It’s good to know that something remains the same with everything that is going on in the world. In the Northern Alabama racing scene, the names leading the charge around the quarter-mile bullrings have been the same for the last decade or so, and they continue to add to their legacy at Huntsville Speedway.
On Saturday night, Johnny Brazier took his Grand American Race Car to victory lane once again at Huntsville. It was his first win of the season as he beat out fellow Alabama driver Chris Whorton for the win in the 100-lap event. The win was worth $5,000 and was one of the biggest for the Lick Skillet, Alabama driver.
“It sure felt good to get a win,” said Brazier. “When I pulled into victory lane half the crowd was booing and half was cheering, so I knew I was doing something right. To be honest, with everything that has gone on this year, it was nice to be able to do something that could make us forget about it all for a little while.”
Brazier, now 62, has long been a fixture in the Alabama racing community. The former World Classic winner at Birmingham and former Rattler winner has stepped away full blown touring series and runs at Huntsville and occasionally Nashville when time allows and funding is there. An old veteran like Brazier will use the fund for the racing, but don’t expect him to get new equipment.
“This car just feels natural to me,” said Brazier. “It’s an old Frankie Grill car that was built around 1999.”
The old ride is a perimeter chassis car that was the norm on the NASCAR Southeast Tour, but Brazier points out that the car has won some race and so has the old motor.
“I bought the motor from Mickey Gibbs in the early 90s.” added Brazier. “It’s always done me well and I have run well a bunch with it.
Gibbs tore up the short tracks in the 80s before using the wins to climb the NASCAR ladder. He won a NASCAR All American Challenge Series race at Huntsville in 1985.
“Mickey was at the track on Saturday and asked if I was still running his engine and he came over and looked at it and sure enough we took it to victory lane.”
For the rest of 2020, Brazier will just enjoy chances to get to race even if it’s close to home. The Late Models are scheduled to run at least three more times this season.
“It’s hard to get out and go race without help. My little brother, Mark Brazier, helps get my car ready and I couldn’t do that without him. He had the car so good the other night I think anyone could have dorve it. My sponsors Lasatar Farms, Mr Roof and Space and Rocket Auto Sales. We might go back to the All American 400 this year and run our straight-rail car. We made all the laps last year and finished in the top 10. We might also go to Gresham and run our Modified.”
Story by: Elgin Traylor - Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
Photo credit: Daniel Harbin