Lucas Oil Speedway Spotlight: Fast-starting Derek Brown says he can be even better
That runner-up finish might mean bad news for Brown's opponents. It seems to be motivation for the 30-year-old racer from Stoutland, who leads the early points chase by 42 over defending champ Toby Ott.
"I've had a really good-driving car ... but I need to work on it since last weekend," Brown said. "I obviously didn't win. But now that I got beat, I can make a few changes on it and see if I can make it better."
Brown, the Lucas Oil Speedway Spotlight Driver of the Week, looks to get back into victory lane on Saturday when the Street Stocks are the featured class in the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series. They'll go 25 laps for $750 to win in a program that's presented by iHeartMedia.
For 2016 track champion Brown, it's been a stellar start in his new TJR Motorsports car. He said he didn't want to make any changes to the car - even though he thought it probably needed some adjusting - while he was winning.
"I hadn't changed anything on it since I started driving it," Brown said earlier this week. "I knew it wasn't perfect, but it fit me. But now that I've been beat, I'm gonna regroup in the shop this week a little bit and try some new stuff."
Brown has won in all fashions, leading every lap of the opening-week feature from the pole and rallying from tailback to win the following week. In week three, his feature win was special because wife Rachel and son Kade, born only a few days earlier, joined him in victory lane.
"There's nowhere on the track that's bad," Brown said. "I can take it anywhere on the track and it's pretty fast."
The early success can be attributed to quality use of time while the racing season was delayed due to COVID-19. Brown said he otherwise wouldn't have been ready for the season, had it started as scheduled in early April.
"If we had started on time, I wouldn't have made it," Brown said. "We didn't end up getting it finished until about a week before we started.
"I really hadn't planned on running the full season. But with the delay and the baby, it just made more sense to race one day a week, about 45 minutes from the house, instead of traveling around like we usually do."
Brown said his main priority is to point toward the 7th Annual Big Buck 50 Presented by Whitetail Trophy Hunt, Oct. 1-3. The 50-lap, $10,000-to-win major for Street Stocks has eluded Brown, sometimes in agonizing fashion.
"I've come close the last few years and I'd really like to win that race," Brown said. "I had a right-front tire go flat while leading with five laps to go. One year I was passed with about 10 to go while leading. Last year we were third. I didn't have any problems, we just weren't fast enough to win it that night."
The year he suffered the flat, in 2016, his dad Tim Brown went on to win the race. That also was the same year Derek Brown won three of the season's first four features en route to the track championship and nine feature wins.
"I think it will be," Brown said of the comparisons to the 2016 season. "I think I can make the car better than it is now, so I expect to win a few more races, hopefully."
Seniors (62 and over)/Military: $9
Youth (ages 6-15): $5
Kids (5 and under): FREE
Family Pass: $30
Pit Pass: $30
The event, both at the town square and on the drag boat midway, will be free to fans and the public is invited to join the festivities.
Tickets for both days of the drag-boat races are available through Lucas Oil Speedway's office (417) 282-5984 or online. Admission on Saturday or a two-day ticket includes free admission to Saturday night's Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series action on the dirt track.
Inaugural Summer Thunder on Lake Lucas tickets:
Adults General Admission/Pit Pass Combo (16 and up) $25
Seniors (62 and up)/Military General Admission/Pit Pass Combo (62 and up) $22
Youth General Admission/Pit Pass Combo (age 6 to 15) $10
Kids General Admission/Pit Pass Combo (age 5 and under) FREE
Family Pass General Admission/Pit Pass Comb - Includes admission for 2 Adults and Up to 3 Kids Ages (6-15) $60
Adult 2-Day General Admission/Pit Pass Combo $35
Seniors (62 and up)/Military 2-Day GA/Pit Pass Combo $32
Youth Ages (6-15) 2-Day GA/Pit Pass Combo $20
Lakeside RV Packages also are available (Must Be Reserved in Advance) for $400. That includes a 20 x 45-foot space, four two-day race passes, one vehicle pass and one golf cart.
Spots in the Lucas Oil Speedway campground are: Reserved with electric and water ($35 per night), reserved dry (limited availability) $20 per night and dry camping (limited availability) $10 per night.
Tentative drag boat event schedule for the Inaugural Drag Boat Summer Thunder (subject to change without notice):
Saturday, June 13:
7 a.m. - Registration opens
8 a.m. - Spectator gates open
9 a.m. - Round 1 Qualifying Sportsman Session
10:30 a.m. - Round 1 Qualifying Pro Session
12:30 p.m. - Round 2 Qualifying Sportsman Session
2 p.m. - Round 2 Qualifying Pro Session
Sunday, June 14:
8 a.m. - Spectator gates open
9 a.m. - Eliminations
For more information about the Kentucky Drag Boat Association visit KBDA.net.