After two nights of intense racing among more than 100 competitors, Pennsylvania’s Brian Carber won the TRD Keith Kunz Motorsports Giveback Classic presented by Rowdy Energy at Millbridge Speedway. The grand prize for the race was the option of either a grand total of $15,000 in winnings or a ride in a KKM Midget at next year’s Chili Bowl Nationals.
For many drivers, a chance to compete with Keith Kunz at the biggest Midget race of the year would be impossible to pass up. However, Carber opted instead to take the money, passing up a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Carber explained that the money would go further towards building his own racing program moving forward.
“I’m 26 years old, trying to get my life going the past two years,” said Carber. “I had a bad concussion about three or four years ago and I’ve taken steps to come back in my progression. I’ve been running my 360 Sprint Car every chance I get.
“I have a family team back home. Our trailer is falling apart. We need to financially get back into it. My brother just had a couple of kids. Everyone’s enjoying themselves. We come down here to North Carolina, enjoy it and have fun.
“I hope Keith recognizes that. I do want to race, I do want to be that next race car driver, but at the same time, I do everything myself. I am the crew chief, car owner, driver. I get my buddies together every time we race and have fun with it.”
Carber took the lead from fellow Keystone State racer Alex Bright on lap 55 of the 67-lap feature. Despite a field of competitors that featured stars from NASCAR, Midget racing and beyond, it was a pair of Pennsylvania Micro Sprint racers fighting for the win.
“I was able to go below him and race him down into three,” Carber said about his race-winning move. “We did make a little bit of contact, but for $15,000 and a Keith Kunz ride, you know, we go home and bump wheels in Pennsylvania, Illinois, all across the country. We see him in victory lane and give each other hugs. We support whatever decisions we make. Alex is one of the best in the business. I can’t applaud him enough.”
For Bright, it was another case of being bested by his fellow Pennsylvania native in a big Micro Sprint race.
“I’m usually pretty good at restarts in these 600s at least, but Carber has me figured out down to a T,” said Bright. “He gets me everywhere on starts when he’s in second. He had a good restart on that last one and took it to the checkered.
“It’s definitely frustrating. I can’t get away from him and he can’t get away from me. It doesn’t matter if we’re at the big races in the Midwest, back home in Pennsylvania or here tonight. We’re always side-by-side and racing for it. He has a knack for these big races and he pulled it off tonight.”
Despite the frustration with his own runner-up finish, he was quick to offer a celebratory hug in victory lane and shared his disappointment that Carber had turned down the Chili Bowl opportunity.
“I would have loved to see him run the Midget at the Chili Bowl. It’s kind of a shame he didn’t take that.”
That didn’t stop Bright from making a plea for the ride Carber turned down.
“I wasn’t sure until before the feature, but I was going to go for the ride. Keith, if you’re listening to this, give me a half-price deal since we ran second.”
Fans who missed Wednesday’s race will be able to watch highlights, an on-demand replay and more from the TRD Keith Kunz Motorsports Giveback Classic presented by Rowdy Energy on Speed51.TV.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo
TRD Keith Kunz Motorsports Giveback Classic presented by Rowdy Energy
- Brian Carber
- Alex Bright
- Brenden Bright
- Brent Crews
- Gavan Boschele
- Dillon Welch
- Austin Schaeffer
- Kenny Miller
- Justin Grant
- Neal Allison
- Trevor Cline
- Eddie Strada
- Austin Quick
- Ryan Timms
- Daison Pursley
- Aiden Purdue
- Christopher Bell
- Gage Robb
- Joe B. Miller
- Frank Flud