Coastal Carolina University’s Brandon Brown Combines Passion For Racing With Student Lifeby Hunter Thomas September 25, 2015 0 comments
Photo Credit: Brandon Brown Racing
When NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver, Brandon Brown wore a friend’s Coastal Carolina University hat to Atlanta Motor Speedway back in March, he probably never thought it would lead to a multi-race partnership.
While Brandon Brown is chasing his dream of becoming one of NASCAR’s top drivers, he’s also majoring in Marketing within the College of Business Administration at Coastal Carolina University. He is set to be a member of the 2018 class. Earlier this year while making his first start of the 2015 season at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Woodbridge, Virginia native wore a hat that featured the teal chanticleer of Coastal Carolina University. Brown had just recently transferred to the four-year university, and since he didn’t have too many sponsors at the time, the hat just fit. A few photos posted on social media and a 29th place finish led to a partnership with Coastal Carolina University.
“We went to Atlanta Motor Speedway when I got to Coastal Carolina in the spring, and I had a Coastal Carolina hat on just because it was one of the things I had on,” Brown said. “It was the hat I wore. I didn’t really have any main sponsor at the time, and so I just wore any hat that anybody gave me, and I was wearing it that day, and a couple of people snapped some pictures and put it on social media, and I put it on mine.”
Brown didn’t qualify for the race at Martinsville Speedway or Charlotte Motor Speedway, but by his second start of the season in May at Dover International Speedway, the university’s logo and “#CCU” were placed on the truck. Brown battled all afternoon and earned an impressive 14th place finish at the Monster Mile.
With the success, Brown entered Kentucky Speedway with plenty of momentum, and this time, the entire truck was wrapped in the Coastal Carolina University colors. The race ended just shy of the original scheduled finish, due to Ben Kennedy’s truck damaging the catchfence, but at the end of the night, Brown was scored in the 25th position.
Brown said, “We just wanted to get our feet wet and to get the approvals to run the bigger tracks, Daytona and Talladega, but with Coastal jumping on-board with us, it definitely propels us into being able to actually be a little more competitive because our mindset going into this year was just go to the races, complete the race, get the approvals, but with Coastal on-board, it allows us to actually give these races a shot.”
In August, the team hit the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway, but unfortunately during a practice session, the truck got away from Brandon, and he went hard into the wall. The truck wasn’t exactly a total loss, the team does hope to get it repaired for race action in 2016, but the accident did set the team behind. For small teams in the series, losing a truck or having one get damaged is is a big deal that can quickly end a season.
“It just stepped out for a brief second,” Brown said. “It just barely made contact with the wall, and it just completely sucked the truck in, and there was just nowhere to go with it after that.”
Luckily for Brandon, he’s not down and out. In fact, he’ll be competing in the UNOH 175 this Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In 2014, Brandon made his second career series start at the Magic Mile and finished a solid 19th. This weekend, Coastal Carolina University will once again be fully on-board the No. 86 Chevrolet Silverado. The team will actually have two trucks in the hauler, the one that he competed with earlier this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the truck that he piloted at Kentucky Speedway.
“We raced at New Hampshire last year with the old truck, the one we actually went to Bristol with, and we faired out pretty well,” Brown said. “The flat tracks, I really don’t have much of an issue with them. I actually have a lot of fun with them. It just puts you a little on edge because there’s no real banking for the truck to kind of lean into. If anything happens, it turns into an ice rink, and it’s hard to save.”
The team’s main priority for this season is to get track time so that Brown can compete at the larger tracks in 2016. Following the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Brown’s plans are to compete at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, October 31. If all goes well, the team may possibly compete in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, November 20, as well.
“The competition level in the Truck Series is awesome,” Brown said. “I’ve just enjoyed it because I’ve been able to learn from the other drivers. I get to talk to them – the veterans of the series like Matt Crafton, and I’ve been getting a lot of coaching from our spotter, Kevin Hamlin. It’s cool to work with these people who’ve been in the sport for so long and then growing up seeing a couple of people that raced on TV while I was a kid and then you’re now racing against them. It’s pretty surreal.”
Saturday’s UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is set to broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 at 1 p.m. ET.