ProVee: Interview with Brad Stout 20 December 1999

Q. You have been the dominant driver in Pro Vee last three years. A. Boy, 10 for 16; that is amazing. I never looked at it that way. In 1997 we would have liked to won the championship but didn't do all the races. The last one came down to...

Q. You have been the dominant driver in Pro Vee last three years.

A. Boy, 10 for 16; that is amazing. I never looked at it that way.

In 1997 we would have liked to won the championship but didn't do all the races. The last one came down to Greg Bruns won St. Louis and my motor blew up. He ended up winning the championship.

In 97 was the first year any one driver won more than one race in a single year. Between Greg Bruns and I we won them all. He won three, I won two. In 98 got lucky and we won four out of six. This past year I won four out of the five I competed in. Yeah, we've had an amazing string of good fortune in the Pro Vee series.

Q. When you win four out of six and four out of five, I don't think you can contribute it all to luck.

A. Luck is a relative term, I guess. Some people say luck is a function of design or preparation.

When we go to the track, the car is ready to race. We're not getting to the track and having to roll car out of the trailer and finish up an alignment or do anything. The car is well prepared. When we get to an event, we can concentrate of learning the track, concentrate on getting the car properly set up, and not spend our weekend working on the car.

>From that standpoint we do do a lot of preparation. From that standpoint, we didn't have any DNFs because the car wasn't properly prepared. From that standpoint I feel fortunate to have crew and have people that can help me get the car together. Everybody does what they're supposed to and they all watch one another and make sure the car is being put together in the way it should and it's going to last a full weekend.

Q, The last three years - any particular race or event that stands out in your mind?

A. They all do. Anytime you win a race at the formula vee level or Pro Vee event you got some of the best of the best. Essentially the top front runners from the runoffs and there are usually more than one of those at each event.

Q. No, not necessarily. I enjoy winning races at pro event such as Mosport and Topeka. I enjoy going to a new track that I've never raced on and doing well at. Such as Summit Point - no, I didn't' win the race but I qualified on the pole. I did win the national. To go to a race track like Summit Point where all the locals say it takes you a year or two to the track, and then to come back and be more than competitive, is a lot of fun.

Q. It sounds like you felt that preparation before unloading the car was one of the big keys to your success.

A. It was one of the keys; obviously to win you must first finish. And from that aspect, we did a really good job.

We have a Protoform racecar built by Dave Green, which has been working very well for us. We've pretty well got that car figured out and we know how to make it work. We got great motors from Bill Noble; without a great motor, obviously you can't run up front. We got a great transmission and other support from Bob Lybarger.

So it's a whole package, it's not just preparation. It's the car, motor, transmission, crew - hopefully the driver has something to do with it. I think my skills as a driver have matured over the years. It's not any one thing but a combination of everything. Again, it's a team sport and all those factors are part of the team...either directly or indirectly.

Q. What are you thoughts about hat trick, trifecta, etc., in 1998; any disappointments in being able to repeat that last year?

A. A few; I didn't commit to it wholeheartedly like I did the year before to win the Midwest Division. I really should have gone to Topeka to compete the last weekend but I had made other plans and bypassed that race and ultimately lost the division because I didn't go to Topeka.

At the Runoffs, with the weather conditions, that's a crapshoot. It's tough to win a race in the rain. Certainly I had as good a shot at it as anybody else and let that slip by me.

That's not to say we can't make that a goal sometime in the future and go after that again. I would have liked to have done that again but to achieve that in the first place I thought was pretty amazing. To expect to repeat that again would have been shooting pretty high.

Q. Are the any plans or options for racing in 2000

A. My basic plan for this year was just to lay back.  I've been racing
pretty hard for the last three or four years.  Traveled around the
country.  I thought I'd give myself and my family a little break.

I'll do some racing. Trying to pursue possible...may have long shot at possibly doing some sports car racing be it the American LeMans series or the Grand Am(erican) series, but it's all speculation till the money's on the table. It's nothing to brag about at this point, it's just possibilities. Barring that I'll be back in formula vee.

Q. So are you going to do Pro Vee this year?

Might do couple of [Pro Vee] events. I really don't even plan on competing at the 2000 Runoffs this year. Figured I'd go out and do maybe a few select events, just to kinda stay in the groove, so to speak, and then maybe get back on it hard. If I'm still in formula vee in 2001 then I'll compete heavily and maybe go after the Pro Vee again, divisional, national try and do it all again in 2001. But for 2000 I basically intend to do just a few select events.

Q. So for 2001 if you haven't been able to put together a firm package for something else, you'll probably be back in a Vee?

A. Yeah.

Q. Talk little about your two years as Pro Vee President

A. Quite the learning experience. I enjoyed doing it; it took a lot of time and a lot of work, but it was worth it. Nice to have an opportunity to give something back to the sport, great to be involved in an organization where everybody is trying to achieve the same things.

It was a wonderful experience and I'm glad I did it. I hope the series is better for my efforts. I hope series can continue to grow and prosper and do even greater things in the future.

Q. Do you have any comments about new format for 2000?

A. I hope it works great. I think it's got great possibilities. We spent my two years trying to do more professional type events and we were able to achieve and get some and even have some people call us asking about what would it take to get us to come run with them.

The bottom line is formula vee drivers and competitors coming up and participating in the series. We didn't get the kind of turnout we were used to having for a formula vee field so maybe that wasn't quite the right direction we should go.

I think the series needs to continue to evolve and look for ways that will meet the needs of the formula vee competitor and get them to come out and compete in the series. If this type of format will achieve that, then I'm all for it.

Q. Dermot has been getting lots of calls and may have 50 cars at Moroso

A. That would be great. Participation is the key to the success of the series. Both through the sponsors and to the tracks we go to, anybody involved with the series in any level, any way, shape or form, the bottom line comes down to participation. If this format works and encourages participation, then maybe we're finally on to a successful format that will take us to the next level in popularity.

Q. Is Renee happy to hear you'll be laying back this year?

A, Oh, yeah. Anytime she hears me on the phone talking to someone about next year, she's all ears. She'd like to see me take a little break and be home a little more often, which I'm ready for. But again we're not going to completely retire, we'll still run some. I'd like to do the June Sprints, a couple of Pro Vee races, we'll see.

It will be strange being in St. Louis in August for the shoot-out and not see the pink, white, and blue car out there.

You gotta remember, St. Louis is my home track so if that event comes to St. Louis, I'll be there. The two races I'll definitely do next year are St. Louis.

Q. Who are some of the drivers to watch in 2000 since you're not running ProVee?

A. Formula vee is so deep with talent, good drivers, that it could really be up to anybody. There are a lot of guys that could really come up and do well. Guys like Roger Siebenaler; Ed Womer; Bill Noble who's still competing; Lisa keeps getting better and better. Hopefully with this format it will bring out more people, make it more competitive, and harder than ever to win a championship. Bottom line is I wouldn't have a clue.

That's the nature of formula vee. This is an extremely competitive class. We've been real fortunate in dominating the series the last couple of years but that's more the exception than the rule. That's not to say it can't happen again because it certainly can but there's a lot of talent and ability out there in this class.

Two years in a row somebody from the formula vee community has won the president's cup at the runoffs. Which I think is great. I am really happy for Howard and I'm ex-stac-ic that it's a formula vee driver that's won that cup again. It just goes to show that formula vee drivers are some of the best drivers in SCCA.

Just a short-term retirement...

-Randy Fisher <sccacrip@swbell.net>-

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Brad Stout , Roger Siebenaler , Bill Noble