Change is healthy even when it’s not the first choice.
That’s how Brandon Pierce looks at leaving Lee Pulliam Performance after a five-year stint racing the No. 2 out of the shop operated by the four-time NASCAR Weekly Series national champion. He first gained a car owner in Pulliam but leaves the team this week as brothers.
In fact, Pierce went hunting with Pulliam the day he made it public that they would part ways at the end of this season. He doesn’t expect that friendship to change even as they race against each other moving forward.
These tough, healthy decisions were necessitated by impending changes at Lee Pulliam Performance, some external partnerships that would change the dynamic of Pierce remaining with the team. Specifically, an incoming manufacturer alliance meant Pulliam would be needed to oversee a different program and Pierce would have to bring his own crew chief to the team.
Pierce could have remained at Lee Pulliam Performance but it would not have been in CARS Tour competition and the veteran short tracker wants to continue forward within a division he has competed in every year since 2018.
“I’ve been on the tour every year since 2018 and I feel like I have been a great ambassador,” Pierce told Short Track Scene on Friday. “We take a lot of pride in that. We’ve been part of the Touring 12 every year that program has existed. I feel like I do a good job of being outspoken about the direction of the series. It’s not any slight to weekly racing but my main focus has been on CARS Tour.”
To that end, that’s why he is joining Carroll Speedshop to contest the full CARS Tour campaign next season with Justin Carroll serving as crew chief. Pierce said he immediately felt a kinship with Justin and John Carroll and felt like it was the place to accomplish his goals.
“They were forthcoming about how much they wanted me to be there,” Pierce said. “He’s one of the youngest crew chiefs but he’s also becoming one of the best. He has a resume as both a driver and crew chief. They’re also good people and it just felt like a good fit.”
And while Pulliam has one of the best programs in the discipline, Carroll Speedshop has become a strong contender with a focus on driver development in recent years.
“We’re excited to welcome Brandon to our Carroll Speedshop team for the 2024 CARS Tour season,” Carroll said. “Brandon comes with a great resume and has been well respected by his competitors throughout his career.
“I know Brandon will be a big asset to our team and we look forward to getting to the track together.”
Pierce believes there is much to gain in having a fresh start, new perspective, and fresh insight around him too.
“Sometimes, change is good,” he said.
“I have loved my five years at LPP, but this is what I feel like I needed to continue growing. It’s going to come with a learning curve but I feel like that will be similar from when I left Nelson (Motorsports) for LPP too.”
What isn’t going to change is the trademark orange No. 2 and his commitment to the team.
“It takes a lot of commitment to run these cars,” he said. “Pierce said. “And anytime we race with someone, I want them to know this is a job to me too. People make a lot of sacrifices in racing and this is another family run team, with a lot of similarities to what Lee built. The shop is located next to their house.
“So, this is a team that makes sacrifices with their time to commit to running up front and I’m committed to them.”