Brenden Queen enters the 2021 season at Langley Speedway with confidence and momentum on his side after claiming his first career track title last season.
The idea of joining drivers like Ray Hendrick, Tommy Ellis and Elton Sawyer as a champion at Langley was a surreal one for Queen but he has moved past thinking about his accomplishment and is ready to defend his crown.
“It’s a different feeling,” Queen said. “It’s cool coming back being the defending champion and when we get around to the Hampton Heat, it’ll still be kind of a weird feeling. We were able to celebrate over the offseason but reality has set back in and it’s time to get back to work.”
Queen entered the 2020 season at Langley with only one victory but he felt a sense of optimism about his ability to contend for a championship against other regulars like Danny and Greg Edwards, who are both six-time track champions themselves.
Although Queen only tallied one victory, it came at Langley’s most prestigious race in the Hampton Heat after he took advantage of an accident between Connor Hall and Corey Heim on a late-race restart.
The win did not count towards Langley’s Late Model Stock Car point standings but Queen used the momentum from that triumph to put together a championship campaign that saw him record a Top 5 in all 12 of his starts.
Queen said that the lack of a points-paying win in 2020 did not bother him, as he knew that consistency would be imperative on the weekends that he did not visit victory lane.
“We won the war last year and they can’t take that away, it’s in the record books,” Queen said. “I am ready to get back to work and get back into the grind every week. We live for the pressure, the adrenaline and the excitement.”
Despite claiming the title while going winless in points races, Queen hopes to be a frequent winner in 2021 as he battles against the Edwards brothers and drivers like Nick Smith, Woody Howard and Mark Wertz.
Queen anticipates plenty of challenges in 2021 with a talented driver roster showing up every weekend for Langley’s Late Model Stock features but he is determined to prove that he is capable of winning more than one track title.
“Our goal this year is simple, which is to win races,” Queen said. “I felt like we gave up a few [wins] last year to points race, which takes a little bit of the fun out of it. This year I want both. I want to win all of the battles, which will obviously take care of the war.”
The first battle for Queen in the quest for his second title at Langley will take place this Saturday night.