CONCORD, N.C. — Sponsors are what make the racing world go around. Securing partner companies and keeping them is no easy task.
One of the best in sprint car racing at the sponsorship game is Brian Brown. Prior to last week’s World Finals, Brian Brown Racing signed Casey’s General Stores to a two-year extension, making it one of the longest running team-sponsor relationships in motorsports.
“To have Casey’s re-sign for two more years is awesome,” the longtime owner-driver told SPEED SPORT at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. “Knowing that we did our job on and off the track to the point that they still want to be a part of our team is a lot for us to be proud of as an organization and we want to continue to do what we can on and off the track to get them a return on their investment.
“We have been with them since 2010, so at the end of the next two years it will be a 15-year partnership, which in sprint car racing or in racing in general is a lot. We are proud to be part of such a great company.”
Brown said that while sponsorship agreements are normally announced late in the season the process begins during the late summer months.
“It makes my life easier as a car owner knowing that your partners want to continue to be with you. Obviously, these talks start in advance — August or September and everybody kind of does their budgets and goes from there,” Brown said. “We are also really close to announcing something really soon with our other partners regarding moving forward.”
Brown said his team is ready to begin preparing for next season.
“The way the economy is and the way parts are more difficult to get now than in the past, we will short order our parts in August or September so that we can have them by now,” he explained.
“That way when wintertime comes and it is time to build cars, we are not sitting around waiting for what we need. We keep a good amount of inventory at the shop, so nothing should hold us up going into the winter.
“But it (having multiyear sponsor agreements) does let you know that when you start tearing things up in the middle of next year, you will have the funding to keep your operation going up and down the road,” he noted.
“It is not getting any cheaper to have these race teams with the tire costs, fuel costs — everything in general costs more than it did 10 years ago and we’re very lucky to have great partners who believe in us and we can continue to have a professional team that can run 70 to 80 races a season.”
Brown was happy with his season that included a $60,000 triumph in the Tuscarora 50 at Pennsylvania’s Port Royal Speedway.
“It was good. We won eight races. We won two crown jewels in the 360 Nationals and the Tuscarora 50,” said Brown, who turned 45 in October. “I can think of three or four races that slipped away. We could have very easily been at 10 or 12 wins. I feel like it was a very good year, but it could always be better. Looking forward to having all of our crew members and partners back next year.”
Brown said his team will continue to pick and choose where it races next season.
“We are not really ever points racing. We kind of just go — for our partners it works best for us to do all the racing we want to do,” Brown explained. “We stick around Knoxville as much as we like and then we go to all the big races, whether it is the World Finals, Kings Royal, Eldora Million, Tuscarora 50, Knoxville Nationals, Williams Grove National Open, any race that is a marque event we will be at. We are not going to criss-cross the country following a schedule.
It has never been our M.O. and we are not going to start down that path at this point in our career.”