Young guns have been nothing new in short track racing throughout the country as of late, but in the Northeast region not many have cut their teeth in the Late Model ranks. Broc Brown is doing just that with the help of his Pennsylvania-based family team.
The Shickshinny native began preparing for the 2017 campaign at Mahoning Valley Speedway (PA) over the weekend, shaking down his car and logging laps during the ¼-mile’s test and tune session. His father Bradley Brown, an accomplished driver himself in the region with starts in a Late Model in recent years and feature victories in Pro Stocks a decade and a half ago at nearby Evergreen Raceway (PA), is there to guide the teenager along the way.
“We started him young,” Bradley Brown told Speed51.com powered by JEGS about his son, whose car number 14 matches his current age. “He started at four years old in a go-kart. We kept him wheeling all over at different tracks everywhere. We had my old Late Model sitting there so we gave him a shot. We taught him how to drive a standard that morning and came to practice that night.”
That night was near the conclusion of the 2015 season and Broc Brown began his first full year by recording a second-place points finish at Evergreen and ran a limited schedule at Mahoning Valley as well. This year he has his sights set high at the local tracks.
“I want to win a championship,” Broc Brown stated. “We’re going to try to do full time at both (Evergreen and Mahoning Valley) and see what happens.”
It did not take long for success to meet Broc Brown in his Late Model efforts, securing two wins in one weekend at each Northeast Pennsylvania track during the month of September in 2016. With the two facilities competing on separate days he hopes to do the same, although the focus shifts to the next races to be run almost right away.
“It really didn’t excite me that much,” Broc Brown admitted. “It just gave me a little bit of a confidence boost. It was over in a week.”
The team even ventured to the heart of stock car racing at the conclusion of the regular season. They entered a new car that was prepared for the Limited Late Model division at the Concord Speedway (NC) North-South Shootout. The small group finished sixth on the lead lap in the 75-lap feature, the longest distance they had run to date.
“I was a little intimated, but then I realized money isn’t everything,” Broc Brown said. “It doesn’t matter what you’ve got in your trailer. He has four wheels just the same as I do.”
Using the experience gained, even bigger ideas are planned when their schedule allows for 2017. They intend to bring the car they competed with at the North South Shootout to run as a Super Late Model both further north and down south. Right now it is all about track time for the teenage racer.
“We’re going to try and run some PASS races this year,” Bradley Brown continued. “We learn every week and that’s why we’re at open practice every week to get more laps as much as we can for him.”
Broc Brown also enjoys the time spent with family, such as his father Bradley and grandfather Richard, friends, and crew in the effort to obtain the best results possible.
“Kevin (Kruczek) is the main wrench,” Broc Brown commented. “He’s my best friend and we grew up together. He’s been there for me since I’ve been like two years old.”
With the quick accomplishments in only more than a year’s time, listen for Broc Brown to make headlines against the veteran racers and peers racing regionally and perhaps nationally.
-By Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Central NY & PA Editor – Twitter: @aaron_creed
-Photo credit: Walt Smith