Brandon Brown secured his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory on Saturday, October 2, at Talladega Superspeedway after darkness brought an early end to the race. He did not contend for stage wins early, but he made his moves late and took the lead at the best possible time.
Speaking with Heavy and other media members after the race, the Brandonbilt Motorsports driver explained how this strategy is something that he focuses on during races at both Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. He hangs back, watches other drivers, and then makes moves during the final stage in order to contend for the win.
“We’re not in the playoffs, but what we’re doing is we’re making a run to try and maximize the points,” Brown told Heavy during his post-race media availability. “Again, stage points would be great, but what we wanted to focus on — what I wanted to focus on — is how other drivers are… how are they driving. What are they doing? What are their moves? What are their tendencies? What lanes are they choosing? How dicey is it going to be? Is it going to be a single-lane race, is it going to be a double-lane race, is it going to be a triple-lane race?
“You never know. We showed up at Daytona and all went single-lane against the wall,” Brown continued. “Then we showed up here and we’re three-wide a lot. It’s one of those things where you pick your lane, see where your car goes, and have an idea. Because if it came down to a last-minute run, then you knew what you needed to do. You knew where you needed to be. That was kind of my mindset — study and then execute.”
Brown Made His Moves During the Final Stage
Brown executed this strategy to perfection on Saturday. He started 19th and worked his way to 12th by the end of Stage 1. He then worked his way to fifth during Stage 2 before dropping back to 14th by the time the green and white checkered flag waved.
Brown remained within reach of a top-10 finish during the final stage, but he continued to look for his moment to strike. He sat in the 12th position during a red-flag stop with 24 laps remaining. The race went green again with 20 laps remaining, and Brown moved from 12th to fifth in a matter of three laps.
The driver of the No. 68 jumped to the front of the pack and led a total of eight laps before the race came to a halt once again. Brett Moffitt, Riley Herbst, Harrison Burton, Jordan Anderson, John Hunter Nemechek, Alex Labbe, and Josh Williams were all involved in an incident that brought out the caution flag. The race never went green again as Brown locked up the win.
Brown Has Plans To Keep the Momentum Going Into 2022
With the win on his resume, Brown will look forward to the future and potentially more big moments in his career. He explained to media members that he hopes that he’ll keep the wins coming while simultaneously adding more partners. Additionally, Brown confirmed that he will be back full-time in 2022.
“That’s the plan,” Brown added during the post-race media session. “To come back next year with our full-time team and try to make a run at the Xfinity Series playoffs. That’s just kind of the options that are on the horizon. I have great partners with me like Larry’s Lemonade, who keep us in the sport and keep us competitive at this level. It’s something that we’re working hard on.”
Brown made the playoffs in 2020 by virtue of points, but he missed the cut in 2021, his third full-time season in the Xfinity Series. However, he registered his first career win. Now Brown will try to put everything together in 2022 to win and reach the playoffs once again.
READ NEXT: Xfinity Championship Favorite Secures Spot in Round of Eight