NHRA Super Gas class racing.
Brian made his first trip down the track when he was nineteen. Starting off in a street driven 1965 Chevelle, he quickly made the decision to get more serious. With the help of his dad, he purchased a proven racecar, a 1977 Vega, and started competing in NHRA Super Street.
"Initially I raced at local tracks including Sonoma and Sacramento in the Summit Bracket Series before making the move to a busier schedule competing in the National Hot Rod Associations Super Street 10.90 category," Smith went on to say.
"The early years included some growing pains, but the rewards were numerous late round showings and Top Ten finishes in the Northern California Super Street Association over the first three years of racing. In 2003, we made the move into NHRA Super Gas 9.90 competition and immediately found success with a National Event Runner-Up finish at the Sonoma event. Years of hard work had come to fruition and I earned my college degree from California State University Sacramento, majoring in Communications and my father ended a thirty-five year career as a Truck Driver to enjoy retirement. In 2004, we embarked on a great journey to compete in the Full Throttle Racing Series for the entire season. Our experience was blessed with continued success, including a National Event Runner-Up finish at Route 66 Raceway in Chicago," concluded Smith.
Being able to depend, without any concern, on K&N products gives me great confidence allowing my focus to be on my driving.
Smith then took a six-year break. He stepped away from the sport to pursue a career in the fire service. He went back to school, volunteered as a firefighter, and after two years of testing, was hired as a Professional Firefighter in National City, CA. His years away from the track also included getting married, purchasing a home, and starting a family. All the while he was waiting for the right opportunity to return to the sport that he loves so much.
Their family made the purchase of a beautiful 1967 Mustang and he returned to the track in 2010 to compete in NHRA Super Gas class racing. Their first outing yielded yet another Runner-Up finish in the ultra competitive Southern California Pro Gas Association racing, followed by a Semi-Final Divisional finish.
Smith developed a partnership with K&N in his early racing years, as well as upon his return. He went on to say, "With ANY other sport, you have so many opportunities to make up for a hiccup in your performance. Stock car racing has 400 miles, Golf has 18 holes, baseball has nine innings, and football has four quarters. However, with drag racing, you are measured in thousandths of a second and you have one chance to be perfect and you have to repeat that six or seven times during eliminations to become a winner."
"Drag racers spend an incredible amount of time earning the money to race, building and preparing the car, engine, and drivetrain, preparing support vehicles, and driving to the events all for the opportunity to race down the track side by side with another competitor. All of the preparation and work can be for naught when you have parts failure."
"Being able to depend, without any concern, on K&N products gives me great confidence allowing my focus to be on my driving. K&N has gone to great lengths from development and R&D to track testing to produce superior products. In addition, they are MADE IN THE USA."
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