Brandon Brown (90) chases Dylan Lupton during Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Darlington Raceway. (CSP/Chris Seelman photo)

Brown’s Coastal Carolina University-sponsored entry paid homage to late NASCAR premier series car owner Junie Donlavey, who lived 86 miles south of where Brown grew up.

Donlavey called Richmond home, while Brown is from Woodbridge, and the Virginia tie — along with the underdog nature of both teams — made the throwback scheme fitting.

“I’m really happy that we got to honor the late Junie Donlavey with a real strong run as an underdog team,” Brown said. “I’m real proud that we were able to do that. I would hope that he’d be proud too, because that was a hallmark of his cars through the years … was always surprising people and doing things that a lot of people thought he couldn’t.”

“We’ve got a single-car shop and we’re doing everything we can with only a few guys, so there’s a lot of parallels. That and the fact that the teal he ran (when Donlavey’s car was sponsored by Heilig-Meyers) matched our teal (the colors of Coastal Carolina University) perfectly. That was the seal on the deal and we really enjoyed running this scheme.”

Donlavey scored just one-career Cup win, which came in 1981 at Dover Int’l Speedway with Jody Ridley, but three drivers earned Cup Rookie of the Year honors driving for his team and Donlavey finished in the top-10 in series points five straight years, from 1977 through 1981.

His was a team that always “did more with less,” something Brown certainly is striving to emulate.

As he traversed the day at Darlington, Brown said that he didn’t pay a lot of attention to the fact that the cars he was running around were from “power teams” compared to his own.

The Virginia young gun stressed that he couldn’t get distracted by that when he had his own race to run.

“To be God honest … and not to sound cocky, but when we’re racing, every car out there is just another car,” Brown explained. “If you start focusing on who it is or what money they came from or who they’re with, then I’m just going to get inside my own head and mess myself up.”

“For me, I just have to focus on if they’re faster than us or they’re not. If they are, I have to try and figure out when they’re going to (make a mistake) and if they’re not, then I have to set them up and take them when I can.”

When he’d finally taken the checkered flag, however, the impact of what Brown had accomplished with a shoestring team began to settle in.

“Competing against those guys is pretty cool. After you cross the line and everyone’s bunching around you (on the cool-down lap), you realize that ‘Hey, these aren’t any small-time guys. These are week-in, week-out guys.'”

“Once that set in, I smiled. That’s when I knew we’d had a really good day.”


About the Writer

Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.

Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.

The 23-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

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Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman, 24, is the founder and managing editor of 77 Sports Media and a major contributing writer for SPEED SPORT Magazine. He is studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. and also serves as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

View all posts by Jacob Seelman

1 thought on “Brown Brings It Home For Donlavey At Darlington

  1. A very good article on a very promising young driver in the NASCAR series. I have become acquainted with Brandon Brown Racing as a result of my grandson, Collin Fern who also attends Coastal Carolina University and does P.R. for Brandon’s team and Brandonbilt Motorsports.

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