Bradberry gears up for new season in Late Model racing

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The bright lights and big tracks of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series might have been tempting for Charlie Bradberry when it came to setting his racing plans for 2005, but winning races proved to be even more of a motivating factor.

Last year, the 22-year-old Alabama driver ran a limited schedule in Trucks but found it challenging to compete against the likes of well-healed factory-backed teams with his independent, family-run operation.

So this year, Bradberry is taking a step back to step ahead. Charlie’s 2005 plans include racing various Super Late Model events throughout the Southeast and he’ll be gunning to win each time out.

&uot;I’m just 22, so I can take the time to regroup and have some fun this year,&uot; said Bradberry. &uot;I’m going to run out of my shop in Alabama and go to all of the big races that are out there. We’ll pick and choose what races that we want to go to and we’ll go ready to win. We plan on racing somewhere every week.&uot;

Being able to run up front every race was something that Bradberry missed while running in the Truck Series.

&uot;We should have run a lot better with the truck, but running better still would have only been finishing between 15th and 20th,&uot; said Bradberry.

&uot;I want to go out and win no matter if it’s a go-kart or a Busch car. If I can’t do that, I might as well quit and take up golf.

Getting to where we can run well and have fun is going to be a lot better, I think.&uot;

One series where Bradberry will likely get back to is the NASCAR Southeast Series, where he was the 2003 champion.

&uot;I’m not sure how many Southeast Series race we will run, but we will be at some of them,&uot; said Bradberry. &uot;I don’t want to be tied down into racing for points, but I want to be at some of those races definitely.&uot;

An entrance into the Big-10 Series at Concord Motorsport Park (North Carolina), where Freddie Query has been dominant for several recent years, might also be in the cards.

&uot;We want to run some of those races and give Freddie Query a run for his money,&uot; said Bradberry.

The next race that Bradberry has planned will be SpeedFest at USA International Speedway (Florida) on Jan. 27-29. He has high hopes for that event.

&uot;We are going wide open to get ready for SpeedFest,&uot; said Bradberry. &uot;We’re hoping to be really good down there. There will be a lot of people that can win that race and it will be a good one to be at. I ran there once in the All Pro Series, but have never run a Super Late Model at that track.