Brandon Brown is on the wrong side of the Xfinity Series playoff cutline heading into this weekend’s action at Pocono Raceway, and his prospects could be even bleaker after the following weekend’s race on the Indianapolis road course.
That’s because money woes are putting a dent in his one-car operation’s ability to compete with heavyweight teams like JR Motorsports and Kaulig Racing.
Brandon Brown will surrender his No. 68 ride in Indianapolis
Brandon Brown needs to rack up some points – better yet, a victory – in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this weekend at Pocono – or else he’s probably going to find himself in must-win territory for the remainder of the regular season.
Twelve drivers make the playoffs, and Brown is 13th in the standings and 61 points below the cutline. His family-run team’s No. 68 Chevy isn’t the speediest car out there, but keeps Brown competitive. Unfortunately, he won’t have that luxury next weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Brown revealed on Friday that Cup Series regular Austin Dillon will be driving the No. 68 Camaro on the Indy road course because Brandonbilt Motorsports couldn’t secure sponsorship money. Instead, Brown will flip over to Mike Harmon Racing’s No. 47 car for the week.
The difference between the cars is huge
Brandon Brown has one top-five finish (third last weekend at Loudon) and two other results in the top 10. The fact that four drivers below him on the points list have scored more top-10 results is a tribute to Brown’s ability to maximize points from the 11 (out of 15) other races he’s finished. The issue he faces in Indianapolis is that the Mike Harmon Racing Chevy is a non-competitive car. Gray Gauldling, Brennan Poole, and Ryan Vargas have raced in it seven times with no top-10 showings. The rest of the season has been a series of DNQs.
In fact, Brown wouldn’t even bother to take that ride if not for the need to attempt to qualify every week in order to maintain playoff eligibility.
“We are diligently working to secure the necessary funding that is needed to keep Brandon in the No. 68 for the remainder of the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season and we look forward to his return the following weekend at Michigan International Speedway,” team co-owner Jerry Brown, the driver’s father, said in a statement on social media.
Brandon Brown’s cryptocurrency deal fell through
Brandon Brown’s one Xfinity Series victory, late last season at Talladega, infamously started the “Let’s go Brandon” uproar. Brown contended the political overtones made it impossible to lock in conventional sponsorships for this season, though he may have been exaggerated the extent of the problem.
Brown and his team made a deal with the Let’s Go Brandon Coin (LGBCoin) cryptocurrency, but NASCAR rejected the sponsorship because of the political connotations. That sent the value of the cryptocurrency, not nearly as widely accepted as Bitcoin, plummeting and left Brown with minimal options for fresh money to run the full season in the No. 68 Chevy.
Brown and LGBCoin reportedly negotiated a personal endorsement deal that would have put money in his pocket that the driver could move to the car. However, it’s never been clear whether he realized any meaningful gain from that deal, with one report characterizing the entire episode as “a dumpster fire.”
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