Crew chief Brand gets call to drive ProCare Rx Pro Mod Corvette
CONCORD, NC – A few days ago, R2B2 Racing crew chief Brad Brand filled in for team owner/driver Roger Burgess during a test session in advance of this weekend's third annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals. A few hours before the opening round of qualifying for the Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by ProCare Rx, Brand got a call from Burgess asking if he'd stay in the driver's seat for this weekend's race.
"Roger isn't feeling well and he called at 10 o'clock this morning and asked me to drive his car," Brand said. "Thankfully, my gear was still in the trailer and the NHRA granted me a license. It's all happened pretty quick.
"I'm certainly excited about the chance to race in the NHRA for the first time and I know from testing what this car is capable of, I just wasn't expecting this at all."
The current world record holder in the ADRL's Extreme 10.5 category with a pass of 5.94 seconds and the first man in history to break the 200-mph barrier in a 10.5 racecar, Brand certainly has the driving acumen to do well in Burgess' 1953 Corvette. He says the time behind the seat during the team's recent test also will go a long way to calming him down when he pulls to the starting line.
"These turbo cars are not very easy to drive," Brand said. "The starting line procedure is fairly involved and you have to be mentally prepared for all the steps it takes to launch. But things went really well in testing and I've driven turbo cars before. We'll be alright."
The 38-year-old Brand, who hails from Loganville, Ga., will still tune both cars racing out of the R2B2 stable, which includes the ProCare Rx Mustang of past Charlotte winner Leah Pruett.
"Everything will be pretty much the same with the exception for the starting line duties I usually perform," Brand said. "But we've got a team full of professionals and I'm confident everyone will step up.
"I'm not nervous about driving. I do feel pressure as the crew chief to get this team a win. This is only the second Pro Mod race of the year but we only have 10 on the schedule so they're all very important. No matter whose in the car, it needs to run well."