Mad Cow Racing Offers Unique Look

To say that what would become Mad Cow Racing got  off to less than a stellar start would be putting things mildly.

Parked outside a barn on the outskirts of Windfall sat three Dodge Neons and a Honda Civic, all white with black spots. This is the home of Mad Cow Racing which competes in the front wheel drive division at Anderson Speedway most Saturday nights.

The team was started by Trever Abbott of Greentown in 2006 when he purchased a Chevrolet Lumina that was painted white with black spots that resembled a cow.

"I took it to the track as is," Abbott said. "The kids loved it."

The first time Abbott took to the high-banked, quarter-mile track, he hit the outside wall during qualifying. After some minor repairs,  Abbott found the concrete wall a second time during a heat race.

Helping Abbott as his pit crew were Gary Bragg Sr., his son Gary Jr. and Chad Worland. After that initial venture, Mad Cow Racing was formed. The Braggs and Worland made their debuts in 2007.

The team started racing Dodge Neons and painted them all white with black spots. The Neons all sport "Moopar" on the rear deck in honor of Chrysler.

On opening night Abbott was the fast qualifier in the division and finished second in the feature event. Bragg Jr. got his first win ever in a heat race followed to the checkered flag by his father.

Last year Abbott and the Bragg father and son duo finished seventh, eighth and ninth in the final point standings.

Abbott worked for Chrysler in Kokomo for 10 ½ years before taking a buyout. The elder Bragg retired from Chrysler after 36 years and Bragg Jr. has worked there for 12 years and is currently laid off. Worland works for Toyota.

"The learning curve is steep," Abbott said of trying to master the high-banked paved oval. "You don't realize how fast you're going."

Abbott prefers to use the low groove when racing.

Bragg Sr., 62, said he was at the Anderson track all the time and when a Neon became available he climbed behind the wheel.

"My wife's not real happy about it," Bragg said of his racing. "I only run the oval and won't do the figure-8."

Misfortune struck Bragg in a different way the first time he took to the track.

After qualifying, Bragg was leading the first heat race he entered and was black flagged with two laps remaining for running faster than his qualifying time.

"The second race I was leading and was taken out in turn three," he laughed. "I've never led a race since."

Bragg Jr. said since deciding to race, the team has purchased 20 Neons and uses those parts to build their race cars. The work is
done on property owned by Abbott's family outside Windfall.

In the 100-lap endurance race to end the 2008 season, Bragg's Neon was totaled when a front hub broke, sending him into the track exit in turn four.

"For the money you can't beat the fun," Bragg Jr. said even after the wreck that knocked his earrings down the front straight.

Bragg Jr. likes to run the high line.

"I wish more people would bring their kids out," he said of the weekly racing at Anderson Speedway. "We do a lot of fun things. Last year we had someone dressed in a cow costume and passed out candy to the kids."

The team participates in the Night of Thrills event in a pick-up truck painted to match the race cars. This year they intend to compete in a trailer race with a hot tub filled with water in the back of the truck.

The only member of the team to have won a race is Abbott.

"I've come close numerous times," Bragg Jr. said of that elusive first win.

Worland races in both the oval and figure-8 events in his Honda Civic.

"I try to stay away from the outside wall," he said. "I like the Figure-8 racing more."

The original Lumina was destroyed when Abbott was competing in a figure-8 event and was hit at the crossover by the race leader.

"It rung my bell," he recalled.

The team is competing for the $100-for-winning-a-feature event. It has to place in the top five of the feature to break even.

Abbott did finish fourth in the 100-lap endurance race last year.

Like any race team from the highest level of NASCAR and Indy Car Racing, the team is looking for sponsors to defray costs of competing. Bragg Sr. said the team races clean and won't push people out of the way during a race.

"We race each other pretty hard," he laughed, "there's lots of

Reprinted from the Kokomo Tribune