Brandon Brown hosts Reddit AMA


Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

On Thursday evening, NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Brandon Brown visited /r/NASCAR to answer fan questions in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. The 24-year-old Brandonbilt Motorsports driver is currently running a part-time schedule in the series, finishing thirty-sixth in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, and is scheduled to race Friday night’s Richmond Raceway event.

The first question answered by Brown is a common one among Reddit AMAs: “Is a hotdog a sandwich?” Jokingly described by another user as a “loaded question”, Brown responded, “[N]ot in my opinion”.

One fan asked for his opinion on how to attract new fans to NASCAR, to which he answered that the sport needs a spark to ignite interest. Although he considers the racing product exciting, he believes NASCAR should try a new approach, such as on-track rivalries or giving home states a more prominent role in driver representation.

When asked which retired Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver would he view himself as like the most, Brown compared himself to the late Tim Richmond. One of NASCAR’s most popular drivers during the 1980s, Richmond established himself as a Hollywood-like character in his driving style and his off-track persona. “I can drive over aggressive, but I don’t take anyone’s s**t on track,” Brown wrote.

Although Brown stated his long-term goal would be to compete in the Cup Series, he said he currently has no plans of racing in NASCAR’s highest level. “[B]ut I am always open to it lol,” he added.

In fourteen career Xfinity races, Brown’s best finish is seventeenth at Dover International Speedway in 2017, which makes it fitting that it is his favorite track. After a user raised the question, he answered, “Torn between Dover and Darlington [Raceway], but if I have to choose then I would say Dover. (I named my pup after it)”. Brown also expressed his interest in a one-on-one race with seven-time Cup champ Jimmie Johnson (in equal cars) around Dover. In regards to Darlington, he described the egg-shaped track as the most challenging on the schedule; in his lone Xfinity start at Darlington in 2017, he finished twentieth.

For one prompt about which tracks he would add to the Xfinity or Camping World Truck Series, Brown advocated for the return of Rockingham Speedway, which last saw a NASCAR national series race in 2013 with the Trucks. He also suggested Dominion Raceway in Thornburg, Virginia, and Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, North Carolina; Brown praised the former’s facilities, while the latter is co-owned by his father.

One fan inquired about which veterans have helped him the most during his career. In the Xfinity Series, he answered Elliott Sadler, while Matt Crafton was his choice for the Truck Series. In the 2016 Truck race at Daytona, Brown finished fourth after receiving drafting help from the two-time Truck champion.

A user asked if he would rather run a full season for a mid-field team or one race for a competitive organization; Brown responded with the latter. Another Redditor raised a similar situation in their query, wondering if he would consider following the strategy laid out by Whelen Modified Tour champ and Xfinity part-time driver Ryan Preece and run some races for a top team. However, Brown shot down the possibility as he answered, “I want to really bad honestly but I am not currently in a financial position where that is feasible”.

A Coastal Carolina University student, the school serves as a primary sponsor of Brown’s #86 and #90 cars. “It’s honestly been amazing, the school’s energy and spirit behind me with TEALNation is something that gets me super excited everyday about it,” Brown stated. “The coolest perk I’ve gotten is some sideline passes to the CCU sporting events”. He also discussed meeting fellow CCU students at tracks and those who have expressed interest in NASCAR.

In contrast to fans asking him questions, one user requested the opposite of him doing so. Brown inquired:

“How does a younger up and comer earn the respect of the older generations? My pop-pop was my biggest hero and he was always proud of me but now that he has passed, I’m not sure how to move forward with catching the interest of the older NASCAR fans.”

Other questions include his favorite type of pizza (Chicken Bacon Ranch), what he would rename himself if it had to be a variation of Brandon (Brando), his favorite Patrick Swayze action movie between Point Break or Road House (the latter), his dream car and current car (Aston Martin V12 Vanquish and 2005 Mustang GT, respectively), which television show he enjoys (a World War II documentary series), and his friendships with other drivers.

“I talk to Cole Custer a bit and I’m waiting to go wake boarding with Justin Haley,” he answered regarding his peer interactions. When one user asked if he refers to Custer by the nickname “Cold Custard”, he remarked:

“What’s a Cole without the Custer?”