He doesn’t drive for a mega super power team, and he hasn’t gotten much press to start the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, but what Woodbridge, Virginia’s Brandon Brown and his family-owned Brandonbilt Motorsports team are doing through two races in 2021 is absolutely incredible.
As the NASCAR Xfinity Series heads into Homestead-Miami Speedway for Saturday’s Contender Boats 250, Brown, 27, sits fourth in the championship standings. Sure, it’s early, but for any underdog team, sitting inside the top-five of the championship standings, at any time, is a big deal.
Behind Brown in the standings, currently, are all four JR Motorsports teams, all three Kaulig Racing teams, Richard Childress Racing’s team, Stewart-Haas Racing’s team, and RSS Racing’s team.
All of the teams listed above are NASCAR Cup Series organizations or are aligned with NASCAR Cup Series organizations through a technical alliance. Not the No. 68 team. They’re using old RCR chassis from 2012 to 2016 and everything they do in an effort to better their performance, is done in house.
They do lease ECR motors for superspeedway events, but that is the extent of external help that the team relies on for success.
The No. 68 team has really been punching above their weight in the opening couple of weeks of the season, and according to the team’s competition director Collin Fern, it’s all thanks to Brown driving his guts out and crew chief Doug Randolph doing incredible work.
“Our biggest assets are Doug Randolph and Brandon Brown,” Fern told TobyChristie.com. “Doug has built us into a big team with a horribly small budget and Brandon is a top-five driver in this series.”
The great performances from Brown and BMS coupled with bad days from some of the expected top tier teams in the Series has led to a perfect start for Brown this year.
In the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway, Brown was able to avoid most of the chaos, which sent 17 other cars home on the hook of a tow truck, and salvaged a sixth-place finish despite some significant damage to his No. 68 machine.
He followed up that effort with an eighth-place finish at the Daytona Road Course this past weekend.
For Brown, the road course finish was a bit more of an impressive effort as he considers himself inexperienced on road courses and that the team didn’t even get a finish in this race a season ago.
“Well boys and girls, we did it again,” Brown said in a post-race Twitter video. “Another top-10 at Daytona, this one was a little more hard-fought. Running the road course was kind of tough for me, it’s still very much a learning thing. Great redemption from last year of not finishing.”
Brown will roll from the seventh starting spot on Saturday and will look to keep the momentum going at Homestead, where he finished 14th and 36th in the two races at the 1.5-mile speedway a season ago. If Brown can avoid more calamity and notch another top-10, he’ll continue building a solid foundation to his 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, and he may even be able to attract more sponsorship to help the team improve even more.
Brown tweeted on Wednesday, that his No. 68 machine for Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s March 6th event, is currently an empty canvas for any brand that wants to step on board the car.
— Brandon Brown (@brandonbrown_68) February 24, 2021
It’s unfathomable to think the team could be without a sponsor next weekend after the incredible start to the season that they’ve had, but perhaps they can open up some eyes this weekend and attract a new company.
The Brandonbilt Motorsports team has gradually improved each season heading into their third full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series campaign.
In 2019, the team scored one top-10 finish and rounded the year out in 15th in the championship standings. In 2020, the team improved greatly, as they recorded one top-five and six top-10s en route to their first-ever NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff berth. Brown would finish 11th in the championship standings in 2020.
Although it’s still early in the year, it appears the team could be ready to take another step forward in 2021.