Local snowmobile racer finding success in top level of the sport

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- This weekend's Wausau 525 was a homecoming for Weston's very own Brandon Grendzinski, racing in the USSA PROSTAR CUP, the top level of ice oval racing in North America.

"He drives like nothing scares him, which scares all of us," team assistant Jeff Stoltz said. "There's no where he can't go."

Where Brandon went this weekend was to the second step of the podium in the 525, a hallmark achievement for him. Success didn't always come this frequently though.

"It takes a lot of support to get where you're at, you don't just walk on to the scene and have it, you've got to build it up," Grendzinski said.

Brandon grew up racing carts and sprint cars, but switched lanes five years ago with the help of a familiar name in the Wausau auto industry.

"He got into snowmobiling by coming out to the 525 to help out Jerry Brickner, and Jerry got him hooked and he's been hooked ever since," Stolz said.

There were plenty of bumps on and off the track as Brandon started in the lowest levels of snowmobile racing, using older equipment and hand built sleds. As Brandon has climbed up the ranks he's grown as a driver, the equipment has improved and the sponsorship dollars have increased. But the secret ingredient behind his success is that everyone involved in this operation considers themselves a family, and that has taken this group to heights they never thought were possible when they got started.

"The support and the passion of everybody around me gives me the energy to keep pushing through and to want to be on top," Brandon said.

Back-to-back podium finishes have Brandon sitting comfortably in the top-five in the points standings with two races remaining, making this one of the most successful seasons Brandon and his team have had.

"The ultimate goal is to win a championship down the road. I think in the next few years we can make it happen."