Five With The Five: Travis Braden
Five With The Five: Travis Braden
2019 has five different drivers competing for the championship, Travis Braden, Michael Self, Bret Holmes, Joe Graf Jr., and Christian Eckes. Come follow each of their journeys this season with our “Five With The Five” where each week we set the timer for five minuets and sit down with them to find out what’s been going on both in and out of the race car.
First up, our current points leader, Travis Braden!
ARCA: Alrighty, five minutes on the clock. What have you been up to Travis?
Travis: Well, I currently am in the middle of doing a photoshoot with my cowboys boots and fire suite on for the ESP Rock and Roll Fantasy Challenge.
A: Most interesting one you’ve ever done?
T: Yeah! Besides that we’ve just been getting ready for the 2019 ARCA season- the bulk of it. While we already started in February, in my mind and I think in a lot of the teams minds, we don’t really start until here in Salem.
A: And why is that?
T: We have that big gap, and being that the first race in Daytona is a totally different car. You kind of get that car ready, and you might not be ready with the rest of your stuff.
A: And that sounds like a similar situation with Talladega two weeks from now.
T: Yeah, Talladega and Daytona are kind just their own world. Your car is totally different, how you approach the race is different. So we kind of separate those two. Pensacola was really the start for us, and now we race almost every weekend until August or September.
This is kind of a home track for us too since we’re only two hours away in Brownsburg, Indiana. Another interesting tidbit that I know people have been paying attention to the past couple weeks is that obviously one of our best team members Jason Morris passed away two weeks ago or so now. He’s from Cincinnati and so this is kind of a home track to him too…or was. So it’d be a really cool weekend for us to do well, and it’d be a really cool weekend to do well for him specifically.
A: I’m sure that’d be really special
T: Yeah, it’s the first race without him. And, as I mentioned, with it sort of being his home track it’s a bummer for us, but we’re really motivated for that same reason.
A: I know, for me, that would affect my performance greatly. How do you not let that get too much in your head so you can actually race?
T: I mean, it’s been tough. Really. We went to the funeral( Dan, Casey, and I, a couple pit crew members, and my spotter Justin) and that was really hard, but at the same time I think that’s kind of the purpose of a funeral right? Everyone can say their last goodbyes and sort of move on from it. And now you look at what he did for you in his life, and our past. Now it’s motivation. We miss him a lot obviously, but it’s a high spirit. Like, we miss him, but we feel like he’s motivating us.
A: You want to make him proud, sure. That’s so great.
A: What do you have planned after Salem between now and Talladega?
T: So, we’re still just touching up on all of our stuff in the shop. This is actually not our short track car we race at most tracks because Salem is so much of a different animal compared to any other short track. So we’re finishing up, getting everything fully prepared to run the rest of the season with all the other short track races, the mile and a half stuff, and the dirt races. One of the goals that we have a as team- last year we got prepared just in time. But then we had no time to really get ahead for five races down. So when we got to those races later in the season if we wanted to do something, if we wanted to test, or if we wanted to make a change we never had time because we weren’t prepared that far out in advance. So it was a big goal of ours to be prepared for the whole season so that we can actually work to get better every week rather than just getting back to the race track.
A: And what’s involved in making sure you meet that goal?
T: Making sure all your little things are done. Whether it’s a little bit of paper work we have to do to be organized when we show up, being organized in our shop so that when we move in and our every week with the cars it’s quicker to do things.
A: What are you most excited for in the coming weeks?
T: We’re going to go test for one of the short track races that will prepare us for the rest of the season I think. I’m really looking forward to that because we’ve made a lot of progress this off-season. It’s already showing this weekend at Salem I think. We want to go test to kind of knock off that last little bit we’re trying to finalize, and we’re going to go win races from there.