Brabham secures NASCAR Late Model start
Matthew Brabham will climb the first rung of the NASCAR ladder this weekend when he races a Late Model at Tri-County Speedway in North Carolina.
The 21-year-old has been confirmed to drive in Hams Restaurant of Hickory 125 for NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Gilliland’s Late Model team.
The grandson of the late Sir Jack Brabham has received the Late Model opportunity after a successful test with the squad last month.
Brabham’s career has slowed this season after competing in the first few Indy Lights events for Andretti Autosport earlier in the year.
Although Brabham continues to push hard for a start in the landmark 100th running of the Indy 500 next year, he is eager to develop new skills and learn the NASCAR way of racing.
“We’re taking it seriously,” he said.
“David’s team has won races in the Series, it will give me the opportunity to learn how these guys race and how to approach this form of racing.
“The NASCAR style is something that I have always admired and while this is at the beginning of the NASCAR ladder, it is a different discipline of racing. It is a great opportunity that David has offered us.
“His team is very professional and made me feel welcome. I think we’ll all really enjoy the night and will learn plenty in the process.
“Any time you are in a racecar is good for you – to go to a venue like Tri-County Speedway is a real grassroots, traditional style of racing where the fans get right into it (and) I can’t wait,” he added.
“My grandfather (Sir Jack) began his racing in midgets at the Sydney Showground on the dirt back when Speedway was as big as football in Australia and Dad was pretty good in the IROC series back in the day too.”
Earlier this month Brabham completed his first full test in an IndyCar for Andretti Autosports, with which he claimed the US Formula Ford 2000 Championship (2012) and Pro Mazda Championship (2013) before making the move to Indy Lights.