Branonbilt Motorsports driver Brandon Brown is back in the No. 68 Chevrolet for the Xfinity Series trip to Daytona International Speedway. He will use the opportunity to reunite with Larry’s Hard Lemonade, the company that he took to Victory Lane at Talladega Superspeedway.
Brown and Larry’s Hard Lemonade announced the news on August 25 and showed off the scheme. The No. 68 Chevrolet Camaro will feature a black, yellow, and pink color scheme. There will also be an American flag on the front. This scheme is actually the exact one that Brown took to Victory Lane in 2021, and its return will mark the 16th race where Larry’s Hard Lemonade serves as the primary sponsor of the No. 68 Chevrolet.
This partnership has led to success on the tracks. Of Brown’s 19 career top-10 finishes, seven have been with Larry’s Hard Lemonade as the primary partner. This includes two top-10s at Daytona International Speedway and three at Talladega Superspeedway. Brown also turned in a third-place finish at Phoenix Raceway in 2021 while working with Larry’s Hard Lemonade.
“I can’t wait to get back to Daytona this Friday and once again have the opportunity to compete with Larry’s Hard Lemonade,” Brown said in a press release. “We have a great superspeedway record together — especially with the car that we’re bringing to Daytona, because it’s actually our Talladega race-winning Chassis, No. 007 which we’ve decided to pull out of retirement this weekend for the special occasion.
“I’m grateful to Vic [Reynolds] and Larry’s Hard Lemonade for continuing to support me through the ups and downs of my racing career. They’ve played a huge part in getting me to where I am today, and for that, I will forever be grateful.”
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This Reunion Takes Place After an Earlier Split
While Brown and Larry’s Hard Lemonade celebrated their first win in 2021, they did not work together after. The reason is that the beverage company announced prior to the 2022 season that it would not continue forward with Brown.
Larry’s Hard Lemonade owner Vic Reynolds released a video addressing the situation after Brown inked a sponsorship deal with LGBcoin.io, which played off of the “Let’s Go, Brandon” phrase. Reynolds emphasized at the time that he and Brown had a lasting friendship, but he also confirmed that the No. 68 would not feature the Larry’s Hard Lemonade branding.
This deal ultimately fell through after NASCAR announced that it had not approved LGBcoin.io, which left Brown in a difficult position. The driver of the No. 68 has struggled with sponsorship during the 2022 season, to the point that he had to step out of the stock car. Brandonbilt Motorsports actually brought on Kris Wright to make starts as he could bring sponsors with him.
“Many believe that Larry’s Hard Lemonade withdrew its sponsorship of Brandon Brown because of a disagreement between Brandon and myself, however, this is something that I would like to address as false,” Reynolds explained on August 25. “Shortly after our Talladega win, there were a handful of new team affiliates who I felt were influencing some of the team’s decision making in ways that I did not agree with — and for that reason alone, is what ultimately led to the decision for Larry’s Hard Lemonade to withdraw its sponsorship.
“I recently became aware of the impact that our sponsorship termination has had on Brandon after reading an article which stated that he would be out of the No. 68 for most of the remaining 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series races due to a lack of sponsorship funding, which stemmed from speculation about Brandon’s character. This broke my heart to read as I know Brandon to be a talented race car driver and a great human being, whose character has been put into question over previous decisions that were out of his control.”
Second Chances Drove This Reunion
When Reynolds issued the press release confirming the reunion, he brought up an important point. He talked about how “one blip on the radar” can shake up someone’s life. The post-race chants at Talladega Superspeedway serve as examples. As Reynolds explained, he feels strongly that Brown deserves a second chance.
Agreeing to support Brown once again is one way to prove that Reynolds believes in the message from the press release. He also made a concerted effort to change the discussion surrounding Brown and the stock car that he took to Victory Lane.
“So, the decision was made to resurrect our Talladega race-winning paint scheme for this Friday’s NASCAR race at Daytona in the hopes of giving it a new meaning,” Reynolds added in the press release. “Instead of people associating it with the events from the past, my hope is that it will now be seen as a representation of new beginnings and a fresh start.”