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BJ McLeod forms new short track program with Travis Braden

BJ McLeod

NASCAR driver and team owner BJ McLeod has now expanded his reach into short track racing.

On Tuesday, McLeod announced a partnership with short track star Travis Braden that, according to a release, “plans to provide a professional and turnkey, top-performing environment for developing drivers’ skills as they progress their careers.”

BJ McLeod Motorsports with Travis Braden will use Fury Race Cars. McLeod, Braden and other drivers are expected to compete “at a number of events each year.”

“I’m looking forward to this endeavor with Travis and the opportunity to return back to where it all started, super late models, which is our roots,” said McLeod, who owns and operates a three-car NASCAR Xfinity Series program and co-owns new Cup Series team Live Fast Motorsports with Matt Tifft.

“Our goal is to bring top performing equipment and stellar coaching to enable drivers the opportunity to develop in the sport of short track racing, and Travis’s hands-on approach and success over the recent years will prove to be very valuable to the team.”

Braden, 26, has several major Super Late Model wins on his resume, including the 2016 Winchester 400 and the 2019 Snowball Derby.

The West Virginia University graduate - he was a dual major in mechanical and aerospace engineering - also made 50 ARCA Menards Series national tour starts from 2015-2019.

He won in his very first ARCA start back in July 2015 at Lucas Oil Raceway outside Indianapolis. The runner-up finisher in that race was future Cup driver William Byron.

“I’ve got a huge desire to expand my involvement in short track racing for years to come as I pursue the next phase of my driving career - working to compete in NASCAR,” Braden said. “I want to see this sport continue to grow and watch the next generation flourish.

“When I came through the ranks, it was hard to progress without having any established names validating me to their audiences. I can help change that now. If I can help other drivers and brands maximize their value in this sport, it benefits everyone.”