Stafford Springs, CT — For Monson, MA native Justin Bren, the 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Stafford Motor Speedway cannot arrive fast enough. Bren and his team purchased the Limited Late Model car formerly campaigned by Rob Dow and Rick Lanagan at Stafford, and they brought the car to the 2011 CARQUEST Fall Final to shake the car down in preparation for making a run at Rookie of the Year honors in 2012.
"I can't wait for next year," said Bren. "I thought the Fall Final went pretty well for us. The first practice I went out, I just tried to make sure that nothing broke on the car, and then I started getting on it and we picked up time in every session that we went out. We started the day out about 3 seconds behind the fastest car and we ended the day 1 second behind. Someone had given me some hand me down tires that had about 200 laps on them for the practice, so we're looking forward to next year. The rear end broke in the car so we weren't able to race in the feature, which was disappointing because Jim Peterson had given me some good tires to use and I was planning on passing a couple of cars. But the big thing for us was getting our feet wet for next season and we definitely weren't the slowest car. All in all, it was a good weekend for us other than the feature, the car was fast, it felt comfortable, and everyone was telling me I did a good job."
While Bren will challenge for Rookie of the Year honors when Stafford Motor Speedway drops the green flag on the 2012 season, Bren will be a rookie in every sense of the word. Prior to his Fall Final foray this past October, Bren had never before sat behind the wheel of a racecar. But his father Warren has raced all up and down the east coast for over 30 years and Bren can lean on his father for experience and guidance as he gets ready to take on his first full season behind the wheel.
"The Fall Final was my first time driving a racecar," said Bren. "But I grew up around racing, my dad has raced from New Smyrna all the way to Oxford, and he ran on the Modified Tour in the '80s, so I've always had the bug to race. My dad actually got started racing at Stafford in the Sportsman division, so starting out at Stafford is a family tradition I guess, the apple definitely didn't fall far from the tree. It's definitely a big help having my dad around with all the experience he has."
Bren and his #66 team are currently going through and updating their car for their 2012 debut, which will come at the 41st Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, scheduled for April 27-29.
"Right now, we're pretty busy going through the car and we're updating a few things," said Bren. "We have a new engine coming from R.A.D. Automachine, we have a new transmission, and we have a new rear end, so I'm really looking forward to the new season. My friends won't let me hear the end of the broken rear end at the Fall Final, so I can't wait to get back on the track and show people what we can do and have some fun while we're doing it. We'd like to win Rookie of the Year, run in the top-10 all year long, and hopefully pick up a win before the season is over."
Bren is also thankful for the sponsors that he had on his car while making his Stafford debut at the Fall Final this year.
"We had some great sponsors on the car, and we couldn't have done this without their support," said Bren. "I have to thank Tibbetts Optical of Monson, BerteraChevy.com, Hood Medic, and Kenny Gran and Granite Wholesales. My level of gratitude was at an all-time high and I can't thank each of them enough for helping us out. We're working on getting those guys to come back on board with us for next year and hopefully we can attract a couple of new sponsors who would like to get on our car. Everything we can get sponsorship wise is a big help to us, especially since we're a small budget team."
Should Bren run into any troubles on the track during the 2012 season, he can always fall back on his classroom experience as he is currently attending Springfield Technical College with plans to transfer to UMASS Amherst after his second year and he is majoring in mechanical engineering.
"I'm majoring in mechanical engineering and right now we're learning about how to calculate forces and springs with cars going around an embanked track," said Bren. "It makes me chuckle that what I'm learning about in school is something that I'll actually be doing on the track in a couple more months."
Bren's quest for Rookie of the Year honors and the 2012 Limited Late Model season will kick-off with the 41st Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler on April 27-April 29, 2012 at Stafford.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
Sources: Scott Running/Stafford Motor Speedway PR