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Brian Trout - Born to Race

Brian Trout

Brian, in Paul's '37 Chevy Coupe in 1968, was addicted to racing at a young age
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Mike, Kyle, and Christina with the completed car in 1996 prior to hitting the track for the first time

Going Five Wide at Eagle in 1996
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All cleaned and ready for action in 1997

No doubt one of the most exciting 1997 Show & Tells for the kids

Brian discovered that approximately 30 kids can fit inside the racecar!

Hot laps at Eagle in 1997
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Brian and Paul with the hardware at the 1997 Eagle Raceway Awards Banquet

A common site after the races, Brian signing autographs for the fans after a 1998 I-80 event

The Trout Family Racing Team at I-80 in 1998 - Paul, Sherri, Mike, Kyle, Christina, Chalie, Lori, and Brian
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2000 Sponsor Randy Taylor of Nebraskaland Siding & Windows poses with the race team
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At speed at Eagle during the 2000 Championship season

Brian Trout is a name that race fans are getting very accustomed to seeing at the top of the weekly race results and points standings. His fellow competitors are also getting very accustomed to seeing his rear bumper on the racetrack. We now shine our Dirt Driver Spotlight on this two-time Champion.

Brian was born to Paul and Sherri Trout on November 11, 1966 in Beatrice, Nebraska, but it was clear that he was hooked on racing prior to that date. "Mom said I would do cartwheels in her belly whenever they were at a racetrack, or whenever Dad turned a corner a little faster than he should have in the family car, while she was pregnant with me," Brian laughs.

The Trouts moved to Hastings the following year, where Brian spent his childhood. Brian got a good taste of racing at a young age, as Paul began competing at the local tracks with a í37 Chevy Coupe before Brian reached his second birthday. Paul raced in the Stock Division under the Central Nebraska Racing Association sanction. He frequently competed at tracks in Hastings, Kearney, and Lexington, Nebraska and brought home a Top 10 in points in his first season.

After Paul hung up his driving helmet a few years later, the family stayed involved in racing from the spectator side of the fence throughout the 70ís. They attended local races on a regular basis at tracks such as Hastings, Sunset, Knoxville, and State Fair Park, and even made the trek east to the NASCAR superspeedways at Rockingham and Charlotte, North Carolina.

At the age of six, Brian became a big brother when Paul and Sherri had their second child, Anne. At age eight, the family moved to Omaha. Around this time, Brian took a great interest in building plastic models, a hobby he still enjoys today. When he was 13, he learned to hunt. He also enjoyed sports and participated on the swim team during his high school years.

Brian attended Southeast Community College in Milford to get his degree in Diesel Truck Technology, where he learned the mechanical skills that he has used while employed at companies such as Benson Service Center, Smart Repair, House of Mufflers, and Lyleís Discount Tire. He also spent time as a manager for five years at Meineke Muffler prior to his current position as a service truck mechanic at Rental Service Corporation.

In 1987 Brian met Lori Belik through a mutual friend. "I was at her house one day and he was there," Lori explains. "Next thing I knew he was calling me and asking me out!" Brian and Lori decided they couldnít live without each other and were married just ten months later. They started a family soon afterwards and now have three children - Christina, 13; Kyle, 11; and Mike, 10. One of the activities the family enjoys together is attending UNO Maverick and Omaha Lancer hockey games. Brian and Lori are also very involved with Mikeís hockey playing. "Mike just finished his sixth season of hockey and heís only ten," says Brian. "Christina and Kyle are also great athletes, actively involved in volleyball and basketball."

In 1995 Brian and Paul decided it was time to get a Trout back onto the racetrack. They converted a 1974 Monte Carlo into a racecar over the winter months leading up to the 1996 season. Being die-hard Dale Earnhardt fans, they painted the car yellow and blue per Dale's Wrangler paint scheme. The number 88 was chosen to honor the year that Brian and Lori were married. Brian drove it in the Fam Sedan class at Eagle that year and enjoyed immediate success. "I finished 3rd in the Feature on the first night out," Brian recalls, "And I won the Feature on the third night!" Brian won several more Features that year and, although he experienced more than his share of bad racing luck with flat tires, he pulled off a 7th place finish in the points. The awards were spread out nicely among the whole family. "My dad won the Mechanic of the Year Award and, thanks to help from my wife and kids, we also won the Best Appearing Team Award," Brian proudly states.

Brian dominated on the track in 1997, capturing eight Feature wins and four Trophy Dash wins and Paul successfully defended his Mechanic of the Year Award. The only disappointment to the season was that Brian fell just a few points shy of the Track Championship to Doug Oliverius, who, while not posting the wins that Brian had, was much more consistent throughout the season.

1998 forced some changes in the Troutsí racing schedule. "Eagle dropped the Fam Sedan class, so we raced at I-80 Speedway in the Hobby Stock class," Brian explains. The change didnít phase the team one bit, as Brian continued right where he left off at Eagle the year before. "We won four Features and a Trophy Dash," claims Brian. More importantly, the team improved their consistency, allowing Brian to control the points lead during most of the season and bring home the Championship when the final checkered flag fell.

Brian and Paul decided to take the 1999 season off to enjoy the previous yearís Championship and take a much-needed break from the hard work and late nights involved in maintaining a top-notch racing operation. Brian did make one appearance on the track that season, which ended with bittersweet results. "We got the itch to run on the 4th of July weekend at I-80," explains Brian. "We won the race, got claimed, refused the claim, and sat out the rest of the year."

With support from new sponsor, Nebraskaland Windows, Brian and Paul decided to make the jump up to the Flyer class at Eagle in 2000. Not being in a position to afford a new car, they simply made the modifications they could to the old car to see how it would compete in the higher class. With the more advanced competition in the Flyer class, they knew the domination they had enjoyed in the Fam Sedan and Hobby Stock classes would likely not continue. Nevertheless, Brian still pocketed a Feature win during the season. And the consistency the team had developed during their 1998 I-80 Championship paid huge dividends as Brianís numerous Top 5ís and Top 10ís, along with only one DNF, brought home his second Points Championship. Brian was also named the Flyer Rookie of the Year.

Brian has had a lot of help along the way to the top of his sport. "We couldnít do any of it without the sponsors," says Brian. The companies who support the team are All Concepts Remodeling, Nebraskaland Siding & Windows, Quality Tire, Willard Auto Machine, Sparkle Wash, and Action Battery. Brian also thanks his family for all of their help. "Dad puts more hours into the car than I can count," Brian admits. "Lori and Mom videotape the races and touch up the paint and my kids keep the car and trailer looking clean." Brian is also thankful for the help of friends. Most nights Paul serves as both Crew Chief and Crew but numerous individuals have also helped on the car including Paul & Sean O'Brien, Rod Lee, Keith Shorley, Josh Jones, and Don Welch.

When Brian isnít racing, he enjoys spending time with his family. "My biggest hobbies are taking my kids to their hockey, volleyball, and other sports practices and games," says Brian. He also tries to make some time to hunt, work on plastic models, and follow hockey whenever possible. Brianís favorite food is steak and potatoes. He enjoys many varieties of music, from AC/DC to Garth Brooks. He likes comedy movies. Fast Times at Ridgemont High, American Pie, and Young Frankenstein are some of his favorites. His TV is typically tuned into SpeedVision or other car shows.

Brianís immediate future plans include defending his 2000 Championship in the Flyer class at Eagle this season. His long-term goal is to move up to a higher class if he can obtain sponsorship or find a car owner who is looking for a driver/mechanic. He also looks forward to helping his kids get involved in racing someday. "Both boys have shown interest in racing Go-Karts," Brian says.

Brian enjoys winning. That much is obvious. But even more than the victories, what Brian really enjoys about racing are the people. "The people Iíve met through racing are second to none," Brian states. He enjoys meeting the fans in the pits and signing autographs for them. He especially likes talking with the kids. In 1997 Brian took his car to his kidsí school for Show & Tell. "I would recommend this to any racer," Brian suggests. "It took half a day but the kids still talk about it and it was a blast for me too!" Brian is also working on getting the Make-A-Wish Foundation involved in coming to the track to allow children with life-threatening illnesses to enjoy a night at the races as honorary guests.

Although fierce competitors, Brian and Paul are racers with their priorities in line. "Here's our racing philosophy," Paul states. "One - We want to race clean, have fun and be competitive; Two - Kids are our most important race fans; Three - What happens on the track stays on the track; and Four - We'll always help out a fellow racer when we can."

Whether Brian continues to pilot the old í74 Monte Carlo far into the foreseeable future or he lands that sponsorship to get him a ride in a Modified or Late Model, it is likely that the fans will continue seeing the Brian Trout name at the top of those weekly race results and points standings. And it is also likely there will be a lot of drivers chasing that yellow and blue #88 for years to come.

Written By Dustin Yurize

Thursday March 22, 2001

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