News from the Source

Meet AFS Badger Midget Driver Brandon Waelti

Meet AFS Badger Midget Driver Brandon Waelti

Despite running an abbreviated schedule in 2023, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin's Brandon Waelti won four features and managed a top-ten in points. You will find few drivers in an AFS Badger Midget Series field, that have more laps or years with the club. Thanks to Brandon for taking time out from his busy schedule to tell us a little about himself:

Owner: Brandon Waelti
Waelti Racing

Sponsors: Club Lamark, Spankins Motorsports, Storage and Handling Systems, Olson Vacuum, Bradley Farms, Fowler Heating and Air Conditioning, Dawner Motorsports, Elco Truck Rental, Lothe Christmas Trees, The Hill Tavern, Conrad Real Estate, Steve Sainsbury Racing, Behling Racing Equipment, I Know a Guy Home Repair, Dave’s Masonry; BRS Radiator, Machine and Fabrication; Simpson Race Products, Esslinger Engineering.

Crew: Aaron Fiscus, Mike Hughes, Joey Rhone, Jim Shulenberg, Jeff Jesberger, Dawn Huss, Cami Waelti

BMARA: Were you a fan of racing before you got behind the wheel and if so, who were your heroes and what tracks did you attend?

Waelti: My dad, LeRoy, was always into hot rods and racing, but he was more into drag racing. So initially I went to drag races when I was young. Some kid named Billy Berg started working with my dad in late 80’s and convinced my dad to come watch him try to race a midget. So off to Angell Park we went and I was hooked ever since. Billy Berg, Dan Boorse, Tony Stewart and Page Jones were all my heroes growing up. Early on in my racing Mike Fell was a big mentor and hero to me.

BMARA: Give us a synopsis of your racing career:

Waelti: All I wanted to do was race midgets at Angell Park, but my dad said we better start on a smaller scale. With the help of the Sainsbury family I ran go karts from like 92’-96’. Ran all dirt ovals winning a championship in Delaware, Iowa.

Started racing midgets in 1996 with a car bought from Dan Boorse. Won my first feature in 2000 at Angel Park. Predominantly running Badger but often ran some USAC, POWRi and NAMARS when time permitted. A

I also had an opportunity to run a Midwest Truck in 1999 for Kevin Fillner (teammate to Billy Berg) at Madison International Speedway.

Early to mid 2000’s I was able to run a handful of races each year for Joe Wood and Jason Schuler from Pathfinder Chassis in the ASA Late Model Series.

Won several features with the midget at tracks including, Angel Park, Beaver Dam, Sandbox Arena, Rockford and LaSalle to name a few. After retiring a few times, Harlin Kittleson talked me into running the entire Badger schedule in 2016 and was fortunate to win the Badger championship. Now just pick and choose races to get my racing fix.

BMARA: How much time do you spend on the car each week during the season?

Waelti: I spend a ridiculous amount of time during the week and off season on the car. I’ve been told I’m OCD, so I’m overly particular about everything. I take pride in generally not having too many dnfs… so to do that is to spend mass amounts of time at the shop. I’m probably there more than usually needed but just part of how I run our race program.

BMARA: What is your day job and how does racing fit in?

Waelti: I co-own a business, BRS Radiator, Machine and Fabrication in Madison with my friend Mark Klang. We do radiator rebuilding, hydraulic cylinder rebuilding, machining, Tig welding and fabrication. The responsibilities of the company makes it hard to take off work to go race during the week. Adulting sucks sometimes! But I was fortunate to travel and race a lot when I was younger.

BMARA: What's something interesting the fans might not know about you?

Waelti: I have a 16 year old daughter that is heavily involved in soccer and FFA and of course racing!

When not racing I enjoy driving and working on my 1963.5 Ford Falcon restomod.
Still own my first car that I bought when I was 13.
I’m the 50 lap track record holder at Angel Park set in 2000.
Have raced against many fellow competitors and past racers who now sponsor me : Billy Berg- Storage and Handling, Brian Hankins- Spankins Motorsports, Doug Schenck- Olson Vacuum, Dan Boorse- Elco Truck Rental, Nick Conrad-Conrad Real Estate.

Article by: Bill Blumer Jr. with Brandon Waelti
Photo by: Bill Blumer Jr.

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