The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

April 30, 2013

Aaron Brown remembered

Hello race fans, and welcome to another edition of The Pit Stop.

This past weekend I got to announce two nights of racing, and one of the competitors brought back some fond memories of one of the best Stock Car racers in the area from several years ago.

Mike Brown of New Sharon was competing in the Pro Stock division at the Figure 8 races at The Brooklyn Raceway, and he is the third generation in the Brown family to pilot the number 54. Mike’s grandfather, Jim Brown, started the Brown family tradition to race the number 54, and he raced in the Sportsman, Late Model and Stock Car divisions at local tracks.

I wrote about Jim many years ago in one of my columns and I asked him why he selected the number 54. He said it was the county number for Keokuk County, which was the county he lived in, and not from the show “Car 54 Where Are You?”

Jim passed down his driving skills to son, Aaron, and he was a fierce competitor in the Stock Car ranks for several years before he left us tragically 19 years ago in March 1994. Aaron was one of my favorite drivers to talk to or interview, and it didn’t take much to get him to flash that ornery grin on his face.

He left us way too early, and I must say that it is neat to see that number 54 back out on the track with Mike behind the wheel. I mentioned over the microphone this past weekend about announcing the number 54 and Mike’s father, Aaron, and his grandfather, Jim, and I had to stop and take a few moments to think about some of those great races that involved the number 54 in the past.

Jim Brown was a great racer, Aaron Brown was a great racer and Mike Brown is making a name for himself. I am sure Aaron is looking down with that ornery grin on his face seeing the number 54 on the track.

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