The grandson of lifelong drag racer, Chuck Beal, Brandon Welch grew up watching his grandfather race his championship-winning series of Bealmobile alcohol funny cars. Like many young racers, it was his childhood experience at the races that cemented his lifelong dream to become a professional funny car driver.
“To me, funny car drivers were like astronauts,” remembered Brandon. “I saw these guys as equal parts rock star, daredevil, and athlete. I had to find a way to be like them.”
Where Brandon deviates from the norm is in how he went about achieving his dream. Brandon didn’t have the opportunity to drive lower-level sportsman race cars in competition, so he worked to excel at the areas he could control: mechanics and business.
After high school, Brandon received a taste of driving at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School. He was taught by none other than professional funny car racer, Jack Beckman. Brandon earned his Super Comp license in a dragster, and used that experience as further motivation to stay focused on his dream.
He went into San Diego State University’s College of Business with all cylinders lit. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in three years and MBA by 23 years old.
While working on school and career, Brandon’s involvement with Beal’s race team increased. He worked on every part of Beal’s nitro funny car, becoming a pivotal part of the crew. Brandon also gained a different kind of racing experience, taking control of many of the day-to-day business operations of Beal Racing. After 17 years on the crew, he still joins the crew servicing the race car between rounds.
Brandon has focused his off-track life on following his dream to build a racing career. He worked for the San Diego Chargers and a sports marketing agency to learn the business of sports. Then he worked in digital marketing and eCommerce, and most recently he worked in finance as a public speaker and investment banker to refine his presentation and media skills, and learn finance.
“Every decision I’ve made in my career was motivated by this dream to drive a funny car,” Brandon reflects. “Thanks to my grandfather, Chuck Beal, and a great crew of guys that have the same passion for racing and believe in me to drive their car, I am living my dream.”
When asked what advice he would give to young fans with their own dreams, Brandon says, “Dream big! Find purpose and motivation in your goals. Work hard, find mentors, and you will be excited for the possibility of every new day.”
Brandon makes home in San Diego, CA with his wife, Kathryn, and twin daughters, Kate and Claire.