If you are an open wheel dirt track racing fan, you might recognize Brad Doty for his work as a motorsport analyst on CBS, ESPN, Speed, TNN, The Outdoor Channel, Australia’s C7 and Versus. Maybe you read his columns in Sprint Car and Midget Magazine. Or you’ve probably seen him rolling around the track during a local show, or a World of Outlaws Sprint Car series event.
Whether it’s in front of the camera, behind the scenes, or running first in the race, Doty’s been involved in motorsports since he can remember.
“A friend of mine, whose dad was a well known local racer, started racing when he was 16 years old and I would go watch him. That is how I became interested in racing. I figured if he could do it maybe I could too.”
And race he did…
At the tender age of 15, Brad sat inside his very first race car. “It was an old hand built,” he recalls. “A modified that someone else had built 20 years earlier. I ran one night a week at a small local track and luckily I caught on fairly quickly. I had dreams of moving up and hoped to someday get into a sprint car.”
After winning numerous local races, Brad was recognized by a Sprint car owner and began his ascension to the top of his career.
“I won a lot of races and moved up to a bigger team with a better race car. That’s the progression most drivers have to go through to be able to climb the racing ladder and that is how I eventually ended up racing with the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, which is the premier sprint car series in the world.”
Race to the Finish
After 6 years of working his way up, Brad entered the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and was named the 1982 Rookie of the Year. Just five years later, he finished second in the National points standings against 20-time national champion, Steve Kinser.
Unfortunately, in 1988 just one year after his incredible placement in the championship, Brad had a terrible accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. His driving career ended abruptly.
For most people, such a traumatic incident would be the end of a lot of things. But for Brad, it was the beginning of a new journey.
“After my accident I became an analyst for sprint car television broadcasts. I worked for many of the major TV networks and still do to this day. I also write a monthly column for Sprint Car and Midget Magazine and co-promote a World of Outlaws race every year that draws the best drivers in the world including, NASCAR drivers, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell.”
When Brad isn’t caught up in the world of motorsports, he spends his time welding.
“I did a lot of TIG welding on race cars over the years and I got into doing more welding after my accident. Welding was, and still is a great excuse to drop the helmet down and ignore my phone and just take time to gather my thoughts.”
Farm to (Weld) Table
“I grew up on a farm where we had a Lincoln AC buzz box welder. Starting at 10 years old, I taught myself to weld broken machinery. I burned up a lot of 6013 rod and the welds weren’t always pretty but over time I got better at it. At the age of 13, I cut the frame off of an old Combine and built a single axle trailer to haul, mostly fire wood, but it got used for many other things around the farm as well.
Farming also teaches you a lot about mechanical work, something always needed fixed on the farm. I went to a vocational school for welding my junior year of high school then switched to an auto mechanics class my senior year. Although I never intended to be a welder or an auto mechanic full time, I was just trying to make myself a better mechanic and welder so I could do a better job fixing my race car.”
Welding Tips and Tricks
“Not being able to use my legs I have to use a hand amptrol. I prefer to weld aluminum and I’ve always used the ‘Gator’ belt type amptrol. The gator belt would sometimes stick and not want to move freely so more pressure was needed, but then all the sudden it would jump loose and the torch would move and it was hard to keep the bead uniform.
I would get so frustrated. If you are a welder you know how critical it is to not to move the torch to get a nice uniform bead, especially when welding aluminum. That is why I was so excited to try out the new CK Steady Grip Amptrol.”
“With the new CK Steady Grip Amptrol, which also has a very smooth slide action, it is so much nicer and easier to control the amperage, which also makes for a better bead and weld, that I highly recommend it to anyone who even occasionally has a need for a hand amptrol! The pistol grip can also be easily removed if you get into a position where it is not needed or space doesn’t allow for it.
Arc-Zone.com is where I got my CK Steady Grip Amptrol and if you only weld as a hobby, or are a professional earning your living by welding, Arc-Zone.com has everything you need for any welding project imaginable!”
If you are a race fan and want to keep up with the latest news about the sprint car race Brad co-promotes, or want to know when the next sprint car race is going to be on television, follow him on Twitter.