Getting Up To Speed With…Braedon Hand
By Ben Deatherage
(Photo Courtesy of HighLine Image & Design)
Braedon Hand has achieved great success at Cottage Grove Speedway throughout the years. From 2008 to 2010 he won three consecutive Modified championships and last year added his fourth career title by winning the crown by just one single point. The Hand family dynasty includes Braedon, his older brother Shawn, who won the inaugural title for the Hornets in 2011, and their father Robert who is an eleven-time CGS track champion.
In addition to his titles he was the 2002 Co-Rookie of the Year award recipient, along with his brother, in the Modified division at Cottage Grove. In 2014 Hand looks determined to continue his winning ways and hopes to win the Wild West Modified Speedweek as well as the CGS Modified Nationals. We got a chance to talk about why he race the #5, what his greatest moment of his career so far has been, and how he got his start as a driver. Now let’s get up to speed with Braedon Hand.
Driver: Braedon Hand
Home Track: Cottage Grove Speedway
Hometown: Cottage Grove, Oregon
Years Racing: 12
Classification: IMCA Modified/Northwest Extreme Modified
Team: Braedon Hand Racing
Chassis: Larry Shaw Race Cars by S.D.M.F. Race Cars
Sponsors: D&D Automotive, Vintage Inn Family Restaurant, KNND 1400 AM, Todd’s Auto Body, S.D.M.F. Race Cars, RDH Racing
Special Thanks: Family, Pit Crew, Dustin Comer
BD: Braedon have you finalized some of your 2014 plans at all?
BH: Well we are going to run Cottage Grove Speedway for both the A-Mod and B-Mod championships. Hopefully we can hit all of Speedweek to see where we come out in the regional IMCA points. I’m back in the chassis that was wrecked at Yreka last year and I got to thank Dustin Comer from S.D.M.F. Race Cars for fixing it up for me.
BD: You’ve had a very decorative career so far. What would you say is most favorite moment?
BH: Honestly probably winning the Race of Champions event at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma around 2009. It was a stacked field and anytime you can win a race from your home track adds another element to the fun part of it all.
BD: Over the years you have ran several numbers from #13 to #1H to #5. The #5 seems to be a number you have used the most. What is the story behind that?
BH: It’s ran in memory of Summer Solsbee. We were friends in high school and it was her soccer jersey number.
BD: Your family has a much storied history at Cottage Grove. How did your racing career get started?
BH: I knew when I was eight I wanted to race cars. I was on my dad’s pit crew until l was at least nineteen or twenty. Although I did race my brothers Hogg car while he was at prom one time and got second in my first time out. After that we bought a Modified together and shared the car in 2002.
BD: Some fans may not remember but you actually had a pretty successful stint in the Sportsman class. Care to talk about those days?
BH: Back then I was pretty green and decided to go from the Modifieds to the Sportsman class. We had a couple of chances to win some championships but was never able to do it. In fact one year we blew a motor on the last race. We really struggled with equipment and motors and decided to go back to the Modifieds.
BD: What are some big events you would like to win but haven’t yet?
BH: I think either the Cottage Grove Speedway Modified Nationals or the Wild West Modified Speedweek deal. To win either of those would be great.
The Cottage Grove Speedway is set to host a test and tune play day on Saturday April 5th while the first race of the year is planned for the following Saturday on the 12th. Log on to www.cottagegrovespeedway.com for news stories and articles related to the upcoming 2014 campaign.