One of Ontario’s best Super Late Model racers will be heading south to battle at The Last Great Colosseum this weekend. Brandon Watson, the 2017 APC United Late Model Series champion, has filed an entry and will be competing in the 3rdAnnual Short Track U.S. National at Bristol Motor Speedway.
When Watson pulls his No. 9 Super Late Model onto the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” during practice day on Friday, those laps will be his first around one of the most prestigious race tracks in North America. The opportunity to make his debut at Bristol is something he’s very excited for.
“It’s definitely going to be a fun experience,” Watson told Speed51.com. “I’m looking forward to getting on the track for practice and hopefully pick it up quick. It’s definitely going to be a fast track and a lot of fun. We’ll just try to keep the car together for 100 laps.”
To prepare for Bristol, Watson isn’t doing anything out of the ordinary in comparison to what he normally does to prepare for races he competes in. His goal to begin the weekend is to learn and pick up speed so that he can battle the best at the front of the field on Saturday night.
“It’s definitely going to be different for me,” he stated. “I’m not one-hundred percent sure what to expect going in there with it being such a fast track, and I know there will be a lot of cars. We’re just trying to focus on picking up speed quick and trying to get a qualifying spot.”
Although Watson has made a name for himself as an 11-time winner with the APC United Late Model Series in Ontario, he also has a history of competing in the United States. The 26-year-old Stayner, Ontario native has competed with Late Model series such as the American-Canadian Tour, Pro All Stars Series (PASS), ARCA/CRA Super Series, JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour and others dating back to the 2007 season.
“It’s been a few years since I’ve been down south racing full time, so it’s going to be nice getting back there,” Watson said. “We’ve had a good couple years in Canada, in Ontario, the last couple years. There’s definitely a lot of competition up here but we’re just trying some different track and states. There’s a bit more competition and a lot more cars down in the states, so that’s something we’re definitely looking forward to.”
When the checkered flag waves Saturday at Bristol, Watson’s aspirations are very similar to those of many other drivers in the field. He wants to win and hold the famous Bristol sword at the Last Great Colosseum.
“That would definitely be amazing,” Watson commented. “We have a brand-new McColl car this year. They’ve built an amazing car. We’re looking to bounce back from Richmond. We had a good car, we just had some carburetor problems. We’re looking to bounce back and hopefully get a good finish. We’d like to be up front at the end of the race, I think we have good enough equipment. I just have to get some practice in, hopefully get a lot of laps in there and give them some feedback.”
Race fans unable to make it to the Last Great Colosseum will be able to watch a live pay-per-view broadcast of Saturday’s race on Speed51.com for just $19.99. Click here to order your video ticket today.
Friday’s practice day will also be streamed live for premium subscribers (monthly or yearly) on the Speed51 Network. Yearly subscribers will also receive 10% off the purchase of pay-per-view broadcasts such as Saturday’s broadcast from Bristol. Click here to join the Speed51 Network today.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com