SWS: Mesa Marin III: Brandon Whitt preview

Brandon Whitt returns to Featherlite competition after 10th place finish in ASCAR race at Rockingham. October 17, 2002, El Cajon, California:  After a two month hiatus filled with one-off races and college homework, rookie driver Brandon...

Brandon Whitt returns to Featherlite competition after 10th place finish in ASCAR race at Rockingham.

October 17, 2002, El Cajon, California:  After a two month hiatus filled with one-off races and college homework, rookie driver Brandon Whitt is counting the minutes until the green flag drops as the Southwest Featherlite Series, NASCAR Touring returns to action this weekend in Bakersfield.  It has been a busy and varied autumn for the young driver, who started his second year of college in late August and has just returned from a very special trip to England, competing in the final two rounds of the 2002 ASCAR series at Rockingham Speedway with the British-American "Unity Project" team.

"I'll tell you, virtually everything about the experience was different from what we're used to here," explains Brandon.  "The ASCAR series is in its second year, and they are still developing their own style of stock car racing.  Most of the drivers come from a European open wheel background, and so the rules of the road are kind of a hybrid between the darting passes of open wheel and the more side-by-side racing we see here in the States."

Excited by his tenth-place finish at the high-speed 1.5 mile Rockingham oval, Brandon is eager to return to his family-owned Clean Line Racing Chevy Monte Carlo, seeking to lock in the Rookie of the Year title and a top ten position in the overall Championship points.

"My family and I set two goals for our first season in Southwest Featherlite," says Brandon.  "The first was to win Rookie of the Year, and the second was to be top ten in points.  We're right where we need to be on both counts, and these last two races are at tracks where we have done well in the past."

Whitt and his Clean Line Racing crew have built their successful season on consistency, as Brandon is one of only nine drivers in the series to qualify for all twelve races this season.  Whitt currently leads his sole remaining rookie rival Steve Belletto by seven rookie points, and is ranked ninth in the overall points.  According to Brandon's father Dan Whitt, who owns and operates the Clean Line Racing team, the young driver is benefiting from the family's long-term plan.

"Everything we do is designed to develop Brandon's experience and abilities," explains the proud father.  "The ASCAR races were an opportunity to give Brandon his first laps on a 1.5 mile oval, and also to give him experience working with a different team and a different crew.  I must say, it was a bit of an odd feeling watching Brandon compete in a car that I didn't work on myself!"

The 1-800 CLEANUP "150" will take place at the half-mile Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield California on Sunday, October 20th at 4pm.

-clr-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Brandon Whitt , Steve Belletto