By Konnie McCollum
SPARTA, Ky. (July 2006) Brad Coleman was like a lot of boys who grow up wanting to become a race car driver. But it appears that Colemans dream is coming true.
Photo by Don Ward
Brad Coleman poses in the garage
at the Kentucky Speedway prior
to the May ARCA race.
At only 18 years old, the Houston native is well on his way to establishing a successful racing career. Already this season, Coleman finished second in his first career ARCA RE/MAX Series race at the Nashville Superspeedway in April, was the Pork Pole winner at Salem Speedway in his second ARCA race, and finished second in his third ARCA start at the Kentucky Speedway in May.
On June 10, Coleman finished a respectable 29th in his first Busch Series race, the Federated Auto Parts 300 at the Nashville Superspeedway.
It is hard to believe that four years ago I was cart racing, and now I am at this level, Coleman said during his May visit to the Kentucky Speedway.
Coleman, who drives for Brewco Motorsports as a NASCAR Busch Development Driver, is the youngest U.S. driver to receive a professional open-wheel racing license. He earned that license at 14 and began his racing career driving carts at an indoor track.
His father, Brandon Coleman, said they never imagined when Brad started cart racing that his passion for racing would evolve into something this big. We thought it was just a passing fad, he said.
But they were shocked early on when many famous drivers, including Bobby Rahal, kept telling them that Brad had a real gift.
After winning numerous carting championships, Coleman was discovered by Le Mans Champion Price Cobb. Cobb convinced Colemans parents that he was truly gifted, and they eventually allowed Coleman to go live and train with Cobb.
That training paid off, since Colemans career has exploded from that point.
Photo by Don Ward
Brad Coleman receives last minute
instructions in May before the start of
the Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati 150.
Coleman has raced at almost every major road course in North America, as well as short ovals, speedways and superspeedways. He has amassed more than 50,000 miles of race car experience in stock cars, open wheel formula cars and sports cars.
Throughout all of this, Brad has remained humble and extremely responsible, his father said. He added that while the lifestyle at times has been both a blessing and a curse, the family is extremely proud of Brads accomplishments.
Although he spends many hours practicing and traveling around the country, Coleman still finds time to do the things that others his age do. He is a recent graduate from high school, earning As and Bs despite his extensive training, and he is making plans for college.
In his spare time, he loves to fish, play golf and play video games. As a matter of fact, Coleman trains on a racing simulator. It is amazingly like the real thing.
Colemans plans this year are focused solely on driving in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and the NASCAR Busch Series. Racing in the ARCA/REMAX series gives me experience in racing heavy cars on big tracks.
He said his chance to race in the Busch series is an opportunity of a lifetime.
Coleman is scheduled to return to the Kentucky Speedway on July 7 to race in the second ARCA event of the season in Sparta. It takes place the night before the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers, set for 8 p.m. Saturday, July 8.
For more information on Brad Coleman, visit: www.bradcoleman.us.