Andretti. Earnhardt. Foyt. Allison. All these names have multiple things in common.
Not only are they drivers who have accomplished more than their fair share in the world of racing, but also the names of drivers whom have conquered the legendary Milwaukee Mile.
As the checkered flag flew on Sunday's Badgerland 150 at 'America's Legendary Oval," the name Drew Brannon was put on that list as well as the Miami, Florida teenager schooled the field to score his first ever ASA Late Model Series Challenge Division victory.
Brannon would qualify in the second position, and start seventh spot on the grid following the mandatory series invert. Brannon would then quickly dispose the field in front of him to get to the fourth spot by lap 20 and would wait for the halfway break to make his play for the lead.
Early on though, before Brannon's break to the point, Wisconsin Late Model veteran Steve Carlson would take the lead from pole sitter Brent Downey. Downey would fall back to second, and then merely a lap later, would fall off the pace and bring out the first caution of the day. Downey's early departure from the race would put short track royalty to the front, as Carlson would see ASA Late Model Series North defending champion Eddie Hoffman in his rear view.
Carlson and Hoffman would tussle for the lead after the restart on lap 12, with Hoffman moving around Carlson on lap 14. Hoffman would then move away from the field, but only for a brief time. As suddenly Brannon, along with 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year Landon Cassill would begin to stalk the top two.
On lap 48, both Cassill and Brannon would use the high side of the racetrack to pass Hoffman and Carlson, and Cassill would steal the lead. Brannon would settle in behind Cassill and the two young chargers would pace the field until the next yellow on lap 69. The yellow appeared due to a spin involving Appleton, Wisconsin driver Jim Duchow. The yellow would take the field to halfway and the mandatory 10 minute break.
After the break, Brannon came out loaded for bear. The Florida 'hot shoe' would muscle around Cassill at lap 77 and never be seriously challenged for the lead again. The victory was Brannon's fourth of the year overall, including his three triumphs in the ASA Late Model Series South Division.
Cassill would claim second spot, half a second of Brannon's back bumper. Carlson would settle for third, ahead of Hoffman. Kentucky driver Dillon Oliver surprised the enthusiastic Badger State crowd, taking a fifth place finish in his first ever trip to the famous Midwest mile.
The ASA Late Model Series Challenge Division will next take to the track at the O'Reilly Raceway Park in Clermont, Indiana on Saturday, June 13th. Next week, the ASA Late Model Series North Division will run race #3 on the 2009 schedule, heading to the Grundy County Speedway in Morris, IL for the running of the 11th Annual George Appleton Memorial 125.
Milwaukee Mile (West Allis, WI)
Position Number Driver Laps Completed
1. #08 Drew Brannon (150)
2. #161 Landon Cassill (150)
3. #66 Steve Carlson (150)
4. #8 Eddie Hoffman (150)
5. #33 Dillion Oliver (150)
6. #22 Chris Eggleston (150)
7. #20 Brian Campbell (150)
8. #11 Peter Cozzolino (150)
9. #90 Becca Kasten (150)
10. #89 Matt Byrne (150)
11. #29 Joey King (150)
12. #12 Jim Duchow (149)
13. #88 Trent Snyder (149)
14. #250 Logan Ruffin (148)
15. #93 Kyle Sirizzotti (147)
16. #48 Billy Crane (147)
17. #23 Jimmy Weller (147)
18. #17 Tanner Berryhill (147)
19. #38 Josh Hamner (145)
20. #125 Scott Ruechenberg (144)
21. #86 Jimmy Lang (143)
22. #10 AJ Frank (102)
23. #28 Jack Smith (81)
24. #26 Willie Allen (79)
25. #61 Stephen Leicht (43)
26. #25 Brent Downey (2)
Leaders: Downey (pole) Carlson (1-13) Hoffman (14-47) Cassill (48-76) Brannon (77-150)
Yellows: 4 for 26 laps (2-12, 69-75, 82-89, 105-109)
Next ASA Late Model Series Challenge Event: 6/13/09 O'Reilly Raceway Park.