Auto Racing: Clubb brothers flush with success at Grundy County Speedway
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org August 28, 2014 9:50PM
The Clubb brothers (from left) Brandon, Jeremy and Cody are making their marks this season at Grundy County Speedway. | Tony Baranek/Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 30, 2014 6:24AM
It won’t be decided until Sunday who the champions in each division for the season will be at Grundy County Speedway.
It’s already etched in stone, though, which will be the top-ranking family.
Three Clubbs is the winning hand.
Brandon Clubb is having a solid season in the late-model class. The 30-year-old has three heat race victories and has run among the leaders in most of the feature events. He’s on track to finish fourth in points.
Meanwhile Cody Clubb, 21, is battling with his 32-year-old brother Jeremy for a spot on the “Top 10” podium at the postseason banquet.
Cody has three heat wins, Jeremy two. Going into the final two nights of the season, Jeremy is 10th in points with 776, Cody right behind with 772, while Kenny Benson is hovering with 766. Jeremy likely will be the odd man out, though, because he has a work commitment Friday and will miss a night’s worth of points.
There is also a fourth Clubb brother, Nick, 25, who races a street stock on dirt at Fairbury, and two relatives, cousin Alex and Alex’s dad, Brian Clubb, who race in the pure stocks division at Grundy.
Those are stories for another day. The three Clubb brothers at Grundy are a story in themselves.
The Coal City natives all park together at Grundy just down the hill from the No. 1 turn. Their corner of the pits is a beehive of activity, as members of each crew often move from one car to another to lend a hand.
“It’s very cool,” said Brandon Clubb, who is neighbors with Jeremy. “We have a lot of resources to lean against each other. Everybody kind of helps each other out. You have a full crew every night, no matter what. That really helps out.”
They have a similar arrangement at their racing shop in Coal City.
“We do our own thing, but if we need help we’ll ask each other,” Cody Clubb said. “But other than that we pretty much just have our own programs.”
Overseeing it all is their father, Dave, who owns all of the cars his sons drive.
“He owns them and we work on them and drive them,” Brandon Clubb said. “That’s the way he wants it. I guess he gets more pride out of watching us do it than driving himself.”
Their driving influence was an uncle, Al Swiggett, who won the street stock title at Grundy in 1996. At the time, Brandon Clubb was racing go-karts at the speedway.
“It was a Friday-Saturday thing,” Brandon Clubb said. “I’d help him on Friday and he’d help me on Saturday. That’s pretty much how it all started.”
Brandon Clubb eventually graduated to the street stocks at Grundy and finished as high as third in points. He spent several seasons in the Mid-American division before moving up to late-models four years ago.
This season, with Tony D’Ambrose providing the chassis setup, he’s having his best results.
“It’s very satisfying, just for the fact that I know what I’m getting beat by with what I’m running,” Brandon Clubb said. “Honest to God, the front end of my car is mostly Eddie Hoffman’s old junk parts.
“I’ve got some things in the works. As it is now, we’re hoping to make a run for the championship next year.”
Cody Clubb has spent 10 seasons driving on both dirt and asphalt, on which he won feature races in a 4-cylinder car. He’s still looking for his first main event win in a Mid-Am.
“It’s starting to (come around),” Cody Clubb said. “We’d get it going and I’d end up wrecking, and we have to start the whole thing all over again. Just a lot of bad luck this year.
“My goal is to get into a late-model for sure, it’s just hard getting there. Those things are very hard to get going. It’s just a lot of money for us to do. I’m pretty sure I’m staying in the Mid-Ams (next year).”
If all three were on the track at the same time in the same division, who’d win? That won’t be decided for a while. Brandon Clubb thinks he knows the answer, though.
“I’m not going to brag,” he said, starting to laugh. “But if there’s something going on with Cody’s or Jeremy’s cars, they ask me to get in and tell them what’s wrong. So take that where you want to go with it.”