Hemby Bridge, NC – For a weekend this past weekend, I had the chance to feel like a professional race car driver. And I’m not going to lie... It felt pretty freaking awesome.
A month and one half month ago, I accepted a position as a new home sales consultant for one of the top homebuilders in the country. It’s a company in which my mom somewhat helped start as an office manager. Exiting college, I always wanted to work for them, but the thought of letting her down at a company she helped take national was too great a risk.
After college, I worked several careers including homebuilding, NASCAR promotions, safety management, and that of a realtor. Every position offered great opportunities for me to race whenever my wallet told me I could.
But in the end, I wanted to work with this particular builder and finally decided to go behind her back and take a chance.
When I was offered and accepted this position, mom didn’t have a clue. I was signing employment papers with her sales manager as she was walking by yelling at everyone for weekly reports. “What are you doing here?” “I work for you now!” “What!”
Ten minutes later, before my butt hit the seat cushions of my 1982 Ford F150, dad’s calling me. His first question… “What about racing?” “Dad, I had to make a grown up decision for once in my life, and unfortunately racing is going to take a hit.”
He understood and later that night we broke out Pete’s schedule and started coordinating logistics for races I might be able to make. Some races found me traveling alone and hoping I could park beside Gray or Bridges or Riggins or anyone that could help me put my wing on and hand me my helmet. Revert back to my Phenix City recap.
And then….. We coordinated weekends like this past weekend where I leave work at 6PM and join my crew at the track.
I hauled ass to Lavonia, GA only to arrive at the track as my two man crew of Pops and Glass are shoving my car into the trailer as Pete’s sending a rainout text message to everyone in attendance. I hand dad my Wendy’s baconactor and tell JGlass I might not be able to make it to Woodstock tomorrow night and he needs to be ready to assume driving responsibilities.
A late night of tired driving and an early morning adrenaline rush of contract signing can make a man’s mind wonder. If random rain storms appear, the occasional long yellow happens, extended candy drops because more local sponsors chip in, I might be able to make this bad boy.
I gave in and gave myself a chance. As soon the clock hit Six, I closed up model (not shop), and destroyed the rained beaten roads 300 miles to the ATL!
I slide my car into park right outside the pit gate to find dad with $30 for a pit pass. He told me to hop on the four-wheeler and get to the car asap, they’re lining up!
Throwing on my uniform, my shoe laces are tied in a knot from their washing machine experience. Staring out the trailer as cars are firing up, I said, F*** it and jumped in the car.
I would start last and made it up to 9th. If I could have added a round here and changed a shock there, maybe a little more wing angle, I think I could have made it up to 9th. Hopefully that made someone laugh.
Rolling up to the trailer after the feature… I jumped out of the car really quick… Told Justin and Dad everything they did wrong… Changed my clothes… Ran back to my car… And hauled ass home claiming I had so much work to do tomorrow morning… Leaving them to load everything.
Tomorrow morning did come and fortunately it turned out to be another great sale. The home will close around December. I guess my commission is going toward a few plane tickets to Tulsa for a midget race this winter as a thank you for 30 laps of awesome around Dixie Speedway.
Side Note #1… I turned off I-75 going toward Dixie at 9:30 and witnessed one of the biggest fields of vehicles I’d ever seen at a dirt track, quite possibly the biggest 360 crowd I’d ever seen. When I left Dixie Speedway 45 minutes later in my little Altima, I truly felt like I was leaving an AC/DC concert, there were so many damn people here.
Side Note #2… I want to thank everyone for their continued support of my racing articles. I can attest to everyone through friendship that these stories are 100% accurate.
Unfortunately, there are too many great racing stories that never get told. I really wish everyone would at least give it a shot. No matter how bad I think my writing is, the positive encouragement keeps me writing and working toward making sprint car racing as spectacular as possible.
I’ve been asked by Justin at Flat Out Magazine to write an article for his next production. My first publication! His chosen topic was “Ten Things That Make Racing Sprint Cars Great.” I have a million ideas in mind and I can’t wait to share them with the world because we truly are a part of the greatest racing in the world.
Signed… Brandon McLain
Oh…. And thanks Mom for helping build a company I love working for. I tell people I’m on that Kasey Kahne schedule. You never know when I’m going to show up, but I’m going to show up having better stuff than last time!