As with a lot of drivers, Brennan Newberry’s story started very similar but Newberry himself wasn’t the typical young aspiring driver. Newberry lived in Bakersfield, California where his father, Bob Newberry, drove late model race cars. As a young boy, Newberry was around racing a lot but he did not start out thinking about racing, he was more into showing off the car in the garage to his friends. There were not many young boys in the neighborhood that could top having a real race car in the garage.
Around the age of 8-9, while his dad was working on the race car one day, Newberry asked his dad if he could drive a race car. His father looked at him funny and said, “Nah I don’t think so.” Newberry was not satisfied with that response and said, “C’mon dad I really want to do this, I think this is something I could do, and it looks like fun.” His dad later decided if this was what his son wanted to do then they would to do it right and start with go-karts.
Newberry’s idea of go-kart racing was on dirt and jumping hills, so he was not too thrilled with his father’s idea. The following weekend, his father took him to race go-karts. Newberry thought it was pretty fun and cool, but wasn’t thinking that this was a possible career.
Newberry raced go-karts for fun until the age of 15 when he decided that he wanted to be more serious, he wanted to race for points, be a champion, and most of all he wanted racing to be a career.
Being a racer wasn’t easy though. In school he liked to swim, but was not able to go very far on the swim team because of racing. He missed out on normal school things such as dances, football games, or time with the buddies because his time was spent racing or working on the car. He has no complaints about it though, it was what was needed to be done for his career. His family has been very supportive of him and did without things in order for him to race and further his career.
In 2010, his father formed a team for Newberry to start his career in a limited schedule in the K&N Pro Series. Suddenly Newberry was racing at tracks like Irwindale Speedway, Phoenix and Sonoma. These were tracks where another Bakersfield driver used to race, Kevin Harvick. He raced in his first Toyota All Star Showdown and a limited schedule in the series.
In 2012, with support from his family they decided in order to go further they needed to go all in. With his parents and both of his sisters blessing, he decided to run 10 races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). His first race was at Martinsville, then Charlotte and on to Michigan to name a few. The NCWTS was a learning experience for Newberry due to the differences in aero packages on the trucks and how they were different than what he had been driving. During this time he also raced in the ARCA series to help him gain confidence as a driver.
In 2013 Newberry moved to where the center of NASCAR is, he moved to North Carolina. He moved by himself, to fulfill his dream.
2013 was the year of ups and downs for Newberry. He was racing in the NCWTS full-time and started off strong by winning the pole at Daytona in his first attempt there. He was with a new team and everything was new and different.
For the most part it was a year of firsts and so many big moments. He was very well aware of just where and who he was and that he, a young man from Bakersfield, was taking it all in like a sponge. Everyone in his family had made sacrifices and he was going to take in as much as he could knowing his family was behind him 100 percent.
This season Newberry is running full time in the K&N Pro Series and sharing the NCWTS duties with a new teammate. Newberry will be in the NCWTS for 12 races. He has nothing but praise about his teammate, 16 year-old Gray Gaulding. He says that they mesh well together and each of them has different strengths and they will be able to learn a lot from each other.
Newberry also talks about fitness. It’s a must to be a driver if you want the stamina to finish races and keep your mind on the race. He did a triathlon a couple of years ago and really hopes to get the chance to do another one. But juggling a busy race schedule with an event like that is easier said than done. He takes pride in being fit; he takes pride in all his accomplishments.
Newberry never dreamed that first day in the go-kart that he would be where he is today. He owes much to a very supportive family, but doesn’t really take much credit for himself for being where his is today. In his eyes he is living a dream, a dream he didn’t know he had until one fateful day when he realized this is what he was destined to do.
Newberry doesn’t know where this road will take him, or the ups and downs still to come, but one thing that is for sure is that he is living a dream, this is his story and it’s only the beginning.
You can follow Newberry on Twitter at twitter.com/brennannewberry or his website at www.brennannewberry.com.