GAINING EXPERIENCE A KEY FOR BROOKS
PORTAGE, Wis. (May 12, 2017) – When it comes to improvement, nothing beats seat time. In 2016 Wyatt Brooks was able to get plenty in a Super Late Model. He hopes that another full season with the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes will bring more experience, and added success.
“Driving with guys like Casey Johnson, Dalton Zehr, and Jordan Thiel – all Top Three in points – really teaches you how to drive the car aggressively, but stay clean,” Brooks said. “I think I learned a lot from that. TUNDRA doesn’t wreck a lot of cars. One of the biggest takeaways from TUNDRA is keeping the car clean, and running hard.”
Brooks teamed with Jordan Thiel last season in the Brooks and Thiel Motorsports stable. Despite being a newly formed team, there was plenty of familiarity among all involved. Sometimes that familiarity makes for interesting days at the shop.
“It’s chaotic. That’s probably the best way to describe it,” Brooks said. “There are so many minds involved in that group and they’re all stubborn minds. We all butt heads, but it all works out in the end because we do have fast race cars on the track. And we love each other and it’s a great group of guys to race with.”
The team had their work cut out for them last year as Brooks stepped into his dad’s Late Model after some poor luck at the beginning of the season. As time went on, Brooks began to show improvement, making the dash at State Park Speedway in Round Four and battling inside the Top Ten until an early retirement in the final race at Jefferson.
The time in the “back up” car was a quality experience, according to Brooks.
“When I was little and racing go-karts I was told that everything was going to click one day. It kind of came together in dad’s car last year,” Brooks said. “When you have a car underneath you that handles well and you can just drive it hard, clean and fast, you learn how to drive the car a lot better. I think that kind of showed at the end of last year.”
As part of the offseason ritual, all of the cars in the Brooks and Thiel Motorsports camp were torn down and put back together. Brooks said his dad Mike and Chris Adams spent most of their free time this winter in the shop improving the Super Late Models.
“Last year we had some struggles with the 33 car, but that car was bent. We got that fixed for this year,” Brooks said. “I think there are big things coming for this team and myself. I feel pretty comfortable in the car, so I’m pretty excited.
With a comfortable car to pilot for six races, Brooks has some simple goals, but ones that could put him in positon to do some big things in TUNDRA action. Big things, such as beating his teammate.
“The biggest challenge is number one to beat JT,” Brooks joked initially. “I want to keep learning. I have a lot to learn yet and I have a bunch of people surrounding me to learn from and help me become the best I can be.”
“I guess going into this year, I’d like to win a big race, fit a few heat wins in there, and maybe qualify Top Five a few times and maybe finish Top Five in points. I think we have the car to do it this year. I think with my ability this year, I can pull that off.”
Despite the result – much like his teammate – Brooks is happy to be back on track with TUNDRA.
“There should be a smile on my face at the end of the year no matter how things end up,” Brooks said. “I just want to have fun and at the end of the year come away with a decent points finish and for the whole team to be happy and content with how I ran the whole year.”
In 2017 Brooks is sponsored by Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, Central Door Solutions, Hammerski Farms, Swift, Furo Graffix, Wimmer 3D, and J&S Design.
The 2017 season for the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes begins Saturday, May 13 with Kroll’s West Round One at Wisconsin International Raceway. TUNDRA will be joined by the Midwest Truck Series and Sportsman division. Qualifying is scheduled for noon with racing to begin at 2 p.m.