After winning the Keith Kunz Giveback Classic at Millbridge Speedway in November, Brian Carber declined the free Chili Bowl ride from Kunz and opted for the $15,000 to help with his race program back in Pennsylvania. After receiving fan support from around the country since his triumph, he will be making the trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma next week to drive a Keith Kunz Midget after all.
The day after his win at Millbridge, Illinois racer Daniel Robinson created a GoFundMe to help Carber get to the Chili Bowl. A goal of $10,000 was set and was subsequently hit within a week of going live, giving him the chance to go to the Chili Bowl for the first time as a driver.
“I did take the money, which came out to $15,000. A lot of people still wanted to see me race. A lot of people were calling me and creating this GoFundMe to get me there,” Carber told Speed51’s “The Bullring.” We still had to come up with the money to rent it. I get it with the funding with cars and the motors, nothing’s free.
“Keith allowed it to happen. He gave me two or three weeks to figure it out. I’m thankful for that and hopefully we can do something.”
Carber was amazed with the fan support he received following the KKM Giveback Classic win. Kunz remained in touch with him throughout the days following the win, leaving the option on the table.
He now joins a team who has won the Chili Bowl five of the last six years with Rico Abreu and Christopher Bell.
“I’ve had a lot of people reach out and actually want to participate and help. It’s amazing how the racing community wants to help out that much and see a younger racer in myself and other people who actually want a shot go and race. Keith’s a good guy, they gave me the opportunity to come up with all the funding to do it.”
He enters the Chili Bowl following one of the strongest Tulsa Shootouts in recent memory. Carber won the Stock Non-Wing and Winged A-Class A-Mains, while also finishing second in the Outlaw Non-Wing A-Main. In winning those events, he beat out NASCAR Cup Series driver and three-time Chili Bowl Nationals winner Christopher Bell in the Stock Non-Wing, and former USAC National Midget and Sprint Car champion Tyler Courtney in the Winged A-Class.
“By the end of that first feature race with Christopher (Bell), I couldn’t breathe. They were all making fun of me telling me I need to work out and start doing more things. I don’t think I even thought about breathing last night. We had a restart with four to go and right then I put everything aside and said it is what it is, whatever happens, happens. After that, everything came down.”
While Carber’s plans for the rest of 2021 are still up in the air, he is looking forward to making his Chili Bowl debut and what’s to come afterwards.
“Everything else is currently up in the air. There could be a couple exciting things coming. We’ll just roll through the Chili Bowl and hopefully keep the momentum running and have some fun. It should be pretty exciting for 2021.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo