KNOXVILLE, Iowa—Entering the Month of Money, something had to change for Brian Brown to jump-start his season.
After 35 open-wheel starts across World of Outlaws, All Star Circuit of Champions, American Sprint Car Series and the Knoxville Championship Cup Series, Brown scored three wins, seven podiums and 15 top 10s. But he also failed to qualify for two shows.
While personnel decisions are never easy, Brown, 42, elected to replace long-time crew chief Chad Morgan with his former team owner and uncle Danny Lasoski.
“Chad Morgan did a phenomenal job for us,” Brown said at Knoxville Raceway on Friday. “We just decided to go in a little bit different direction this week. We brought on my uncle Danny Lasoski to try and go at it and really attack this next Month of Money. It was just time for a change.”
The Month of Money features the top three highest purses on the Outlaws tour. Starting at Eldora Speedway next weekend and concluding with the Knoxville Nationals Aug. 11-14, WoO will compete in 15 races in 31 days. As mediocre as BBR has been in the first half of the 2021 season, Brown hopes to come out swinging over the next four weeks.
Still, the affable Brown grappled with the decision to let Morgan go after more than a dozen years at Brian Brown Racing. Together, the partnership won the 410 Knoxville Raceway track championship four times and numerous races in top touring divisions from WoO, All-Stars and ACSC.
“Really thankful for everything Chad has done over the years,” Brown said. “(The relationship) just really ran its course, became stagnant. Sometimes ideas don't line up or the way to change cars don’t line up.
“Chad is still one of my good friends and it was probably the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make because he’s not just my crew chief, he’s like a brother to me. But sometimes you have to make tough decisions—and big decisions. I just thought for the betterment of the team it was best to go in a different direction.”
On Friday, Brownie made his NASCAR debut in the Camping World Truck Series at Knoxville Raceway where he is the reigning track champion. Despite spinning out twice, dropping to 38th and going two laps down, he recovered for an eighth-place finish behind the wheel of the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Tundra.
“What a bunch of ups and downs after starting 15th,” Brown said. “My biggest downfall in this type of deal is to have a spotter and starting on the outside and not getting down when they say, ‘Inside, inside, inside.’ I feel like I clawed my way back into the top 20.
“To be able to come back for an eighth-place finish—I never thought at that point I would have—it just shows you the caliber of team that KBM has and Casey’s, FVP and Rowdy Energy, all the people that helped out and allowed me to come do this.”
The truck race wasn’t Brown’s first opportunity on a national stage at Knoxville Raceway. Last month, he was selected as the local representative to compete in the SRX Series created by Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart
“It was great, just a remarkable opportunity that Ray and Tony have put together and given a local guy like me a chance,” said Brown, who finished eighth in his first SRX outing. “Obviously, my goal was to run all the laps and not tear their stuff up and we were able to do that. I felt like once the race was over, I was telling myself, ‘Man, I wish I could start over now because I felt like I learned a lot over those 75 laps. I never raced anything with a fender or a shifter in my life. It’s a whole different animal.
“But just had a great time. Looking forward to doing it again one day.”