Brian Robie has only been racing for five years, but 2020 was by far the best of his career.
Before this season, Robie had only won one championship in his career. In 2020 he won three.
Robie was the Division I track champion at Claremont, Monadnock, and Hudson Speedways in New Hampshire. He won 10 races – tied for second most among any driver in the top 15 nationally – and had 29 top-five finishes in 31 races on the way to a fifth-place finish in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Division I standings.
Robie and his team started the 2020 season with a lot of uncertainty. They lost two engines in their modified the first race of the season at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida. He then went back home to the north and had to race at Hudson in the first year the track hosted modifieds.
It didn’t take long to get on the right track though. Once he got back to a routine with weekly racing, Robie said “everything just took off from there.”
“We stayed consistent, we got a couple wins early, and then it was a little while before we got back to Victory Lane. Then it was a bunch at the end of the year, but we stayed consistent.”
It was that consistency that Robie said was the key for his team this season. That and going through the cars over the winter and coming into the season more prepared than in years past.
“The learning curve is still pretty steep, but it seemed like we got a pretty decent handle on what we needed to do to the cars at all three tracks to be consistent and finish up front,” he said.
Robie’s real goal coming into the season was the New Hampshire state championship, an achievement he won by 16 points. Going for a state title was why he raced so many times at three tracks.
“The state championship, to me, is kind of one of those bigger accomplishments that people can be really proud of. I’ve seen other guys win it and it was just one of those things I felt like I wanted to accomplish as least once. I wasn’t necessarily sure if we could do it this year, but the way it turned out it played right into our hands and kind of exceeded expectations.”
It just so happened his strong racing week-to-week helped him find his name near the top of the national points, something that wasn’t his intention and was a nice surprise.
“It worked out great,” he said. “I was really happy we were up in the top three for most of the year. It was kind of surprising, and certainly a neat thing to see.
“I certainly couldn’t be happier with the way that all turned out.”
Five years into his racing career, Robie said his team has many accomplishments to be proud of. He knows there are a lot of racers who are in the sport a long time and never reach his level of success.
That doesn’t mean he’s satisfied, though.
“I’m definitely proud of what we’ve done and what we’ve accomplished. What makes me feel even better about everything is I feel like we have even more left. I feel like we can do even better,” Robie said.
“It seems like every year we get better. If we can improve even a fraction of what we did from this year to next year we’ll be in really great shape in general, regardless of where we run.”