Unbuckled: Getting to Know Brandon Atkins
Driver of the #4NY Northline Utilities Dodge Charger
Hometown: Au Sable Forks, NY
2015 Season: Finished 5th in ACT Late Model Tour points
What are your favorite off-season hobbies?
In the off-season I like to ski, but snowmobiling is definitely my favorite. I also work on preparing our cars for the season.
What do you do for work/school?
I’m a student (at SUNY Plattsburgh) most of the year, but I spend my time working for Northline Utilities during my breaks.
What is your biggest life accomplishment?
I don't really know. Graduating high school, I suppose – I haven’t made it that far yet.
What are your racing plans for 2016?
We are planning on running the full ACT Late Model Tour again in 2016.
What race(s) are you most looking forward to in 2016?
White Mountain and Airborne. White Mountain is my favorite race track and we've been fast there in the past. I’m excited to see it now that it's repaved, and the PASS doubleheader there should be fun. I always look forward to Airborne because it’s our home track and we’ve had success there in the past.
What was the highlight of the 2015 season for you?
I think the Fall Foliage 200 at Airborne was the coolest for me. After replacing most of the front end following the heat and starting in the back, coming home fifth meant a lot to the team. It helped lead to another fifth at Thompson to finish the season off.
How did you get started in racing?
When I was about eight years old I started racing go-karts. We raced in the VFW parking lot. But I had already been around racing most of my life – my uncle has raced Modifieds at Airborne and on dirt.
Do you have any drivers that you consider a hero or try to emulate?
I don’t know if I would say I emulate them, but I’ve always thought it was cool to watch guys like Chase Elliot and Erik Jones, because of the success they’ve had and having already run several Sprint Cup races at my age.
Tell me about your family?
My parents are Jamie and Shirley, who operate Northline Utilities. I have a 16-year-old sister, Brianna, who definitely provides a lot of our entertainment. Other than that I have a dog, Cooper, and my girlfriend, Kaylee.
Who is your biggest supporter at the track?
My sister for sure – she comes to all the races and really gets into it, she always gives me a big hug after the races, and she makes sure to hog the camera whenever we are in Victory Lane!
Who or what has had the greatest influence on your racing career?
I’d have to say my Dad. If it wasn’t for him, I probably never would have gotten into racing and wouldn’t be doing what I am today.
What is something about you that most people don’t know?
I suppose probably that I’m a New England Patriots fan even though I’m from New York.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
In order to finish first, first you must finish.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully I’ll have graduated from college and have a good enough job to pay for a Super Late Model.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
I’d probably spend it on race cars and other toys.