Robb Brent Enjoying Friends In High Places
Topics: Robb Brent
Robb Brent Racing
May 5, 2009
SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Michigan (May 5, 2009) - - Robb Brent hasn’t been around stock car racing long but the 22-year old driver has definitely been influenced and befriended some well known drivers and car owners in the top ranks of NASCAR.
Recent NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner and full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series pilot Brad Keselowski is responsible for tapping Brent’s name into the media as the JR Motorsports driver took the young-somewhat shy upcoming driver under his wing and propelling him to be his team’s driver in the ARCA RE/MAX Series beginning in 2006.
With the new ride came stellar equipment and fame. Running under the BKR (Brad Keselowski Racing) banner since 2006, Brent produced two top-fives and five top-10s in 17 starts. His best finish occurred at Kansas Speedway and Pocono Raceway respectively with fifth place finishes. Brent also emerged as a strong qualifier putting his No. 00 machine up front including an outside pole at Kentucky Speedway last year.
Having a mentor like Keselowski proved to be a huge confidence booster for the former road racing veteran as close conversations, details and hands on experience allowed Brent the chance to invade NASCAR and carry the BKR name into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
While the finishes weren’t as successful in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, Brent would not trade any of seat time and experience for the world. In three NASCAR starts, Brent claimed two top-25 efforts at Nashville Superspeedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway respectively.
At the end of the 2008 season, Brent’s future at BKR was unknown as the rigorous search for additional sponsorship had fallen flat. With a new driver sitting on the steps at BKR, Brent knew that his relationship with BKR looked bleak.
“I had a great relationship with BKR and still have a great friendship with Brad Keselowski,” said driver Robb Brent. “I am indebted to Brad for helping me launch a career in stock cars. He taught me a lot and was there to tell me what I did wrong and was one of the first to congratulate me when everything went right. I cherish those moments. He is responsible for helping me get where I am today.”
The 2009 racing season was optimistic at best for the Michigan native as sponsorship dollars were limited but then came a call from Mike Allgaier of Justin Allgaier Motorsports. The opportunity for Brent to return to Daytona International Speedway looking to make his historic 2.5-mile speedway at the “World Center of Racing” was a-calling. With backing from Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Brent was on his way to the 2009 season opener for the ARCA RE/MAX Series in the No. 36 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS.
While the team gave a gallant effort, the bid to gain a starting position in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona came up short with Brent having to watch the first race of the season from the sidelines. A year earlier, Brent and BKR tried to make ARCA’s Super Bowl event but a hiccup with the engine in qualifying had the team loading up and headed home early.
While Brent was down, he was remained cool, calm and collective while mingling with the ARCA crowd trying to keep his name out there. While he didn’t know it at the time, Brent would be seeing his ARCA buddies weekly.
During the two-month ARCA break from February to April, communication between Robb Brent and Mike Allgaier blossomed and an opportunity was presented to the Shelby Township, Michigan resident to take the wheel from 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Justin Allgaier and pilot the team’s No. 36 entry for the full 2009 calendar season.
While sponsorship dollars were tight, the two sides crunched the numbers and were able to make a deal to give Brent an opportunity of a lifetime. Right now, he’s trying to make the best of it with backing from Washington Township based Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep.
In their first full-season race together at Salem Speedway, the team soldiered from a disappointing qualifying run and charged to a strong top-10 finish. While the past two events at Rockingham Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway were far from perfect as mechanical gremlins chewed into the finishes of the Justin Allgaier Motorsports team, Brent and his crew chief Bob Blount are focused on rebounding with the support along the way from Allgaier who himself is in the midst of his first full-time season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driving the No. 12 entry for Penske Racing.
“I’m with great people at my new home,” Brent sounded. “To be aligned with a championship team is just an honor. I feel very lucky to be where I am at. We are having some ups and downs but that’s a part of racing. The positive part is I’ve surrounded myself and my sponsors with a great organization filled with talented leaders. Justin has been absolutely awesome to work with and talk to. He knows where I am in the game and he offers his two-cents and advice where he sees fit. I can’t ask for much more than that. I’m going to give 150 percent every week and try and put our team in victory lane.”
Being surrounded with the names of Keselowski and Allgaier has proved to be beneficial for Robb Brent. The odds are likely that as he continues to climb up the ladder, Brent could find himself in the spotlight of the names of Earnhardt, Hendrick, Penske or Roush. And with that time comes, he will be ready.
For more on Robb Brent, sponsorship opportunities and official team merchandise, please visit the newly re-launched Robbbrentracing.com.
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