Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Racer Profile: Brad Adams Millville, NJ--23 July, 2010--Even those with a pedestrian knowledge of automobiles understand what 0-60 times mean. Race cars can reach the magic 60 mph mark in under a couple of seconds,...
Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Racer Profile: Brad Adams
Millville, NJ--23 July, 2010--Even those with a pedestrian knowledge of automobiles understand what 0-60 times mean. Race cars can reach the magic 60 mph mark in under a couple of seconds, sports cars in less than 5 and the zoomiest family trucksters in less than 10. If there were a way to measure how quickly Ford Mustang Challenge driver Brad Adams went from not being interested in motorsports to passionate competitor, it would be the 0-60 equivalent of 'race car fast.'
Adams, who hails from the Big Easy, works as the vice president and general counsel of the family oil and gas business. As suppliers of the tooling needed to drill wells in the Gulf of Mexico, he is a long-time friend of Tracy Krohn, another oil man who is passionate about auto racing. It turns out that one Saturday night in 2004, while at a party, Adams "popped the question," so to speak.
"Tracy, I've always wanted to go to one of those things where they teach you how to drive a race car."
Krohn replied, "We're going to one tomorrow at 5:00 AM. Are you available?"
The emphatic answer from Adams was a yes. Little did he know at the time but Adams, who has never been married, was about to find a life-long partner named racing.
The two-day corporate program at Sebring International Raceway was the spark that lit the flame. Adams was smitten and soon after he began racing in a variety of classes at the grassroots level. With each race, he found himself wanting more and by 2008 he found his current home in the Mustang Challenge series.
"I've always liked Mustangs," he said. "I feel very comfortable in these cars."
Before that fateful invitation from Krohn, Adams enjoyed cars, collecting some vintage sports cars like a '72 Ferrari Dino, a '79 Porsche 930 and an AC Cobra. Always active, he participates in a variety of sports including long-distance cycling and tennis, but he had never given any thought to racing. At 42 years old, he found a new sport that now consumes him.
"I love the exhilaration and the mental challenge of it," he says. "There's just so much information that you are trying to process so fast. The greatest feeling is when you are driving and doing it correctly, like when you brake into a corner, downshift and match the revs perfectly and then smoothly power out of the corner. When you do it right, you know it at once because the car is so steady and balanced. When you get it wrong it just feels horrible."
Adams has yet to taste victory in his racing career, but with every race he edges closer and closer.
"I feel like I make these big progressions and then I plateau for a while and then there's another big progression. When I first began, my lap times were so erratic, but now, working with my coach, Jim Daniels, I'm becoming more and more consistent," he says.
Adams dedication to the sport is unquestioned. He recounts of one night where he got online to do some simulation racing with his coach at five o'clock and after 300 simulated laps of Lime Rock Park, he asked Daniels what time it was. Nearly 11:00 PM came the answer.
His best result to date in Mustang Challenge competition came this year in round 3 at Virginia International Raceway where he just missed out on a top-5 with a sixth-place finish. While he will tell you that practices and qualifying are a significant mental exercise, the races he finds invigorating.
"The races are a blast and I find that my laps times always improve during the races," he says.
For being a relative newcomer to the sport, Adams has already amassed a broad range of experience within the various grassroots series. As such, he has some credibility when he voices his opinion of the Mustang Challenge, and the results are good.
"The hospitality and the service this series offers is truly second-to-none at this level of racing," said Adams. "But, it's also the intangibles that makes this series so good. There's such a great level of camaraderie amongst the drivers and crews coupled with a great spirit of competition.
"From a driving point of view it's also a great learning tool because I'm also starting to venture out into the Grand-Am Continental Sports Car Challenge, and what I am learning here both technically and racecraft-wise has been really helpful," says Adams.
Adams' green Mustang with blue racing stripes carries a large "Who Dat?" on the rear quarter panels.
"The green is kind of a tribute to Tracy (Krohn) who got me into this whole mess," he says with a laugh referring the green cars that Krohn Racing is known for.
"The Who Dat? was a friend's idea and we put it one the car," the New Orleans native continues. "I've been a Saints fan my whole life. I remember listening to the game on the radio when Tom Dempsey kicked a 63-yard field goal (still the NFL record tied with Jim Elam) at Tulane Stadium. So it just seemed natural and now at every race people tell me that fans are always pointing and talking about the Who Dat? car as if we were winning the race!"
With the focus and determination that Adams brings to his latest avocation of racing, it should be long before in fact the fans are talking about the Who Dat? race-winning car.