Five With The Five: First Weekend Off Since December For Travis Braden

Five With The Five: First Weekend Off Since December For 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. 

     Next up, Travis Braden!   

Travis: Hey!

Andrea: Hey!  How's it going?

Travis: Just working away.

Andrea: Yeah. Another day at the shop?

Travis: Yep, another day.

Andrea: Anything exciting, or just packing up for Elko?

Travis: Not a whole lot of exciting, just really actually getting ready for Elko, and then either Iowa or Pocono. So, we're hoping to just take our car from Elko to Iowa. That's the plan.

Andrea: Okay.

Travis: Then our other car we'll take to Pocono, but it's almost ready to go as it is right now. So, because we're so shorthanded right now, it puts us in a position where no matter what happens this weekend, we have a good car that's ready to go for Iowa. And hopefully if we would tear a car up at one of these two races, hopefully it's just one race, and then we can get through this stretch of three in a row here.

Andrea: Right, right. Yeah, I know you've had some changes. How has that been going with just new people around and all that kind of stuff?

Travis: Yeah, it's been great. We're working with a new member of our team. His name's Jim Long and he has been fantastic. His first race with us was our most recent race at Chicago, and he was very nice to our team and everyone on the team had a good time working with him. Here in the shop, we've been working with him obviously pretty closely to get ready for this next couple of races. So, things are moving along great.

Andrea: That's awesome to hear.

Travis: Yep, very good.

Andrea: How was your week off? The first one in like seven weeks. Was it nice?

Travis: Yeah. It was our first week off from racing in seven weeks, but to be honest, trying to think back but I'm pretty sure the last time I took days away from working the shop here that wasn't at the track, was probably in December, like Christmas time.

Andrea: Oh, wow!

Travis: Yeah. We've made sure to enjoy a few weekends that we had at the track and take those days to relax a little bit, but we've really never had time to just take off. So, this weekend (the two of us in the shop here) we both took the holiday off. I went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee with my girlfriend Jess. It was a place that I'd never been and it was pretty cool to go see it for the first time. And with the Fourth of July and it being kind of in an old town, if you will, and a historic town, it was quite the experience.

Andrea: Right. What's there to do there? I don't even know where Gatlinburg is.

Travis: Yeah, it's in Tennessee. For some people, it would definitely not be their taste, but for us it was great. It's an old town, it's on the mountain so you have a lot to do in terms of, they have mountain coasters, they call them. You can go do some rafting, or kayaking, or hiking if you're into that kind of stuff, sightseeing. Then there was a plethora of go-kart tracks. So, Jess and I found ourselves spending literally the entire day Saturday doing pretty much nothing besides go-kart racing.

Andrea: Did she beat you ever?

Travis: She does great! I can't say that it really leans one way or the other.Sometimes the karts aren't equal and so we're pretty equal. She's been doing great, and so basically it comes down to whoever has a little faster kart wins the race.

Andrea:I see.  

Travis: But it was fun. So, there's that kind of stuff. It's crazy. There's all kinds of shops, old west ... not old western, but old time, old fashioned stores and stuff, and just a lot to see. It's in the mountains, and it's beautiful too, so just the area that you're in is just pretty relaxing.

Andrea: That sounds great!

Travis: Yep, it was awesome.

Andrea: How are you feeling going into Elko? What's going through your head? Feeling pretty good?

Travis: I feel really good. We've had a pretty decent string of races. We've had two top fives in the last four races, but we've actually had the shot to finish top five in all of those four races. Honestly, we should have. So, consistency, I think is going to stay where it has been, but we are really working hard to make that little bit of extra speed in these cars that we need to make the difference in going from racing for top fives, to racing for podiums and wins. We're making some pretty drastic changes, so we'll see how it goes and I'm confident that it's going to be better. So, we'll hopefully have a good show in Elko for our, technically kind of a hometown crowd not too far from the MatrixCare Headquarters, our primary sponsor MatrixCare. I think somewhere around 100 guests. So, it was fun last year and I think this year is going to be even more fun. I know the powers that be at MatrixCare pretty well and they like to have a good time and make everyone else have a good time, so they're going to do it big I'm sure.

It's going to be a party!

Travis: Yeah!

Andrea: Awesome. Well, that's actually closer to six minutes so I apologize, but I'll let you get back to your night.

Travis: No problem. All righty, you too. Have a good night.

Andrea: Thanks. See you soon.

Travis: See ya!


See you guys at Anderson Speedway (in Indiana...incase people don't know) this coming Monday for the REDBUD 400 in the CRA Super Series.....