Brandon Brown heard from all kinds of folks after winning his first race, none perhaps more enthusiastic than NASCAR bettors.
Brown, a Virginia native and PlayVirginia-sponsored fighter, took his first checkered flag earlier this month.
Brown won the NASCAR Xfinity Series‘ race at the famed Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, the Sparks 300.
It was the 28-year-old’s first win and came in his 114th career Xfinity series start. As you might imagine, the odds of him winning the race were long.
Of course, for the NASCAR bettors who backed Brown for the race, the darkness-shortened race provided a windfall. And those happy race fans were quick to share their appreciation.
Some very happy NASCAR bettors
Brown’s post-race celebration was an emotional one (not completely due to race-related matters).
It was quite the scene.
But those race fans and team members and sponsors weren’t the only ones celebrating.
“Along with the congratulatory texts and calls that I received, I was pleasantly surprised by how many messages I got that said someone had bet on me and it paid off big for them,” said Brown, who was a 40-1 long shot to win the Oct. 3 race. “Hopefully people are betting on me again for this weekend’s race at Martinsville and I can help them cash in.”
Brown also came up big just three weeks earlier. At the Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway, PlayVirginia was one of Brown’s associate sponsors. We had our logo on his quarter panels and rolled out race-week content. We even organized a special Odds Boost in conjunction with Caesars Sportsbook.
In the final laps of the race, Brown shot from 20th to eighth place. As a result, bettors cashed in with a +900 Odds Boost for Brown to finish in the top 10.
As Brown said:
“Man, that was a fun one, and I was so glad I could score that top 10 for the team and for all of those that were watching and supporting us through PlayVirginia and Caesars. The last handful of laps came down to us having fresher tires than the rest of the field. We made a strategy call to stay out on older tires when most of the field came in for a pit stop with around 70 laps to go, hoping that there would be another caution closer to the end of the race where we could come down and get new tires to finish of the race. That obviously happened, and we were able to drive right on by cars that used up their last set of tires earlier on in the final stage to get that great top-10 finish our hometown track.”
More duties for a first-time NASCAR winner
The top-10 finish at Richmond Raceway was nice. But the win at Talladega? That was a life-changer.
Brown, a Woodbridge native whose Brandonbilt Motorsports team is based in Fredericksburg, is still riding the high of that win. He’s also still fulfilling the types of duties that only first-time winners get to experience.
Immediately after the win, crew chief Doug Randolph quickly reminded Brown to actually cross the finish line to make the race official. Then came the customary burnout. There were tons of interviews and what “felt like thousands of photos” in victory lane, Brown said. Even Austin Cindric, the favorite to win this year’s Xfinity Series championship, made a special visit to congratulate his peer Brown. Then they moved to the post-race press conference in the media center.
And after that immediate post-race whirlwind died down?
“I was free to head back to the race hauler and continued to celebrate with my team,” Brown said.
He also FaceTimed his primary sponsor, The Original Larry’s Hard Lemonade, for a long-awaited celebration. (And not surprisingly, other potential sponsors have been reaching out.)
Brown also heard from Lionel Racing. As is tradition, they created a die-cast model of Brown’s winning No. 68 Chevrolet.
“There is so much that happens after winning your first race,” Brown said. “Honestly, I’m still working through everything to get it all buttoned up from our win. There’s new merchandise in the works, we’ve updated our partnership proposal decks, we’ve edited our social media profiles, and we’ve even shot a commercial.”
Riding momentum into Saturday’s Martinsville race?
Brown’s still not sure if he’s replied to every congratulatory message that came in. But the buzz is still there.
“It’s incredible,” he said. “And it’s incredible for so many reasons. Since I was 9-years old, it’s been my dad and I chasing the dream of one day winning a NASCAR race together. We’ve battled adversity since the very beginning, and to finally reach our goal is just a remarkable feeling.”
Since his eighth-place finish in Richmond and his win at Talladega, Brown has posted finishes of 22nd, 33rd, and 14th.
He hopes Saturday’s Dead on Tools 250 race at Martinsville Speedway (6 p.m., NBCSN) gives him the chance for a rebound before the season ends next weekend.
PlayVirginia is once again one of Brown’s associate sponsors for Saturday. On Friday, Brown will help us break down and preview some of the betting odds for this weekend’s race.