SWS: Pikes Peak: Brandon Whitt race report

Series: NASCAR Southwest Featherlite Tour Driver: Brandon Whitt Car: ...

Series: NASCAR Southwest Featherlite Tour
Driver: Brandon Whitt
Car: #28 Moen Faucet/STR Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Team: Clean Line Racing

Brandon Whitt is top-finishing rookie at fast Pikes Peak oval.

May 21, 2002, Fountain Colorado: Nineteen year-old driver Brandon Whitt finished 17th in his debut at the Pikes Peak one-mile oval on Sunday, and continues to lead in the Rookie-of-the-Year standings. The event was a challenge for Brandon's family-run Clean Line Racing team, having neither raced nor tested at Pikes Peak previously. Although Brandon had only raced at one other mile-long oval, he was fast from the beginning of practice and qualified 16th, posting a lap speed of 131.382 miles per hour.

"I was totally excited about how we got up to speed right off the trailer," Brandon exclaimed, "especially since the Featherlite cars had only ninety minutes of practice time. The corner speeds are a lot faster than Phoenix, and you really feel like you're flyin' through the turns."

Brandon pitted during a mid-race yellow for two new tires, a gamble that likely cost him a few positions. "If it had been a predominantly green flag race, everyone would have had to pit," said Brandon's father Dan Whitt after the race. "But the extended yellow for rain during the second half made it so nobody else had to make a stop."

Brandon is one of only thirteen Southwest Featherlite drivers to qualify for all five races, and he has also finished all five. His consistency has generated enough points to be eleventh in the overall standings, just three points shy of the Top Ten.

"We originally had no intention of contending for the Top 10 in points, but now we feel it's a feasible goal," says Dan. "Brandon seems to adapt and give us information much quicker now. He's concentrating on what the car is doing, and is on the radio right away to give us more information."

"Outside the race car, I'm taking three courses at Cuyamaca College in preparation for pursuing an engineering degree in the fall," explains Brandon. "I'm hoping that what I learn about engineering can be applied to my work in the cockpit."

Brandon and his race car will be visiting three Hanson Lane Elementary School kindergarten classes in Ramona, California on Thursday, May 23rd. The next Southwest Featherlite race will be at Irwindale on June 8th, a track where Brandon raced Super Late models several times in 2001.


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Drivers Brandon Whitt