Whoever says Asians can’t drive will have to put a sock in it thanks to professional NASCAR racer Brian Wong. Get this: Brian is the first Asian American to be in this sport professionally. He has competed in various prestigious races throughout the world, including the most recent 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona. This extremely strenuous race lasts 24 hours and is held at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida. We started off our day with tacos followed by a delightful rendezvous with Brian’s father (hilarious and downright awesome), his close friends, and his marketing team. Read on as OA fills you in on how Brian broke into this unique industry as he shares the struggles and triumphs he has faced during his journey to fulfill his dreams.
October 14-16 2011, Laguna Seca, CA
After ten grueling hours in the season finale of the American Le Mans Series, Brian and Alex Job Racing captured a long anticipated podium finish, but not without the season long drama that has plagued the #23 car.
The high expectations at the season finale of the American Le Mans Series at the Road America circuit, proved Alex Job Racing drivers Brian Wong, Leh Keen, and Bill Sweedler could have a successful podium finish. The first part of the weekend, the #23 Battery Tender/ Alex Job Racing Porsche was at the top of the speed charts in all four practices. Despite being the slowest of the six classes, 55 other cars entered in Petit Le Mans, all three drivers avoided any issues on track. For the qualifying session, Keen was in the drivers seat. The GTC competition proved to be tough; all six GTC car qualified just hundredths of a second apart. Keen put the #23 Battery Tender/ Alex Job Racing Porsche in the fourth starting position for the ten hours of Petit Le Mans.
The season finale of the Porsche series, the Pirelli Drivers Cup came to a close with two final rounds at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
While in town for the SEMA convention and performing duties for Discount Tire ride-a-longs, Brian Wong returned to the series where his Porsche GT3 sports car roots began in the Pirelli Drivers Cup USA. The first on-track practice session was held late Friday afternoon. Driving the #23 World Stage Racing Porsche GT3 Cup car, Brian Wong was third fastest in the first practice. Early evening rain came, canceling the remaining practice of the day before qualifying on Saturday. Comfortable with the track and the Pirelli Drivers Cup series, Brian Wong posted the second fastest time in qualifying late afternoon on Saturday. At the green flag for round 11, Brian Wong got a great start on the first place car, passing for the lead in turn two and never looking back. Forty-five minutes later, Brian Wong, in the #23 World Stage Racing Porsche GT3, lead the field to the checker flag, taking first in round 11.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West returned to Phoenix International Raceway for the Casino Arizona 125 series finale race.
After successfully capturing top ten finishes at Miller Motorsports Parks in Utah and Infineon Raceway in Northern California, World Stage Racing and driver Brian Wong looked to continue another solid finish in the K&N Pro Series at Phoenix International Raceway. The new surface and banking definitely posed to be a challenge, leveling the playing field for the K&N Pro Series. During the only practice of the weekend was held for a solid three hours Friday morning. Brian Wong in the #89 World Stage Racing/KevJumba/Privy.net Toyota was consistently in the top fifteen fastest. Still looking for more speed, crew chief, Dave McCarty was focusing on the set up for the race. Qualifying for the Casino Arizona 125 came early Saturday morning, just a few hours from the green flag. Brian Wong qualified the #89 World Stage Racing/ KevJumba/Privy.net Toyota just outside the top fifteen, putting them in a prime position for the long race. Prior to qualifying, a mechanical issue was found, needing to be replaced. The mechanical change is a rule violation in NASCAR, which exempts the #89 World Stage Racing/KevJumba/Privy.net Toyota from starting in the qualified position, but instead starting from the back of the field.