Marulan based, 410 Sprintcar racer Braydan Willmington has managed to achieve his childhood dream of racing speedway in America.
He has achieved a string of impressive performances throughout the state of Indiana in his month on the US circuits.
Making the 15,000km trek from his home in the small town of Marulan in Southern Tablelands region of NSW to Indiana in America, which is considered the hotbed for 410 Non-Wing Sprintcar and Midget (Speedcar) racing, earlier this month after receiving the opportunity from Indiana-based racer and former Australian Speedcar Champion Davey Ray to race his cars, the 20-year-old racer wasted no time in proving that he could hold his own amongst some of the world’s best racers.
Contesting five race meetings during his whirlwind three-week visit, Willmington’s campaign was highlighted by his maiden outing aboard the Team RAYPRO-owned # 89BW 410 Non-Wing Sprintcar at Gas City I-69 Speedway during the Summer Thunder event, where he came home a solid second in his heat race, before making his way up to third in the A main, eventually coming home in a competitive fifth. The following night at Kokomo Speedway, he continued to adjust to the car and the night was highlighted by coming away with a B-main win.
Backing up this form one week later, when he returned to the Gas City I-69 Speedway track, Willmington continued to make gains, this time driving to a remarkable heat-race win (after starting from position six) and going one better in the A main, after starting from the outside of the third row, to finish just off the podium in fourth.
Equally as impressive in the Team RAYPRO-owned # 89BW Bullet by Spike Midget, powered by a Mopar engine, Willmington displayed great resilience at Montpelier Motor Speedway when he was forced to qualify for the A main via the B main after suffering a DNF in his earlier heat race, due to a battery issue. Doing just that, Willmington bounced back from position eight to win the B main, putting him out of 16th for the A main where he delivered a herculean performance to achieve a podium result, crossing the finish line in third.
To say that Willmington, who was occupied by his supportive dad Garry for the entire trip, enjoyed his American racing adventure would be quite the understatement.
“Racing in America was an incredible experience for me and it’s something I’ve been wanting to do since I was a child, and I’m already looking forward to getting back there next year,” he expressed.
“I can’t thank Davey Ray and the entire Ray family enough for making this dream a reality for me, as well as my parents (Natalie and Garry) who are the biggest supporters.
“I’ve raced Speedcars here in Australia, but never a 410 Non-Wing Sprintcar, so that was a first for me and it really seemed to suit my driving style, which played a big part in being able to be competitive.”
Following his American racing debut, Willmington is now preparing for the upcoming 2018-19 season here in Australia, where he plans to run selected 410 Sprintcar race meetings.
Willmington would like to give special thanks to the following people who helped to make his dream of racing in America a reality: his mum and dad (Natalie and Garry), Davey, Debbie and Dave Ray, as well as the rest of the Ray family, Team RAYPRO, Todd and Cary Bettenhausen, Leah Mitchell, Linda Mansfield, Jacob Quick, Brad Brown, Rachel Berry and Jason Reece, along with USAC Racing, and the promoters, organisers, fans and officials at Gas City I-69 Speedway, Kokomo Speedway, Montpelier Motor Speedway, and Plymouth Speedway.
To find out more about Willmington and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Braydan Willmington Motorsports.