Bradberry Ready to Get Season Going at Tough Old Hometrack Birmingham Race Will Be First With New Crew Chief Chelsea, Alabama (February 23, 2005) -- Charlie Bradberry has raced all over the country. He's been in the biggest short track races in...
Bradberry Ready to Get Season Going at Tough Old Hometrack
Birmingham Race Will Be First With New Crew Chief
Chelsea, Alabama (February 23, 2005) -- Charlie Bradberry has raced all over the country. He's been in the biggest short track races in the country and several NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events. He's won the Snowball Derby and been to the NASCAR Cup Series banquet in New York City, yet there is no place quite like home for him.
And that's a good thing since his hometrack of Birmingham International raceway (AL) is a hard track to get around and an easy place for outsiders to get intimidated.
"I love this track," said Bradberry. "It's real fast and real fun. It's hard to get around, but I've gone around there a lot, so at this point, I could probably do it with my eyes closed. But, it's the easiest track that I know of to get in trouble at. You need to be really cautious even in practice. You have to watch the other cars. If one doesn't see you and pushes you into the marbles, it will take you right up into the wall."
But Bradberry's love of the facility goes deeper than just making laps there.
"I've been going there since I was a baby," said Bradberry. "I've got a lot of good memories from even before I was racing. I remember watching the All Pro races at the track while I was growing up. Guys like Jody Ridley, Bobby Gill and my brother Gary were my heroes. My father raced there with Bobby and Donnie Allison. There is a lot of history there and now I'm racing on the same track. That is really neat."
A hometrack race is also important because Bradberry wants to give his sponsors a good showing in their own backyards. Veterans Oil is back with Bradberry this year while a new sponsor, Long-Lewis Sterling Trucks, is joining up with the #78 team for this event.
"We are definitely going all out to win this weekend," said Bradberry. "We'll have some sponsors there as well as a lot of friends. There will be people watching, so I want to give them a good show."
Also new for the race will be the addition of crew chief Ray Jones. The son of chassis builder Bobby Ray Jones has wrenched cars that have competed against Bradberry for years, most notably those wheeled by J.R. Norris.
"This will be our first race together," said Bradberry. "He didn't have anything lined up for the year and I didn't have a crew chief, so we talked and he joined us the week after running Speedfest."
Since Jones is also from the area, he shares Bradberry's attitude when it comes to racing at Birmingham this weekend. They both want to win.
"I've won a lot there," said Bradberry. "I won the World Classic there in the fall, so it would be cool to go and win two races in a row at the track. It would kick off our year and give us some momentum."
Bradberry competed in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and select major short track races during the 2004 season.