RPW Column: Brett Hearn Still Has The Desire To Win, Both Promoting OCFS & Behind The Wheel

Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – SUSSEX, NJ – He’s won over 900 races in his career and recently has moved into the business side of running a race track. However, Brett Hearn still has the urge to race.

Hearn collected win #920 in the most recent Super DIRTcar Series points race, winning the final night of the 2021 World Finals at the Dirt Track in Charlotte.

For the first time in recent memory, he decided to skip the DIRTcar Nationals this past week, but the desire is still there. Hearn still wants to race, and win.

“I have to admit, there were some mixed emotions not being on track this year in Florida,” Hearn said. “It just wasn’t in the cards. I don’t have a full-time crew anymore. I don’t have a rig. I have a real fast race car that won in November in Charlotte but it just didn’t play out this year.”

Hearn will enter his third year as the Director of Motorsports for the Orange County Fair Speedway in 2022. He’s been both a driver and promoter for several seasons through his event, the Big Show, that’s been held multiple times at Middletown and at Albany-Saratoga. However, since 2020, his primary focus has been outside of the driver’s seat.

What’s it been like for Brett with his focus primarily on the promotion side of the sport, more so over the last year to 18 months?

“It’s been challenging, but also enlightening,” he said. “In all due respect, it’s been a nice transition (from driving) because it’s a pretty intense thing. What the officials do to run a show is very challenging. It’s honestly more challenging that some people would realize.”

Even with that new challenge, the fire still burns within Hearn to compete on track, and to win. Since the mid-2000’s, he’s been behind the wheel of racecars owned by the Madsen family and Madsen Overhead Doors. Will fans get to see him race at all in ’22?

“Madsen Motorsports has transitioned into a Sportsman team, more or less, with Brian Madsen’s son, Dylan, doing the driving” he said. “He’s a relative rookie in the Sportsman class but did really well at All-Tech, winning the Short Track Super Series ‘Sunshine Swing’ point title. That’s where their focus is going to be most of the year.”

What does that mean for Hearn’s racing aspirations this season?

“I’ve got to put some things in place if I want to go racing,” he said. “I’ve got two cars in the shop. One of them is the one I won with at the World Finals. I feel real comfortable with it so it’s just a matter of getting a couple things in place and getting a couple crew guys that are committed. I want to get out for a couple races at the end of the year.”

Does Hearn have any designs on a schedule yet?

“I want to get back in the car at some point,” he said. “I don’t know how much of a chance I’ll get to do that before the end of the summer. However, after Labor Day, I’ll get some opportunities I think.”

Does that mean his schedule might include the 50th running of Super DIRT Week at Oswego?

”I hope that’s the case,” he said. “I really do.”

No matter when that comes about, Brett Hearn will be ready to go. However, right now, his focus is making the Orange County Fair Speedway better than ever. If Hearn’s attention to detail with his racing equipment is any indication of how things will be at Middletown, it’ll only be a matter of time for the Middletown oval.

 
 
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