BROWN READY TO MAKE UP FOR
MISTAKE IN MADE IN AMERICA 300
Tim Brown left Martinsville Speedway a year ago wondering “what if.”
He doesn’t want a repeat
performance this time around in the Made In America 300 NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour event.
Brown ran in the top five most of the night last year, but a
pit gamble, a downpour and a slow-moving tow truck wiped out a shot
at victory or even a top-five finish for the Cana, Va., driver.
We had a really good car. The rain really hurt us,” Brown
recalled recently. “We thought we did the right thing, stopping and
getting tires when we did. But the rain came and finally stayed and
that hurt us. We had a really good car, better than what we
This year’s Made In America Whelen 300 is set for Saturday,
September 1, and unlike the two previous editions, it will be a
one-day show, with practice set for 1 p.m., qualifying at 5, an
on-track autograph session at 6:30 and the 300-lap race taking the
green at 8 p.m. It is the only race held under the lights at
Martinsville Speedway each year.
The Made In America 300 is a turf war of sorts. It is the
only time each season entries from both the NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour, a New England-based series, and the NASCAR Whelen Southern
Modified Tour go head-to-head. Last year Brown was tops among the
southern drivers, but thinks he can do even better than that
ninth-place finish this time around.
“We wound up winning the southern side, but we want to go to
Martinsville this year and win the whole thing,” said Brown.
He certainly held his own with the best of the northern tour
a year ago. He ran in the top five most of the evening and was
running directly behind eventual winner Jimmy Blewett when his team
made the fateful decision to pit for tires.
“We had a really, really good car last year,” recalled Brown.
“We qualified in the top 10. Things were real strong for us. We were
on the top of the board in happy hour … the fastest car, which is
strong for a southern car.
“We just bided our time in the race and played it cool,
stayed in the top five. But we just made a mistake to come and get
tires just before the rain came and stayed.”
More than the weather hampered Brown’s effort, though. When
he made that final pit stop under caution, a tow truck hauling in a
wrecked racer blocked his exit. He made a judgment call and wound up
being penalized a lap.
“They were dragging a car in the exit of pit road and I
couldn’t get by it. When the wrecker got out of the way, I ran the
stop sign just because the wrecker had held me up,” said Brown.
“Then NASCAR held me a lap (for ignoring the stop sign). I had to
race my way back on the lead lap. I think without all the
controversy, we had a car capable of winning the race.
“But the penalty isn’t what cost us. It was stopping for
tires when we did and then the rain coming. After we stopped for
tires, we didn’t run 20 green flag laps before the rain came.”
Brown believes last year’s race was a tremendous learning
experience for him and his team and that they should roll back into
town this Labor Day weekend armed with much more experience and
“Basically we know what to do to the car this year. The tires
we run at Martinsville are the ones the northern guys run all the
time and we don’t get to run on them often,” explained Brown. “Every
time we run them, we get more familiar with them. Last year in happy
hour we hit on something that the car liked for that tire and we
were fast and stayed fast on that setup.
“This time we’ll start with that setup and we should be fast
right off the truck.”
Tickets for the Made In America Whelen 300 are $20 for adults
and $5 for children age 5-12. Children under 5 will be admitted
Tickets may be purchased at the track’s ticket office, by
calling 877.RACE.TIX or by visiting
Source Mike Smith/Martinsville Speedway PR
August 9, 2007