Brandon Brown Wins First Career Xfinity Race At Talladega

Brandon Brown soaking it all in after winning his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen | Getty Images)

Oct. 2, 2021, will forever be known as the day of the underdogs. First, Tate Fogleman got career win No. 1 in Saturday’s first race by winning the Chevrolet Silverado 250 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Then, Brandon Brown scored a feel-good maiden NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Talladega Superspeedway, in a race called early due to darkness.

Brandonbilt Motorsports is one of the smaller teams in the garage area with limited resources, trying to compete against NASCAR Cup teams or Cup affiliated teams that have Xfinity programs with larger budgets.

Earlier in the year, the No. 68 Chevrolet was in need of additional funding to complete the season. Brown created a little skit pretending to be a car salesman, in order to convince new sponsors to hop onboard.

Last month, the team announced they secured primary sponsorship for the rest of the season. While Brown and his family operated team capitalized on this particular race day at Talladega, it was not without some challenges.

Stage 1

On the final lap of Stage 1, Brandon Brown tried to squeeze past Sam Mayer in Turn 3. Instead, the two drivers made contact, sending Mayer hard into the outside wall and collecting AJ Allmendinger in the process.

Mayer and Allmendinger got out of their wrecked cars, with both competitors out of the race prematurely.

At the time of caution, John Hunter Nemechek was ahead of the pack to win Stage 1. Earlier in the day, Nemechek was leading the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race coming into the tri-oval on the final lap and got turned around by first-time winner Tate Fogleman.

Prior to the race, Justin Haley’s No. 11 Chevrolet received a penalty for improperly applied decals. As a result, Haley had to drop to the rear and do a pass-through penalty. Luckily, he was in the position to receive the free pass and get back on the lead lap at the end of the stage.

Stage 1 Results: Nemecheck, J. Burton, Herbst, Cindric, Snider, H. Burton, Allgaier, Perkins, Jones, Hemric.

Stage 2

In a stage briefly delayed due to wall repairs from the incident involving Sam Mayer and AJ Allmendinger at the end of Stage 1, Our Motorsports showed up when it mattered to give the team a 1-2 stage finish.

With drafting help from teammate Brett Moffitt, Blaine Perkins got to the front and held off a hungry pack of drivers to give the 2020 ARCA Menards Series West runner-up his first stage win in Xfinity competition.

Stage 2 Results: Perkins, Moffitt, Nemecheck, Herbst, Allgaier, J. Burton, H. Burton, Haley, Cindric, Gragson.

Stage 3

With 24 laps remaining, trouble struck two playoff competitors. Brett Moffitt got loose in front of Jeb Burton and got sideways, clipping the right rear of Noah Gragson which sent the No. 9 Chevrolet hard into the wall.

Myatt Snider had nowhere to go and suffered heavy race-ending damage. Others piled in trying to avoid the wreck. This brought out the second red flag of the race on Lap 89.

On Lap 101, Harrison Burton got turned around by Moffitt to ignite a multi-car wreck that took out playoff driver Riley Herbst and others. This turned out to be the last on-track action of the day.

During those critical moments, Brown took the lead on Lap 100, eking out Brandon Jones and Justin Allgaier to capture his maiden Xfinity Series win. To say the least, Brown attributed his victory with a little help from his friend.

“Oh, my God, I owe Jordan (Anderson) a couple cases of lemonade for that push,” Brown said in a post race Zoom availability. “I can’t thank him enough. But, I mean everything that’s gone into building this team, just as we all know, the tribulations of a smaller family team getting into a sport with a higher to entry barrier, in comparison to some others. And that a lot of it comes from the funding aspect that we all know. And it’s one of those things where we’re working on a more limited budget. It’s no secret, but it’s something that we’re constantly building on and building on.”

When asked about the significance of his Saturday win for his No. 68 team’s future, Brown expressed optimism.

“And now we’re getting to a point where it’s like, OK, you know, we’re at a point where we can take advantage of some situations, some wrecks, some rain shortened rates, some shortened races, whatever we got to do, we got to take advantage,” he observed. “Every step, we got to punch above our weight class. And now we’re proving that we can do it. And I’m hoping that this leads to more partnerships that allow us to just constantly stay in that weight class.”

Brown also observed how iRacing assists with critical, on track decisions as prevalent at a superspeedway like Talladega.

“Yeah, I mean, it’s one of those things that you can kind of, you know, I won’t say you completely hone your craft, just because I’m more of a seat feel kind of guy, and iRacing tends to be more in the eyes and hands, in my opinion,” Brown offered. “But having stout competition on there, you can practice moves, practice runs, especially at a superspeedway.

“It’s one of those things where you can kind of come up with a strategy and again, work on studying who you’re racing around studying what their moves are, where they tend to go, do they tend to jump lines really fast, or kind of stay into one and hope it works. So, you know, it’s just one of those things that it helps in that way. And, you know, your decision making, kind of, I honestly believe a lot of your decisions that you make on track will come from decisions you make there.”

Charlotte Roval

The 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Charlotte Roval saw drivers compete in treacherous, wet weather. Will the 2021 race provide a different story? (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images)

Next Saturday, the NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval for a cutoff race. The Round of 12 ends in the Queen City next Saturday, with NBC coverage getting underway at 3 p.m. ET on Oct. 9.

Jeb Burton leaves Talladega eight points outside of the final transfer spot, so he could possibly make the Round of 8 on points. On the other hand, Myatt Snider, Riley Herbst and Jeremy Clements will need to enter Charlotte with a must-win mindset.

Before his Talladega race ended in a wreck, Herbst ran strong upfront working with Ford teammate Austin Cindric.

“We were doing everything to plan and then I think with 10 or 20 laps to go the incident came and somebody from behind me didn’t use their brake pedal and knocked the back of our race car off, so we had to come down pit road and fix that, and then that obviously put us in the hornet’s nest and the top three-wide,” Herbst said.

“We led a lot of laps.  We got a lot of points, but we just didn’t finish well.  I think we’ve got to go win the Roval now.”

Sparks 300 Top-10 Results: Brown, Jones, Allgaier, Hemric, Anderson, Haley, J. Burton, Cindric, Berry, Graf Jr.

Kobe Lambeth

My name is Kobe Lambeth and I am a recent graduate of UNC Charlotte. I received my undergraduate degree in Communication Studies (mass media concentration), with a double minor in Journalism and American Studies. Since 2007, I have developed a strong passion for motorsports. My childhood dream is to work in the motorsports industry for a long time.

In June 2017, my journey began as a freelance journalist and social media specialist for RockinghamNow, covering high school sports and leading a Twitter project. We wanted to provide expanded coverage of high school football throughout the local community. With the use of Twitter, we had a goal of significantly increasing the number of followers on multiple accounts.

At The Podium Finish, my goal is to provide professional motorsports coverage, focusing on series such as NASCAR, IndyCar and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. I'm also the Multimedia Producer at GRID Network.

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