By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer
While the NASCAR industry took their two-week Olympic break, Brandon Brown and Brandonbilt Motorsports were at work prepping for Watkins Glen International, the sport’s return to action this weekend in upstate New York.
That work will be showcased across the panels of Brown’s No. 68 Chevrolet for Saturday’s Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey 200.
Starting with the primary sponsorship, ArmorGuard Coatings will step up to sponsor Brandonbilt for the first time. ArmorGuard specializes in residential and commercial floor coatings for home, garage and shop floors and is a natural fit for race shops, says Brown.
“It’s great to have them on board because I feel like they fit our NASCAR market so well,” Brown told Kickin’ The Tires. “A lot of your NASCAR fans tend to be auto enthusiasts and need a garage floor. They actually did one in my father’s house. It’s one of their hand-in-hand pieces that fits with racing.
“It’s all about getting them the exposure that they need. And I think we’re going to knock it out of the park at Brandonbilt Motorsports.”
On the deck lid is another first-time partner in Lauzon Aviation, who will sponsor the No. 68. With more than 50 years of experience, Lauzon is a commercial air service and tourist establishment located in Ontario, Canada. With fly-in hunting/fishing outpost camps, Lauzon hopes to capitalize on the late summer-vacation surge with this NASCAR sponsorship.
“Having the avid outdoors man fishing/hunting vacation air charter, that goes extremely well with NASCAR fans,” he said. “You’ll see that a lot of our fan base also are outdoors men who look for that little escape.
“With the Canadian border opening up on August 9, it’s the perfect time to get back in the air and get back to fishing and hunting in Ontario. It’s an awesome partnership. I’m excited to represent them this weekend. Hopefully, they can fly us to a win.”
Sponsoring the lower quarter panels is Larry’s Hard Lemonade, a company partnering with Brandonbilt for the 11th time since 2020. Starting from a backyard party in 2008, founder Larry Wilson has grown his idea into a common brand name in NASCAR.
Finding success with Brandonbilt (finishing top 10 in four of the last five races together), Brown is excited to have another returning partnership in 2021.
“What started out as a partnership/sponsorship has turned into a great friendship with them,” he said. “Getting to know Larry [Wilson], Vic [Reynolds], his wife and the entire Larry’s Hard Lemonade family has been phenomenal and I’m very thankful for their multi-race partnership and support.
“They’re veteran-owned and one thing that I love about working with them is that when you see their car, you know it’s their car; they have great schemes that always catch your eye.”
Speaking of returning partners, Jabs Construction will sponsor the TV panel of the No. 68. Recently, CEO Tim Jabs spoke with Kickin’ The Tires about he benefits of sponsoring a NASCAR vehicle, specifically Brandonbilt.
“The exposure is nice, the additional social interaction and social media is nice and it has helped us quite a bit in that field,” said Jabs. “It’s exciting, it’s fun and it’s a new venue. It’s actually adding value to our company which is a good thing.”
Capping off this exciting group of Watkins Glen partners is GreenTech Energy, a team of certified lighting professionals and engineers who manage the investment grade audit, installation and more of their lighting retrofits.
Lighting retrofits can reduce energy costs by as much as 50 percent in some buildings and has a positive impact on the environment by decreasing carbon emissions. Brown believes this is an important issue to tackle in NASCAR.
“GreenTech Energy is important and working with companies like that makes you feel good — that you’re offsetting some of your carbon footprint,” Brown said. “Their goal is to reduce carbon emissions and bring solar systems to residential families. Sometimes, there can be a bit of a stigma about the costs of having one, but GreenTech Energy is here to educate people on how you will end up saving money in the long run by going solar.
“Actually, when you have those panels, you can store the energy and then sell it back to your local power company. You can make money by going solar. It’s definitely a great way to become more Eco-friendly.”
With loads of eyes on his shoulders this weekend, Brown is looking forward to the unique challenge of Watkins Glen’s 2.45-mile course. With one prior start in 2019 (finishing 18th) Brown hopes to add another strong run to his recent road course results (sixth at Mid-Ohio, 11th at Road America) on Saturday as the No. 68 ArmorGuard Coatings Chevrolet will start from the 14th position.
“Watkins Glen is so high-pace,” he said. “It’s a fast track with high downforce. It really shows the downforce in the cars. You’re going so fast up the esses and through the bus stop [chicane] and really, the only slow corner is Turn 1 on a restart. So, I expect you’re going to see a lot of hectic restarts there.
“You have a lot of headstrong drivers like myself who are trying to make a run at the playoffs. So, we’re going to have to maximize everything and have a clean run this weekend to really get the No. 68 aimed in the right direction.
“It’s a lot easier to roll our racecar onto our ArmorGuard Coatings shop floor on four wheels instead of four casters, so hopefully we can have a strong run and stay damage-free in Watkins Glen.”
Watch the full conversation with Brandon Brown below.
In the interest of full disclosure, Kickin’ The Tires is the official media partner of Brandonbilt Motorsports.