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AndyBrass-1

  1. What years did you work for BIGFOOT?
    • 1985 through 1994
  2. Which BIGFOOT truck(s) did you drive?
    • # 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 11
  3. What was your favorite BIGFOOT truck and why?
    • BIGFOOT #11 because by the time we built that truck, we had a pretty good grip on the shock valving and we could dial the handling of the truck to the track, and we made improvements to the sway bar system, making it easier to change and adjust. I was in that truck for 2 years, letting Dan [Runte] take the #14 truck, so the second year was not a learning a new truck year for me. I was very comfortable starting out 1994 in a proven truck.
  4. What was the highlight of your BIGFOOT career?
    • The highlight was winning my 4th championship the year I was retiring, leaving monster trucks (nobody really retires from racing, it’s an addiction). We had problems with the truck not running at its peak, and I slipped into 2nd place in the points series.  Then came back to run the final weekend in Indy, kept focused on the job I wanted to do, played the bracket, and came away with enough wins to regain 1st place in the series, giving BIGFOOT and myself a 4th title.
  5. Is there anything you wish you could have done in your driving career?
    • I was at the front edge of monster trucks, following Jim Kramer.  So what we were doing was at the leading edge, so it was a first for us, and the trucks.  I do wish the racing would have advanced more, and the trucks also.  I think that if the trucks would have been then, where they are today, things would be different in the sport. I think that the 90s really gave time for everyone to catch up and that trucks really took off again in the mid 2000s, and if that would have happened in the mid 90s, then maybe the real racing side would have gained more sponsorship and advanced to a different level … but then again, hindsight is always 20/20.
  6. Is there a particular truck in today’s BIGFOOT fleet that you wish you could drive?
    • Yes, any one of the latest trucks.  I do not know what number they are at now, so one of the last 2 trucks would be something I would like to try.
  7. What do you and don’t you miss about being a BIGFOOT driver?
    • I don’t miss the 220 days on the road [per year].  I always loved traveling, and it was great when I was single.  I spent Christmas on the road, picking up trucks, but I enjoyed it, but now, or even when I left in 1994, I was married and the time on the road is hard if your wife is not with you. Our first son was born just a few months after I quit, and traveling with the Craftsman Truck team in 1995 was hard enough, even though we only did 6-8 races that year. One of the biggest things I miss is the FANS, and the FRIENDS that I made across the country. You meet a lot of people over time, and became good friends, and now not traveling, or moved away, I don’t see very many of them, and that sucks, cause we became as close as family.
  8. Any advice you would give to a rookie?
    • Start young, pay attention, stay focused on your job, give 110%, study what you are working on, and don’t let the temptation of the road life side track your goals. You can do anything you put your mind to, and I am proof of that. Remember now, today almost everyone has a camera, and that you are young children’s idols, heroes, and people that they want to be, and be like.
  9. What do you do for a living?
    • What I do is oversee, maintain, and show vintage cars. I work for a company out of Seattle, WA as an operations manager and mechanic. I restore and maintain them to better than new condition, haul them to shows, judging events, race tracks and road rallies, all over the states. This is one reason I see and support the Monster Truck Hall Of Fame, that preservation of the trucks and the history of the sport is vital to survival of it in years to come. It might seem like it now, but give it another 50-60 years, and with the advancement of technology and automobiles, it will be a huge part. Try and find information, parts photos or a manual for a 1914 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, and let alone find a guy to fix it. The people in the sport now, will be the ones telling the story later.
  10. What have you been doing since you left BIGFOOT?
    • After I left BIGFOOT in 1994 I started working on building a truck for the Nascar Craftsmen Truck Series. I partnered with Mittler Brothers Machine to campaign the truck in 1995. We got off to a late start and missed our first race in Kansas City, MO, but made it to other races later on. I worked with local racers Tony Roper, Mike and Kenny Wallace, to get some knowledge, training and seat time in the truck, but due to the changes in the series program and most of the Winston Cup teams at the time fielding trucks, I had to get 10 years worth of experience in 10 weeks. So with that I decided to step back and work as a crew member. In the next 2 years, I worked in the shop, prepped the truck and crewed. Mittler had some great guys come through and get their start in the sport (Kenny Irwin, Jamie McMurry, Carl Edwards and others). In 1997 I accepted a position with Hogan Racing, when they split from Bobby Rahal, and moved their team to St. Louis. Here I was working as a fabricator and at race time, I was the fueler for the car. This was a great time, as working for a CART team, we flew to races and back home, so the time away was not that long. I worked with great people and with an ex-Formula 1 driver, JJ Lhetto, as well as a new driver who became a good friend and a great driver, Helio Castaneves. At the end of 1999 Hogan lost sponsorship and the team dissolved. I then moved to southern Oregon, where my wife Sherry was currently working and where she grew up. Here I worked for my father-in-law, who owned a rock quarry, as a truck driver, mechanic and anything that needed to be done. In late 2001, I left the quarry and went to work where I am currently. In the beginning years we had several vintage race cars that we actively raced. My job was to keep the cars up and race prep them. As the years progressed, we raced less and collected more. Now the biggest task is to keep them all running, show them when ready and arrange or transport them to showings.
  11. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
    • I don’t have a lot of spare time.  My job runs me pretty hard, but we also have 3 boys, Austin, Camden and Bryson, who take up any spare time. Austin is older (20), so he is into his own things with friends now, but Camden and Bryson are 13 and 10, so we do stuff together. We enjoy working on the property we live on, 3 acres on the side of a mountain, so there is always something to clean up. Bryson is starting BMX bike racing, so that is taking off. He will be the next Brass you see in a monster truck because at this time we are working on how to put rear steering on his off-road buggy. When I am not doing that stuff, I really enjoy spending time with Sherry, just hanging out.
  12. Anything you want to add?
    • With that said, all I have left to say is that I had a great time at BIGFOOT, met some great fans, friends and my wife. I want to first thank Bob, for giving me the job and the opportunity to work on and drive the trucks.  I want to thank Jim for pushing me into driving them. Also, the guys that worked in the shop maintaining them on a regular basis, the office, management personnel that kept the trucks booked and sponsored and all the crew that worked alongside me. They all were a great bunch of guys. It was a big part of my life and I enjoyed it. I have some of the best memories ever and hope to sit down one day with everyone and start swapping stores. I am on Facebook, even though I am not much on the social media scene, but I will respond. It might be 6-8 weeks, but I do check it, when I remember my password.

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