Justin Bren Returns To Limited Late Model Division At Stafford Speedway

(Press Release from Stafford Motor Speedway)

Justin Bren (Photo: Stafford Speedway/Driscoll MotorSports Photography)

After sitting out the 2017 season at Stafford Speedway, Palmer, MA native Justin Bren will return to the Limited Late Model ranks for the 2018 season with his eyes set on contending for the track championship. With a new #66 Bertera Chevrolet machine at his disposal, Bren is excited for the season and he can’t wait to get back to driving after a season of helping out his fellow Rob Russell Chassis teammates.

“I sat out last year and helped a few guys who use Rob Russell Chassis and it was tough for me to not want to throw my firesuit on and get back in the car,” said Bren. “I’m really looking forward to going fast again like Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights. My old car was an original Limited Late Model car and not that there was anything wrong with that but it was built for a guy who was 160 pounds and 5’5”. I’m 6’2” and a lot heavier than that so it’s kind of nice to be working with a car that was built for me and I’m more comfortable in the driver’s seat then I ever have been. Driver comfort is huge when it comes to going fast in these cars so I think that will play into my hands and I’ll be able to go faster. I think the big difference will be the new car. Basically the only things I have from my old car is the motor, the transmission, and the seat. There’s been a lot of rule changes since the Limited Late Model division began so having the right chassis for the job will be key.”

As Bren prepares to take on his 6th season of Limited Late Model competition, he is not feeling worried about when he hits the track for the first time in 2018.

“I don’t think there will be any rust to knock off, it’ll be like riding a bike,” said Bren. “Come the open practice, maybe I’ll take it easy for the first couple rounds of practice but after that if there was any rust, it should be gone. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but I feel pretty confident heading into this season. You have to believe in yourself and your car. If you don’t believe then it’s not going to happen for you. I have to thank my sponsors Bertera Chevrolet in Palmer, MA and LifeCare Family Chiropractic in Ellington. I couldn’t do this without their help and I’m very thankful for the opportunity I have going into the 2018 season. I also have to give a big thank you to Rob Russell for all his help with getting the new car together.”

In order to turn his championship vision into a reality, Bren will be looking to compile a 2018 season that would be a combination of his 2015 and 2016 campaigns. In 2015, Bren set a career high in top-10 finishes with 17 and 2016 saw him set a career best in wins with 3. In addition to consistency, Bren will be looking to add to his career win total of 6.

“My goal is to try to win every week,” said Bren. “Obviously that’s not realistic but I want to be there at the end of races and get on the podium. As the season winds down I’d like to be in contention for the championship. The big goal will be to win races and be on the podium and the championship will be the bigger goal. I think 2015 was a good year for me with consistency and 2016 was a better year with wins but we had a lot of bad luck and mechanical failures. My hope is we can put together a mix of our consistency from 2015 with our success and wins from 2016 and make a good run at the championship.”

Bren recently changed occupations and now that he is teaching Computer Aided Drafting at Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School in Palmer, he will have plenty of time during the summer to try to eliminate any mechanical issues.

“Now that I’m teaching, I’ll have summers off so I’ll have plenty of time during the week to be working on the car to make sure we don’t have any mechanical issues on Friday nights.”

The competition in the Limited Late Model division will be wide open in 2018. Bryan Narducci and Al & Cliff Saunders combined to win 9 races last season but they are moving up to the SK Light and Late Model divisions respectively for the 2018 season. Despite the graduation of those three drivers to higher competition, Bren knows it will be no easy task to reach NAPA Victory Lane this year.

“I definitely think with some of the guys who have moved on, the veteran drivers like Duane Provost and Jeremy Lavoie are going to be tough this year. Also R.J. Surdell, you can’t count him out, Ryan and Alexandra Fearn are going to be strong, and then there are some new drivers. From what I’ve seen, the newer drivers tend to have a tough time in their first season so hopefully us veteran drivers can set the bar.”

With a new chassis at his disposal, Bren has plans to follow Al & Cliff Saunders into the Late Model ranks at the end of the 2018 season.

“My plan is to move up to Late Model at the end of the season so hopefully 2018 will be a good year to make the transition,” said Bren. “I’ve got the new car and after the year we’ll get a Late Model motor if everything goes as planned.”

Bren will kick off his quest for wins at the 47th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® on April 27-29. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $40.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $42.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available. All tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday admission. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Discount Spring Sizzler® tickets will be available beginning in March at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores.

For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.

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  1. Good to see Justin back him and his dad are good people. His dad was a hell of an engine builder back in the day at Warren’s auto machine which transitioned to R.A.D. Wih the team the best of luck and hopefully they don’t have many “new car blues” Great to hear that he’ll be transitioning to late models for 2019. Best of luck to Justin Warren and the team going forward

  2. This kind of dovetails into you comments in a previous thread Rob p on the chassis and combining the LLM’s and LM. Having a new car that can move up easily makes the engine barrier to unification the major hurdle. I’ve always thought the Stafford LM had too much power for the tires and perhaps your idea of a compromise engine going into the future has legs if the track is so inclined.

  3. Looking for someone to educate me. RRC has a great pictorial of the genesis of a Late Model chassis. The splicing in of small parts of original OEM frames to me seems to be a joke. If you want to grease the skids on LLM and LM wouldn’t some kind of purpose built universal spec frame be more cost effective? One chassis, jig it up, tack it up, TIG it up and roll er out.

  4. The Hamm chassis front clip was originally to make it so you could get more life out of your metric car but now you can use 3×4 tubing for the frame rails and Hamm and AJ both produce a rear clip or a mitered rear clip is ok. Nowadays most new cars built are full tube cars which essentially makes them a spec car. The good thing is that both Hamm and AJ have optimized these clips and the parts that bolt on to correct the problems metric cars have with suspension geometry and compared to building out a stock metric frame the cost is comparable. On the Hamm front clip there is a bolt on section ahead of the steering box that acts as a crumple zone

  5. Such a shame. RRC who also does Glen Reen’s championship car proudly displaying it’s work doing a full chassis build, all new metal stock and beautifully fabricated sheet metal work all custom done. Racing really is the dumbest sport in the world. You carefully build these works of art that require advanced trade skills, attention to detail, exacting tolerances paying close attention to stipulated rules. Then you send them out to be smashed up and patch them back together. As a former participant briefly I get the reason and am glad they do it obviously but it is such a futile endeavor.

  6. Doug futile but fun. It is an awesome feeling when that work of art you spent all winter building pulls into victory lane at the same time it is heartbreaking when that same work of art is destroyed because some dumbass tried to win the race on the first lap. Allot of people just don’t understand how much time and money goes into building a front running car and the technology involved. There are those people who hand someone a bunch of money and two months later pick up their race car ready to go. Then there are the guys like me who spend countless hours building the car. All in all come Friday night a bunch of cars hit the track 1 wins the rest leave feeling disappointed

  7. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a race fan. But also an amateur metal fabricator. I see your reporting on Suprenants old Pro Stock sitting outside a shop somewhere rusting. Then I see RRC masterful work on a completely new car. Some use their skills to build street rods and customs that likely will be around indefinitely. Others choose to build cars destined to be destroyed and end up rusting some place. And the vast majority don’t win.
    I know, I know we can’t go back. But long ago race cars primarily were modified scrap cars not purpose built works of art. I want racing to be cars you put roll cages in, modify and race that are less expensive. This article describes a guy that has a brand new custom built car to race in a lower division that last year on many nights had 10 cars in the feature. Well maybe the reason there are 10 cars in the feature is because the cost of having one of these things is insane.
    One custom made, purpose built division at the top. Then a division that uses the old custom made cars that the top division sells off. But a division 2nd from the bottom building these things? This is just not right and I believe the track is sewing the seeds of it’s own failed divisions. If these guys are going to do this for the LLM’s then it’s all the more reason to combine LM and LLM’s as you say. Rant over.

  8. Totally agree with you Doug. Years ago the street stocks ( old dare division) was a class where you took an old Monte Carlo or Malibu ect. and welded a cage in some minor drivetrain modifications and you were off to the races. Now they have tube frames and purpose built drivetrains. It’s not the cheap division it used to be. With LM & LLM cars being so close it only makes sense to merge the divisions. It was good to see that Justin plans on moving up using the same car he races on a tight budget so if he can do it others should also be able to make the move. Merging the 2 divisions is the only way I can see them survive

  9. I thought your crate engine deal for a new combined division was nutty at first Rob p. But it seems like with the right feedback from the LLM and LM guys that could come up with something with more power then a strict crate but not full build. Man I hope they do something.

  10. Basically the crate motor rebuild would be just so that the LLM guy’s don’t end up with a useless motor and would be a one off being phased out in like 2 years or so. Otherwise if you read through the rules the change to LM shouldn’t cost too much unless you have an older metric car. With guys like Justin building new cars they are more likely to be tube cars that are easily converted to LM. The tracks tech people should be acting now to find a solution to the merge. maybe have the LM guys giving something up don’t know what though the solution is out there to make everything better for both LM &LLM Teams maybe even merge the two call them sportsman and invite the ACT guys to race as late models

  11. Never been a Late Model guy but there is something special about seeing 28 Late Models take the green with a big crowd and good racing. All good ideas Rob p, The only way to get to those big fields in a year or two is for the track to start talking to the teams like right now and come up with a way to get there with the least pain. Heck make it three years but start planning.

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