Let Me Tell You About This Race: Trevor Brunner
Every rider who has advanced to the Progressive American Flat Track ranks has competed in so many races throughout their life, it’s virtually impossible for them to recall every last one. However, some races are simply unforgettable, whether due to triumph, disaster, excitement, chaos, or hilarity.
In this series, we ask a number of the world’s greatest dirt trackers to tell us about one particular race that stands out in their memory be it a Progressive AFT Main Event, a regional amateur race a decade ago, or simply an epic backyard barnburner.
In this installment, Trevor Brunner recalls when it all finally clicked:
One of the coolest wins in my memory – I mean, obviously they’re all cool because they're wins – but one that really stands out is the 2022 Black Hills Half-Mile.
At the beginning of that season, I had this feeling that I've got this new ride, big fancy team, with all these expectations and stuff. So I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to come out swinging and go for race wins.
But with that mentality going into race days, I kept putting myself in situations where I was over-riding and making some bonehead moves early on in the races. I was just trying to get to the front as soon as possible, rather than let the race come to me and methodically pick my way through.
In Rapid City, I got out quick and just tried to put in some smooth, clean laps. I wanted to keep stretching the distance. That's always the thing in your mind. When you're out front, stay out front.
But then Morgen Mischler comes flying around me, and I'm like, 'Oh, %^#!. All right – I guess I'm not the fastest guy on the track right now.'
Mischler then put in some clean laps. Right away, I could already start feeling myself go back to that mentality: ‘I just need to throw everything I've got at this right now.' And because of that, I lost even more time. I was going back into that bonehead move type of thing.
I don't know what clicked, but I'm glad something did. I just calmed myself down and really started picking apart exactly what he was doing.
I started rolling in a little higher going into Turn 3. I would actually almost chop off the entrance to Turn 1 and slide up the racetrack, kinda cut off that little part. I'd make a little bit up going into 1 and carry my momentum through the center of the corner and match him coming out of Turn 2. I gained a little bit of rollspeed going into 3 going in higher. I ended up finding that line right at the bitter end and passed him with 2 or 3 to go.
It was really cool to be out in the lead, get passed, get gapped a little bit, and then find my own way back through. It was a never-give-up kind of thing that stands out. I figured out what he was doing better than I was and took that and put my own little spin on that to see if I could get any better than him.
It was a turning point for me, learning how to slow myself down in race situations and actually think through my moves. That’s where I really started maturing, I guess, in my riding,
Ever since, I’ve been a lot more consistent. That was my big goal going into this past year. Before that, I had some really good finishes and some really bad finishes. It was both sides of the spectrum – bad, good, bad, good. I was never consistently right in the mix, and I managed to get that figured out and turned around.
Racers Are People Too, Trevor Brunner Edition
Favorite Food: Pasta
Favorite Restaurant/Stop to Hit on the Road: Carrabba’s
Favorite Band: The Offspring
Favorite Song: “The Kids Aren’t Alright” by The Offspring
Favorite TV Series: Big Bang Theory
Favorite Movie: Rush
Hobby That Doesn't Involve Wheels/Engines/Racing: Cooking