Alabama native Brandon Taylor grew up at the racetrack and the spark has stayed with him for 26 years. Through racing with his friends and kids, he’s formed great memories he’ll never forget.
Brandon Taylor was only two weeks old whenever he first visited a racetrack. For 26 years, he’s spent every weekend he can at a racetrack with his friends and family. Now, he enjoys watching his kids race junior dragsters more than racing himself.
BT’s fleet of race cars include a 1967 tube chassis Camaro, a 2019 American Dragster, and two junior dragsters all powered by Huntsville Engines.
Learn more about Brandon in the following Q&A.
DragChamp Racer Spotlight with Brandon Taylor
How long have you been racing?
I’ve been racing for 26 years. I started when I was 14 years old
How did you get introduced to the sport?
My dad introduced me to the sport. I was only two weeks old when I first went to the racetrack.
Which class or classes do you compete in? Where do you normally race/ Provide a little history of your career.
I started competing in bracket racing at local tracks, racing for the normal local $1,200 and $5,000 purses but now I mostly compete in big dollar bracket races across the South East. I occasionally travel outside of the South East for races like the Spring Fling in Vegas and the SFG 500 in Michigan.
I also make time for my kids and Jr. Dragster racing. Their racing has become the priority over my racing. They both have done well and I’m proud of them. Seeing them racing and turn on win lights is more exciting that seeing the win light come on in my own lane.
I also enjoy the local heads-up index races across the South East. There are a lot of 6.00 and 7.00 index races that are fun to compete in.
Tell us about your current race car.
I’ve had my share of different race cars throughout the year, but my current cars include a 1967 Tube Chassis Camaro completely rebuilt by Reese Brothers Race Cars, a 2019 American Race Cars Dragster, two half-scale Jr. Dragsters, and I occasionally drive Dad’s nova. All cars are powered by Huntsville Engine, FTI Performance Transmissions and Converters, with complete fuel systems from APD. The nitrous system is from Nitrous Outlet and it hits HARD.
The Camaro runs 5.60’s in the 1/8 mile. The Dragster has the small Huntsville Motor in it and I’ve never made a wide-open pass in it, so I’m not sure how fast it is. Just kidding; it runs 4.70’s.
Please list your major accomplishments:
I guess you can say my biggest accomplishment in my career is winning the SFG $175,000 race in 2018 but I’ve won a few 20-granders, numerous 10k and 5k races, multiple local race wins, and a shootout to win a dragster in Bradenton, 2014.
What’s on your bucket list, future goals, what do you hope to achieve?
I’d like to win another 6-figure race, paying more than $100,000. That’s a personal goal. But more importantly, I want to see my kids competing alongside me in competition and be competitive in big dollar bracket racing.
What is your favorite race car, and why?
My favorite race car is a 1963 Corvette Roadster. I call it a “buggy.” Although it’s my favorite car, I will never own one. I’m pretty sure I will stick it into the wall.
Who has made the biggest impact on your racing success?
It’s hard to name one person that has made a big impact on my career. I’m going to name a few, as there are many. To start, I’d say my dad and wife. Others include Mike Smith, Timmy Smith, TJ Pruitt, Troy Williams Jr, Mikey Bloomfield, and Stephen McCrory.
Who do you look up to into the sport?
I look up to Jason Lynch the most in this sport. I’ve seen him build his career from the bottom and become one of the best in this sport while raising a family.
Tell us what you do for a living
My dad and I run a very successful “buy here, pay here” car lot, along with a body shop, junk yard, and mechanic shop.
How do you support your racing, side hustle, sponsor, partner, etc.?
I pay for most of the racing from selling aluminum wheels and catalytic converters off cars we crush. I also could not race without the loyal companies that support and provide the best parts in the business; FTI Transmission and Converters, APD, Mickey Thompson Performance Tires and Wheels, Alliance Racewear, Huntsville Engine and Performance, Russell Specialty Sales, CS Transport, American Race Cars, Champ’s Performance, and DragCoverage.
Who do you hate to see in the other lane and why?
The only person that I despise racing is Kevin Brannon, “KB.” If I’m one-pack, he will be perfect package.
What’s the hardest part of drag racing?
The hardest part is definitely loading everything back up after a race. It looks like I’ve been pitted there a month.
What’s your most embarrassing moment in a race car?
It’s probably when I had a steering wheel come off and I got into the wall at Alabama International Dragway in Steele, AL.
Are you superstitious? If so, what are they?
Yes, I am very superstitious.
Do you love to win or hate to lose?
I love to win, but I don’t mind losing. I believe that in order to win, you must learn how to lose, and I’ve had my fair share of losses.
Which are you better at? The starting line or finish line?
I for sure can’t let go that great at the starting line. I will “.020” reaction time them to death and still turn on the win light. So, I guess I’m better at the finish-line.
What motivates you to continue racing?
It’s my family and kids and spending time at the track with my racing family. I have been racing for several years and still enjoying the time at the track. Now that my kids are racing, I’m enjoying it even more.
If money were no object, what would your racing operation look like?
I would have two new Toterhomes from my boy Mitch Clary at OK Motorsports and two Performance Stacker Trailers filled with American Dragsters and a door car I could bracket race, dialed 4.20. I would live on the road, traveling to the next race.
I would continue the big money bracket racing but wouldn’t be opposed to the NHRA class racing.
What’s your favorite thing about racing as a family?
My favorite thing about racing as a family is the time we spend together. There is nothing like watching your kid’s win light come on. The feeling is indescribable. I have been blessed to have kids that are awesome behind the wheel of a Jr. Dragster. They have multiple wins.
It’s either Bradenton Motorsports Park or Alabama International Dragway, Steele, AL.
Name one thing most people don’t know about you?
I used to be very competitive at inline speed skating when I was a teenager.
Who would you like to thank?
Again, not just one person. My mom, dad, wife, TJ Pruitt, Paul Russell, Ben Willis, Billy Herman with Alliance Racewear, Greg Samuel at FTI, Andy Anderson at Huntsville Engine, and Tim Slone.
About the author: Megan Strassweg is a 22 year old Super Comp racer from Louisville, Kentucky. She races a 2015 American Dragster sponsored by Coolshirt Systems. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May of 2020 with a degree in Photojournalism and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Megan works at Jim Butner Auto in the Finance Department. Growing up at the racetrack, drag racing is all she has known and never plans to give up on it.