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 escapes Stockton atop Rookie-of-the-Year Standings after brake failure.
April 29, 2001, Stockton, California: Nineteen year-old driver Brandon Whitt managed to preserve a slim lead in the Rookie-of-the-Year standings in spite of a complete loss of brakes midway through Saturday's Southwest Featherlite race in Stockton. A brake line broke halfway through the 125 lap race, and Whitt nursed the car into the pits for repairs. His family-run Clean Line Racing crew were able to quickly repair the damage, and Brandon rejoined the race approximately twenty laps later, finishing 17th.
"It's a quarter-mile track where you brake hard into every corner," Brandon explained, "so it was pretty scary for a moment. A yellow came out almost immediately when someone spun, which was a lucky thing, enabling me to get off the track safety. Once again, my crew did a great job fixing the car super-fast and sending me back out."
The weekend was going extremely well until the brake failure, as Brandon qualified his #28 Moen Faucets/STR Chevrolet in fourth position, a career-best in Southwest Featherlite competition. Starting in fifth position due to the top-eight invert, Brandon settled into fourth place and seemed destined for a top five finish before the problem occurred. "We had a really good car all day, a consistent car that was not going to fade as the race progressed," said Brandon after the race.
By any measure, the first four races of the season have been a strong start for the Clean Line Racing team. The only rookie to qualify for all four races, Brandon leads in Rookie-of-the-Year points, is ranked thirteenth in the overall driver standings, has qualified in the top ten for three consecutive races, and has finished all four main events. Yet Brandon claims to have set even higher goals for the early part of the season.
"By this point in the season, I had hoped to be top ten in the overall standings and leading the Rookie-of-the-Year points by a good margin," he commented. El-Cajon based Brandon currently leads Modesto-based rookie Steve Belletto by four points in the Rookie standings, setting up a possible NoCal vs. SoCal battle as the season progresses.
The next Southwest Featherlite race will be at Pikes Peak on May 19th.