Brandon's Blog - Midnight Rider

Friday, May 26, 2017
Hemby Bridge, NC – Needmore Speedway in deep south Georgia played host to the United Sprint Car Series this weekend and to my precise timing, detailed logistics, and supreme begging techniques, I was able to convince the bosses to let me have the weekend off and do a little racing.

Usually on trips like this, we’ll leave the night before and cruise down the interstate obeying all speed limit signs and stopping whenever one just feels like stopping. This time was different though when Jacob walked through the shop doors on Thursday night and said he was loading up his car and going with us. There was just one condition… That we would leave really Friday morning so he could get a little sleep before we hit the road. We all agreed to a time and went home for a few hours nap.

Six O’clock came around and when only half the team showed up at the shop, dad rang the brother to no avail, and again, and again, and again. Eventually, he’d answer to inform us to head on down the road, that he’d be a few hours behind us.

As dad and I hit the interstate, we looked over at each other and made bets on if Jake would show up. I was pretty skeptical this would be one race he wasn’t going to make. It’s too far… he’s too tired… There are closer races… He’s done to much the last few days…

Two Thursday’s ago, he started an adventure in Cherryville, NC loading up the Gobrecht/McCall 44 driven by Trey Starks for a weekend in Rossburg, OH. A Sunday traveling home didn’t provide much rest for a truck driver whose concrete plant is demanding a thousand yards worth of material for a record pour later that week. A successful Monday was had and it was time for some much needed rest.

Not necessarily…

An early Tuesday morning would find him in Mooresville, NC this time loading up an iRacing KKR #4 that was destined for central Pennsylvania. First, a night test at an undisclosed location before trying to repeat last year’s Victory Lane celebration at Lincoln Speedway against “The Greatest Show on Dirt.”

With Kasey heading into Allstar weekend, a return home trip the following day was out of the question. As soon as the last autograph was signed, it was time for an all-nighter hauling ass home. Rolling into KKR headquarters Thursday morning, it was finally time for some much needed rest.

Not necessarily…

Between Mooresville and Hemby Bridge is a little town called Concord, NC that for the last few months has been home to a certain World of Outlaw team’s toterhome that blew up on the way to Volusia at the beginning of the year. With a new motor finally installed, the mechanic requested Jake assistance to put the final touches on the rig and test it out before it hits the road for the second half of the season. A few hours later, they were satisfied and Scruffy’s rig was heading back to Hemby Bridge with Jake at the helm.

As he pulls into the drive, he notices dad and I loading up the world famous 21B. We check out the rig for a minute and then he calmly mentions he’s racing with us this weekend. We were excited because dad wants both his kids racing, and I love racing against him.

But I did question him though. How the hell are you still walking and even comprehending the English language right now? He should have been a zombie at this point, much less ready to load up more race cars and head toward the Florida Georgia line for a two nighter.

To our amazement, an hour before the driver’s meeting, Jake and just Jake rolled through the pits in his miniature hotshot Freightliner pulling a Capitol Renegade trailer loaded with a badass 305 sprinter ready to knock off as many 360’s as possible for the next few days.

And for the next few nights, he held his own and then some. Friday night found him battling for a top ten in a full field of regulars, while Saturday night’s track conditions were too brutal for multi-race tires where new rubber found their way to the front. After the checker flag flew, we headed toward the closest Waffle House for the traditional chocolate milk and Allstar breakfast before a full night of rest in anticipation for another interstate day on Sunday.

Except Jacob… He decided it was in his best interest to hit the road for another all-nighter so he could spend a quite Sunday with his twenty-year fiancé, Laura, Barney the dog, and possibly a few IPA’s on the back porch.

We tried to convince him otherwise, but it was no use. Dad handed him a hundred dollar bill in case he needed a hotel room and off he went.

This morning around eight, I hear a buzzing on the nightstand of my extremely comfortable hotel room. It was my cell phone letting me know I received a message.

It was Jake. He made it home.

I replied to get some rest because we gotta go win Laurens County next Saturday.

He said aight…