Life is a highway for Chowchilla racer Randy Brown and his young family.
Racing in North Dakota this week and Oregon two weeks ago, the Browns will be back at Merced Speedway when the International Motor Contest Association Modifieds are headlining the show Saturday night.
“We’re in the hunt for the Merced Speedway IMCA Modified championship,” Brown said by phone from North Dakota. “We haven’t been up that high in the standings in a long time, so we’re going for it. A Merced championship would mean a lot to us.”
Brown is sandwiched between 2013 champ Bill Egleston of Atwater, with 246 points and Ramie Stone of Winton, who has been a champion several times, with 240 points. He leads Stone by one point.
Coming off a Merced County Fair race victory, Brown finished second to Bakersfield’s Robby Sawyer in the IMCA Modifieds feature at the Tim Post Classic. He has the momentum to capture the championship. His only IMCA championship has been at Chowchilla Fair Speedway, which is not operating this season.
Brown, unlike many drivers, started his career in the top class – modifieds – in 2006. He and his father, D.C. Brown, fielded both IMCA Modifieds and SportMods for the past decade.
“We learn a lot on the road, but there is nothing like racing in front of the hometown crowd,” Brown said.
In the decade since he began racing, Brown has gotten married and is raising a family. His wife, Sabrina, daughter, Kenzie, and son, Kaylin, are all in the pits, watching and helping their dad from his car hauler.
“We travel together as much as we can,” Brown said. “There is a lot for your family to experience by taking trips to other states.”
Both children have started racing careers of their own, driving go-karts locally.
Brown has three cars being raced. He took one IMCA Modified to the Dakotas, along with crewman Tanner Mah. His other IMCA Modified is in Chowchilla being prepared for Saturday’s race by crew members Nick Tucker and Chuck Crews. The third car is an IMCA SportMod, driven by Bakersfield’s Levi Keifer, who won the Tim Post Memorial two weeks ago in Brown’s car.
The Merced County Fair race was a thriller, as Brown was able to hold off challenges from Paul Stone, who is considered one of the top IMCA Modified drivers in the country.
Stone and Brown are friendly foes – often hanging out when they visit other states.
“If you can run with Paul Stone, then you’re doing pretty well,” Brown said. “He’ll be away Saturday night, but I’ll have to deal with Ramie Stone – he’s just as good.”
Tonight at Merced Speedway
IMCA Modifieds and IMCA SportMods, along with Hobby Stocks and Vintage Valley Sportsman, comprise the Saturday night program. Chowchilla’s Rick Diaz (293 points) is in front of the crowd in the IMCA SportMod standings. He’s being chased by Winton’s Steve Stone (281 points). Mike Drake of Turlock (267 points) is within striking distance of the top two. The Hobby Stock division is led by Atwater married couple Michael (170 points) and Kristie Shearer (143 points). Robbie Loquaci of Madera (123 points) is third.
The grandstand opens at 5 p.m. and racing starts at 7 p.m. The program will be approximately three hours or less. Adult admission is $12, seniors 65 and older and students 13-17 with ID are $10, children 6-12 get in for $5 and those 5 and under are free. Family packs for two adults and two children are available for $30.