Andy Brown holds a 26-point lead over Bart Hector Jr. heading into the ICAR Late Model Series 75-lap shootout on Saturday night at Spokane County Raceway.
Andy Brown has been down the road a time or two in his late model and four-cylinder racing career when it comes to chasing season championships. Brown is the 2007 ICAR Late Model Series champion and has earned countless wins and titles over the last decade.
This weekend the Spokane native brings a 26-point lead over Bart Hector Jr. in the chase for the 2012 ICAR championship as the series returns to Spokane County Raceway for a 75-lap showdown. With only one race on the schedule after the weekend's event, Brown notes that the experience he has in chasing year-end awards should bode well for his Zip's Family Restaurants Chevrolet team as they battle Hector.
“The experience is always a benefit towards the end of the year as the younger guys that are chasing us (Hector and third-place driver Jason O'Neil) have the pressure on them because they know we've been here before,” Brown explained. “It's a long season full of ups and downs and we know anything can happen. With our team having gone through this several times in the past it makes it easier to handle little issues that may come up during the race.”
Nothing is secure heading into the 75-lap main event this weekend, Brown added.
“With two races left on the ICAR schedule and both at SCR, this points battle is far from over and we know that.”
Running a crate engine program that allows for a weight break in the ICAR series and in races that Brown runs on the Inland Northwest Super Stock Association has given his race team the chance to focus on how the car handles more then just horsepower numbers against the competition. This focus is a key to Brown's two main event victories on the ICAR series with only one finish outside the top-3 thus far, he noted.
“I really feel that ICAR has a great engine (rules) package to keep the costs down. Our crate motor from Appleway Chevrolet has been great all year. We do have to make up for some power when we run the INSSA shows but we've always prided ourselves on chassis tuning (to get through the corners). I have a great shock package from Leary Racing (to compensate for the lack of horsepower) that has helped us to accomplish that this season.
“The crate engine program has been the biggest key to our success this year I have to say. Having it in the car with the weight break (up to 100 pounds lighter then the competition) has allowed us to try the things we're doing with the set-ups that we may not have done in the past (with an INSSA motor package).”
Running ICAR as a full-time competitor and also making as many INSSA races as he can along the way has been more taxing on Brown's Indian Trial Service Center pit crew then the race car itself, he said.
“To be honest the biggest challenge we face as a race team so far this season is time. We're running a grueling schedule with two late model series while also fielding a Zip's Pony Stock with Kameron Mckeehan as our driver on Wednesday's at Stateline and Friday nights at SCR. Kameron is the current points leader at SCR and we're running up front in ICAR so it's a challenge for sure to keep up with all the work on the two cars.”
Every driver sets the goal of winning races and battling for a championship. For Brown the success on the race track this weekend will bring him one step closer to his goal of being a two-time ICAR champion.
“Sure our goal is the championship. It's nice sitting at the head table at the end of the year banquet but we bring the same goals to every race which is to finish and do the best we can with what we have. If we do that the rest will hopefully take care of itself this weekend and into the final race of the year.”
ICAR time trials are set for 6 p.m. Saturday night at Spokane County Raceway with the 75-lap main event the final race on the evening's schedule. To learn more log onto www.scrsuperoval.com or raceicar.com
Follow The Spokesman-Review's motorsports coverage online at spokesman.com/blogs/keepingpace. To reach motorsports correspondent Doug Pace email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @racingnewsource
RACING AROUND THE REGION-
Spokane County Raceway
Friday 6 p.m.
Pony Stocks, Road Runners, Bump to Pass (oval)
Saturday 10 a.m.
Puget Sound Road Racing Karts (road course)
Saturday 6 p.m.
ICAR Late Model Series, Hobby Stocks, Pro 4 Modifieds (oval)
Saturday 6 p.m.
Early Stocks, Street Stocks, Bandoleros, Legends, Figure 8's
Sunset Speedway at Spokane Co. ORV Park
Saturday 7 p.m.
Junior and Adult kart racing in five seperate divisions
Spokane Kart Racing Association at Spokane Co. ORV Park
Thursday 6 p.m.
Paved oval go-kart racing