Will Brunson Makes the Leap to 358 Sprints
It’s Never Too Late for New Challenges
Middleburg, PA – April 19, 2022
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Feature Photo Credit: Chris Hockley / WRT SpeedWerx
Most open wheel fans probably aren’t familiar with the name Will Brunson. Understandable, given he only has one full season in a sprint car under his belt. There’s a good chance you’ll hear his name a lot more in the near future though.
Brunson’s journey to the 358 sprint car division hasn’t been a traditional one. He raced karts when he was young, just like a lot of kids do these days. Difference is kids often move up through the ranks as quickly as opportunities can be realized. However, Will stepped away from racing for several years to raise his young children. It was a higher priority to spend his time and money for them.
About 6 years ago, at nearly 30 years of age, Brunson returned to racing in the Road Runner division at Selinsgrove Speedway. It served as a way to have balance between family time and being back in the sport that got in his blood when he was watching his father race as a young boy.
As the calendar prepared to turn to 2021, Brunson decided it was time for a change and a new challenge. He gathered what he needed and went 305 sprint racing, his first venture into sprint car racing. Through a lot of learning and hard work, Brunson reached the front of the fields by late in his first season, logging some top five finishes in the highly competitive division that typically draws large car counts.
The original plan for 2022 was to come back for more in his 305 sprint and continue to build that program. However, opportunity knocked, and Brunson opened the door again.
“I had an opportunity to buy this 358 operation. My original plan was to fix it up and sell it to make some cash to build our 305 program. After looking at the numbers, considering what it costs to race each car and factoring in what we could earn, plus what each operation was worth, I decided to race it and sell our 305 stuff. Why not, right?“, Brunson grinned.
April 2nd: Lincoln Speedway / Abbottstown, PA
(30 cars, Heat 4th, A-main 19th)
Given Brunson doesn’t seem to be afraid to jump into the deep end of the pool, it was only appropriate that his pill draw on his first night of competition placed him on the pole of his heat race at Lincoln Speedway where 30 cars had shown up for their 358 sprint season opener.
Some newcomers would have opted to start in the back of the field in that situation, but Will went for it. He led the first five laps of the 10-lap heat and eventually finished 4th, locking himself directly into the feature event.
In the 20-lap A-main Brunson started 14th and came home 19th in his Pheasant Funeral Home / Selinsgrove Apartments / Tom Tice Powder Coating / The Real Diehl Excavating / HorstCraft Millworks / Hackenburg’s Plumbing & Heating / Apache Tree Service / DL Martin Trucking / Zook’s Septic Services / Smitty’s Tree Service / Romig Welding / Good’s Construction / Bud Godek Auto Body / Affordable Fuels / CMC Alignment Shop, Brunson Racing No.8.
April 9th: Open Wheel Madness / Port Royal Speedway / Port Royal, PA
(27 cars, Heat 7th, B-main 3rd, A-main 20th)
The following week, Brunson opted to travel to Port Royal Speedway to toss his 358 sprint car into the ring against the URC 360 sprint cars. Three 8-lap heat races were lined up for the 27 teams entered. The Middleburg, PA resident started 7th in the second heat, needing to gain only one spot to transfer directly to the A-main.
Although he wasn’t able to get it done through the heat race, Will did put his No.8 in the show by finishing 3rd in the B-main. Brunson then went on to start 21st and finish 20th in the 25-lap URC A-main.
April 16th: Lincoln Speedway / Abbottstown, PA
(31 cars, Heat 6th, B-main 2nd, A-main 22nd)
This past weekend, Brunson returned to Lincoln Speedway along with 30 other cars. Once again, the format consisted of four 10-lap heats with the top five finishers transferring directly to the main event. The top two finishers would be handicapped to the front of the starting lineup.
Will was able to climb from 8th to 6th in his heat race but fell one spot short of locking into the A-main. However, a solid 2nd place effort in the B-main put him in the show again. Unfortunately, just a few laps into the 20-lap feature, when the caution lights flashed on, Brunson lifted off the throttle as he entered the corner. The result: the cushion grabbed him and didn’t let go. The resulting tumble ended his night 22nd in the books.
It’s worth highlighting that despite never turning a lap in a 358 sprint car until he entered competition for the first time at Lincoln Speedway on April 2nd, Brunson has made the A-main each time out. The finishes may not have been flashy but making every show and getting as much seat time as possible is a win for Will and Brunson Racing.
“I’m actually more comfortable in the 358 (than the 305) in some ways. Having more power allows you to get out of trouble easier. I expect to learn and build throughout the season. That’s what we did last year in the 305. Near the end of last year, we were getting some top 5’s. I definitely believe we can do that again in the 358 this year. I think we can get a win “, Brunson shared.
Nobody tackles racing on their own. There are always a lot of folks helping make it all happen. There’s the crew, marketing partners and supporters who bring whatever they can to the table. Brunson Racing is no different.
“I have a lot of people to thank who make it possible for me to do this. I couldn’t do this without my crew: Cam, Noah, Josh and everyone who pitches in at the shop and at the track. I want to give a shout out to Bill who provides the truck to get us to the track, and of course to all our partners for everything they do”, Brunson said.
Brunson Racing is off this coming weekend, then will return to Lincoln Speedway on Saturday, April 30th, followed by Williams Grove Speedway on Friday, May 6th.
WILL BRUNSON RACING
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