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Jul 22, 2015 - 04:01 PM
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Late Model Debut this weekend for Matt Brabham
Posted by: newsla on Jul 22, 2015 - 03:58 PM
Late Model Debut this weekend for Matt Brabham

Matt Brabham will compete for NASCAR star, David Gilliland’s racing team in the Hams Restaurant of Hickory 125 asphalt Late Model event this Saturday night at Tri-County Speedway in Granite Falls, North Carolina.

The arrangement came about after Brabham completed a test session last month at Hickory Speedway in the David Gilliland Racing Limited Late Model he will pilot this weekend.

Whilst his goal is to be lining up on the grid in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Brabham is treating the event as a learning opportunity and the chance to enter an event quite different to what he is accustomed:

“We’re taking it seriously - 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,” said Matt. “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!”

The test completed at Hickory led to this event with the NASCAR veteran eager to have Brabham in one of his racecars.

“He (Gilliland) was really keen to put a program together after we tested at Hickory,” Brabham added. “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 - I can’t wait.”

The South East Limited Late Model Series Matt will compete in has a number of young drivers that race on a regular basis, with many looking towards a career in NASCAR.

Matt’s grandfather - Sir Jack Brabham - began racing on ovals in Australia and his father, Geoff competed in the inaugural NASCAR Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis in 1994 and also tasted success in the International Race of Champions (IROC) on the Michigan oval, taking two wins.

“My grandfather 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,” Matt explained. “Getting into the Late Model has a touch of that about it and we’ll see if any of those skills Pop had are still here with me!

“It is a totally different discipline of racing to what I’m used to, but I’m looking forward to getting there, watching the supports from the stands with a hotdog and then start rubbing some panels!”

Earlier this month, Brabham completed his first test in a Honda-powered Andretti Autosport Verizon IndyCar Series car at Iowa Speedway and will add the Late Model race to Indy Lights and a Stadium Super Truck that he’s competed throughout this calendar year so far.

He was in attendance at the recent Iowa Corn IndyCar race to lend support to a number of Mazda Road to Indy drivers.

Brabham is a two-time Mazda Road to Indy Champion and won the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Indianapolis last year.

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