One-On-One With Colin Braun

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“I hope people remember me as being super fast.”

It’s no secret that Colin Braun knows how to go fast! In fact, the Texas native has found success in a wide variety of racing series’ and continues to conquer new challenges every time he steps into the drivers seat. Not only that, Bruan has also found success as a driving coach and is more than happy to share his expertise with the next generation of drivers that just want to go fast.

Beyond The Flag recently sat down with Braun to discuss his decision to leave the Camping World Truck Series, his current success with Core Auto Sports and a few surprising things that remain on the Texas natives bucket list. So, sit back, relax and get ready to take a thrill ride through the ever impressive career of Colin Braun.

Brian Thornsburg: . You once stated that you looked up to drivers like AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti for their ability to race any type of car and be successful in it. How does it feel to have success in so many different types of race cars just like your heroes did?

Colin Braun: I enjoy winning in different race cars, but I also really enjoy just the opportunity to drive different cars. I do a lot of driver coaching on the side, so the list of cars that I’ve driven is getting pretty crazy. It’s a lot of fun and I enjoy the challenge of learning what it takes to be fast in different cars.

BT: Speaking of your success, You have raced in The Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series, Le Man’s series quarter midgets and many others. What has made you able to step into so many different types of race cars and still have some level of success?

CB: A lot of it comes down to racing go-karts as a little kid. My dad always had me race in a bunch of different classes. I think at a pretty early age I learned how to adapt to different karts and how the different engines worked. I was never the kid that did two or three years of one series and then moved up the ladder and did another two years of whatever came next; I’ve always been thrown into different cars and had to figure out how to go fast in them to progress my career or my career was going to end. I think a lot of my adaptation skills came from my desire to keep racing.

BT: Out of every racing series you have competed in, what has been the hardest to learn and have success in. Why?

CB:For me, the hardest were all the NASCAR series I raced in, because I grew up racing road courses and never did a lot of short track oval racing or legends cars. For me, driving those cars wasn’t so much the challenge, it was figuring out how to race and how to make passes.

BT: Despite accomplishing so much during your racing career, what is one thing you want to accomplish before you retire?

CB: I would really like to do some IndyCar racing before I retire. Doing the Indy 500 would certainly be a bucket list item for me. I think it would be an amazing event to be part of. I’ve done top-level sports car racing and top-level NASCAR stuff, so doing the top-level open-wheel stuff would complete the trifecta.

BT: Do you ever regret leaving a racing series for another one or are you too excited about the new challenge you will be facing?

CB: For me, I don’t know that I was ever faced with ‘where should I go next?’ I always go wherever I have an opportunity to win races. Toward the end of my NASCAR days when the economy was on a downward spiral, I had some opportunities to do some start-and-park NASCAR stuff, but I didn’t want to do that kind of racing. I wanted to go somewhere I could win races. I was fortunate enough to connect with Jon Bennett and Morgan Brady at CORE autosport and that was an easy choice for me. It’s always about winning races and I’ve never really regretted choices that I’ve made.

BT: Do you have any plans to make a return to any of the racing series that you used to compete in?

CB: Any driver wants to race whatever, whenever, so I’ve never closed my mind to racing in any series. I enjoy racing, so who knows.

BT: What do you think of the addition of a playoff system to The Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series in NASCAR?

CB: I think it keeps it more exciting for the fans toward the end of the season. Looking back on when I was competing in those series, I know I would have enjoyed a system like that. The seasons are so long, that I think it rewards consistency over race wins. I feel like the playoff system gets it to a point where it’s important to win races toward the end of the season and I think that’s why fans pay money to sit in the grandstands.

BT: Do you see yourself ever competing or even wanting to compete in The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series?

CB: Doing some Cup races would be fun. There may be some opportunities in that series on the road course side, which I’m open to, but it’s a balance for me, because I don’t want to do a race just to be part of it, I want to go knowing I have a shot at running really well. Obviously, those rides are few and far between, so we’ll see if anything pans out.

BT: You have 15 wins in four different types of racing. What are some of the ones that you remember most and why?

CB: A couple that come to mind are winning in the truck series at Michigan, which was a big deal and came as a result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people. I think the other big one for me would be 2012 at Laguna, which was my ‘return to sportscar racing’ win and my co-driver Jon Bennett’s first professional win. That was really cool, because it was a good moment for me, but a big moment for Jon and the team. It was cool to see his excitement after all the hard work he and the team had put in.

BT: What do you think is the defining moment of your career so far and what do you hope fans remember you for when your career is over?

CB: That is a deep question! I don’t know if it’s a defining moment, but certainly a turning point in my career was when I got the break to drive for Tracy Krohn’s DP team in the Rolex Series when I was 17. That was a big moment for me and turned the page from ‘I hope to be a professional driver’ to ‘I can be a professional driver.’ I hope people remember me as being super fast.

BT: Do you have any regrets in your career and why do you regret it?

CB: I don’t think so. It’s a challenging world that professional drivers live in and I think everybody in racing lead really tough lives. If we broke down our entire career and looked at everything, I’m sure you could find 10,000 ways to have regrets, but I feel like racing people, not just drivers, tend to be pretty positive and learn quickly and move on. That’s probably the only way to stay sane in this sport.

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BT: What are your plans for this season and the future of your career?

CB: Obviously, I’m going to continue driving for CORE Autosport in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, going after our sixth PC Team Championship and after that, I’d like to continue driving with CORE and winning races. That’s my plans right now.