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Brett Grim carries on family tradition at Grandview Speedway

it didn’t take long for 19-year-old Brett Grim to realize that driving a race car made him happy, extremely happy in fact.

“My first time I actually climbed into a race car was back on practice day at the end of March at Grandview Speedway. I realized right away I made the right choice and all I know is I was hooked,” said Grim a fourth generation racer from Coplay. “Racing is all I know. There’s nothing else that even comes close. It’s intense and there’s nothing to compare to racing at a track like Grandview.”

With only a handful of dirt track races under his belt, Grim is quick to point out he has a lot to learn.

His goal this season racing at Grandview Speedway is to get as many laps as he can, gain experience and learn as much as he can as a first-year driver on the third-mile high-banked clay covered oval in Bechtelsville.

“I’ve got my grandfather (Gary Grim) and my father (Brad Grim) helping me every step of the way and I couldn’t have anyone better helping me,” Grim said. “I grew up watching my dad race and I worked alongside him in the shop and at the track mainly learning everything I could. I really got involved around 2015 or so and, believe me, I’ve learned a lot.”

Grim said his first time racing that things were completely different from what heI expected, but in a good way.

Brett Grim, of Coplay, comes from a racing family. (Photo courtesy of Scott Bender)
Brett Grim, of Coplay, comes from a racing family. (Photo courtesy of Scott Bender)

“I got passed often, sure, but you learn that way,” he said. “I used to do a lot of I-Racing before I actually raced. It’s a racing simulator, sure, but it taught me plenty.”

Grim, who will turn 20 in September, comes from a long line of racers and continuing that family tradition means a lot to him.

It all began with his late great grandfather (Al “Sonny” Grim) racing stock cars on the fifth-mile asphalt Dorney Park Speedway in the 1950s and ’60s. From there his grandfather (Gary) took his turn beginning at Dorney Park in the ’70s and later switching to the local dirt tracks for some two decades. His dad (Brad) took over from there as a driver until 2023 and, now, Brett is at the controls.

There also is his cousin (Ryan Grim) and another cousin (Justin Grim), both, racing  every Saturday night at Grandview. It truly is a family affair.

“Right now, I drive the car and maintain it, too,” Brett Grim said. “The car, it’s a funny story, it was owned by Mike Stringer and my dad was his driver. Eventually, Stringer sold the car to Lynn Peters and my dad raced it for him for a few years. Peters made a decision to sell the car and, with help from my father and grandfather, I purchased the race car. It’s considered to be a family-owned ride. The car is still red and numbered 611, which has been my family’s signature number and colors since they started racing. I’ll do whatever I can to keep that red number 611 out there on the track racing.”

Grim is passionate about keeping the family racing history alive. He looks down the road into his future with all of that family racing history in his thoughts. As he said, he’s hooked.

“Grandview talked about selling the race track before the 2023 season and watching the last race in 2022 I got kind of emotional,” he said. “I figured if I was going to do this I better get involved now. That deal to sell the race track fell through and it is why I started when I did.”

Grim said that Stringer allowed him to learn by letting him help his dad.

He said he always had a desire to race at Grandview like his grandfather and father before him.

“Grandview has always been a favorite track of mine because there are so many families racing there through the years,” he said. “Eventually, like my dad and grandfather, I want to build race car bodies, build motors and we usually fabricate whatever we can to keep the car on the track. Right now I need laps, I need experience and just need to grow as a race driver.”

Grim has quickly showed everyone at the track he has the driving talent to be successful, he just needs to work at it and fine-tune things.

He has only not qualified for one race. Otherwise, he has qualified through the heat races or consolations and has a few wins along the way, putting him in the feature events on a weekly basis. Running in a feature weekly adds up the laps and gives him valuable seat time.

“After we had the practice session in March, my dad raced the car in the season opener in April because I thought maybe I didn’t have the brake pedal I thought we needed,” he said. “He raced it that first night, we made some changes on the car and it felt a lot better. I did get a fifth-place finish in the feature in my second outing and that’s my career best so far.”

Grim got an eighth-place finish a week later to give him his second top 10 finish of the year.

“I race the other drivers with respect and race everyone as clean as I can,” he said. “Sometimes you’ve got to hit the other guy because he was banging you around, but that’s just a part of racing. Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of good, clean and talented drivers in the Sportsman division at Grandview Speedway. I am one who has no need for racing the other guy dirty. That’s not me.”

As far as his future goes, Grim sees no end in sight. He’s in it for the long haul.

“I want to keep racing as long as I can,” he said. “Until I just can’t do it anymore. Stringer allowed my dad to race one last season at Grandview, which allowed me an opportunity to learn. For now, I plan to just continue racing my 602 Crate Sportsman car and, eventually, I might plan on my moving up into a 358 Modified car. That next level is very expensive and I am not ready for that route just yet.”

Randy Kane is a freelance writer

Source: Berkshire mont

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