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Captain Buddha

NASCAR Debut at COTA Truck Race!!

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So pumped!! Making my NASCAR debut at the COTA Truck race in the #49!! A lot of my buddies are also doing this race - it's going to be FUN / CRAZY!!

SCCA racer Brad Gross enters COTA Trucks for CMI, NASCAR debut
https://www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk/2021/04/scca-racer-brad-gross-enters-cota-trucks-for-cmi-nascar-debut/

Stay tuned for more details, livery reveal, etc...thank you for your support / trash talking!! LOL!!!

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On 4/11/2021 at 7:03 AM, Pete said:

Congrats, that is super cool.  I'm hoping to make it out to spectate.

Thank you, Pete!! General Admission, top of the Esses, is where I plan to be for the XFINITY and Cup races!! I actually bought tickets when I was going to be a spectator... LOL!

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5 hours ago, bigjae1976 said:

So I guess your name is Brad Gross? lol

Congrats! I always like the NASCAR races at the road courses. Do you know where the truck race will be televised?

Yes, you have guessed correctly! LOL!!

Thank you! I'm a huge fan of the NASCAR road races as well - the cars I race/raced have all been stock cars (ASA/GTA and TA2)...a perfect "feeder" for it.

Race is supposed to be live broadcast on FS1 on Saturday, May 22, at noon central time, please tune in!

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Good deal!!! Yeah...I hope it's open and folks have access! Heck, it'd be nice if my wife could be there too...hopefully we can have pit passes, etc...not sure how it's going to work for this race.

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Got the call Friday from Brett Bodine that I'm approved to race in the Truck series for road courses, woo hoo!!! My license application/paperwork and application check are all taken care of too....guessing I've got to do a concussion baseline test. Livery/wrap is almost finalized... I'll have t-shirts too...yahoo!

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18 hours ago, hornetball said:

Cool stuff.  I now know someone famous.  I need to smoke a cigar with you for my bucket list!

Thank you...more infamous than anything LOL...come to Tap In tonight!!

 

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Good luck this weekend!

Hopefully your COTA experience will come in handy -- should be interesting with the friction reduction fluid that is expected!

most important -- enjoy the experience!

 

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My first-hand review of my "not so great" NASCAR Debut at COTA!

NASCAR at COTA Review

Friday Practice: 

I got sent out late due to issues then on my first lap the track went FCY (Full Course Yellow) then Red Flagged due to a stalled truck (my buddy Roger Reuse in the #3 “I ❤️ Mac n Cheese” truck)...I pulled into pit lane, once released I went out that lap and started to get up to speed…I had to make up for lost time and QUICK!! I noticed the brakes were a little off in the hard braking zones in Turns 11 and 12 and I swung wide in both corners…, OK, back up the brake zones a bit…then on the front straight I had a pretty good run coming up the 133 feet of elevation into T1, I was up to 4th gear…I hit the brakes HARD…and they went to the FLOOR!!! At 130 MPH or so…hey that wall is coming pretty quick!! I pitched it in HARD to both scrub speed (turning is braking) and avoid a head-on with the wall….I ended up spinning and stopped well short of the wall, thankfully!! My Angels were surrounding me - pro tip: don’t ever outrun them!! So, the truck stalled, it would not refire. Got pushed back to paddock by one of the rescue wreckers. The brake issue was a pinhole leak in one of the brake lines, the crew replaced the line, we bled the brakes and that issue was solved. Tried refiring to go back out and it would not retire. Then time ran out. We've got some changes to make, debrief should yield some good results for qualifying…hopefully…!

Ilmor replaced the ECU and throttle body and that solved the refire issue and we were good for qualifying…but that turned into another mess ? 

Saturday Qualifying:

Some days are great, some are not as great! Saturday was one of those days, it was still a fantastic day and we had a blast at NASCAR at COTA! 

Qualifying in the rain was pretty exciting! I couldn’t see, my glasses fogged up, no blower on my helmet, but I moved on…I lost control in T7 and backed it into the wall, minor damage and kept on going! I failed to qualify. That’s racing!! Thank you everyone for your support, this has been an AMAZING experience, the whole thing!!

In the end I learned a LOT, I had an experience that very few get to have and I got some TV time and the sponsors are very happy!! Thank you for enjoying the ride with me!! A HUGE thank you to my partners for helping to make this happen: Quasar Cloud Data, Fort Worth Screen Printing and Manufacturing News!!!

From FS1 coverage of Friday's practice here's a nice video of me being “brave” - there’s a fine line between being BRAVE and losing your brakes!! ? 

https://youtu.be/vOspYEkt3kk

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18 hours ago, hornetball said:

Will you get to go again, or was that a one-time thing?

According to my Crew Chief in Life (my wife)...this was a one-time thing...hey, I still have my Hendrick Carbon Fiber seat with the custom-molded seat insert, my NASCAR patched suit, the fancy Hans Ultra Pro, etc... LOL...she has other bigger plans for me, so she says...I actually would prefer to try XFINITY....but yeah, a one-timer....

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16 hours ago, Tobey said:

How did this all come about? Who had the idea and how did all the right parties get together?

And congrats! 

One of my Trans Am TA2 / SCCA GT2 racing buddies (actually two of them, the Reuse brothers) both race NASCAR part-time and that's where the spark came from along with the introduction. I went from being a spectator to a racer (and then back to a spectator LOL!!). Thank you! It was fun while it lasted! The whole experience was CRAZY!

I think the coolest part was when Brett Bodine called me and said "You're approved!" That was a big moment for me.

And then there was the OH CRAP moment my custom suit (2 months wait - from a fancy suit company) that was supposed to be SFI 3.4/5 (NASCAR spec) arrived...and it was SFI 3.2/5....UGH!! This was MONDAY before the race weekend (in the truck, tech, practice etc that Friday!!)! Fortunately I was already in Mooresville, NC, went to Simpson World East and pleaded my case, got measured and then called a higher-up at Simpson...my suit was delivered at 6:54 AM Thursday morning! They came through for me, my HEROES!!!

And then there was the "oh yeah, you'll fit in one of our seats" trip to the team....um....we better go seat shopping NOW!! Visited some seat builders, "sorry, we are 4-6 weeks out" (this was 10 days before the race)....fortunately Circle Track Warehouse has used NASCAR SFI seats...unfortunately they did not have any of the less-expensive aluminum seats that fit me...however, they did have a very high-end (like the highest) Hendrick Carbon Fiber Seat...they actually let me take it to see if it would fit right, etc....went by the seat-mold folks (BCSI - I know them from trips to PRI), yep, we can mold it, get it mounted and get you in the truck...off to the shop, figured out the best spot, still a compromise for ergos....but the crew fabbed the brackets and I came back a few days later (to NC, mind you, I live in Texas) for the seat mold pour...oh, and I did pay for the seat too....this experience was just one bring roller coaster of stuff!! But, I've got the seat as my permanent souvenir...along with my NASCAR suit... LOL!!

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22 hours ago, Matt93SE said:

Well the good news is that you can use all of that in your next club race car....   (after you give me the TA2 car and build another one for you. ? )

 

That's funny, Matt! I've gotta tell you...I REALLY appreciate my TA2 car now...that thing is like a LUXURY race car compared to what I had!! LOL

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18 hours ago, speedracer said:

No brakes at 130 mph and you managed to stay out of the wall.  That is impressive to me! Thank you for posting your experience. 

Remember...turning is braking...I say this all the time...when in doubt....TURN!!!! You don't want to hit the wall head-on!!! Most welcome! I'm just glad to be here!!

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