For some the biggest attraction to auto racing is the adrenaline rush, others the sheer competition, and then for some like Cadillac, Michigan’s Adam Brinks; it’s also about family.
Brinks grew up smelling race fuel and hearing the rumble of race engines, “My Step-dad [Greg Grahek] was racing cars and it was just something that always interested me. The pure horsepower and fast cars I couldn’t resist”. Adam slipped behind the wheel of a Street-Stock at Merritt Raceway 8-years-ago, mimicking Greg by choosing to run with No.2, “I started with his number, but then everyone kept getting us confused so I went with the No.22 and it’s been pretty lucky” Adam then chuckled and said, “Apparently so lucky that he wanted to get in on some of that too because now he is No.22 also”.
After some very successful Street-Stock seasons, Brinks decided 4-years-ago to move into the Pro-Truck division, the move has proven to be the perfect fit for Adam as he has won a multitude of events here at Merritt including the Pro-Truck portion of “Who Who 55”, and the “Woodtic 100”. Brink’s home track definitely suits him well, and his next goal is to be featured on a Merritt Raceway T-Shirt. Always ready with a quip Adam added with a grin, “I keep telling Rick Ancel that I should be on a T-Shirt, the Late Model names are, but I haven’t seen my name on one yet…It’s just not right!”
Adam’s name may not be on the back of a shirt, but it is definitely well known by the regulars, with only one race in the books for 2011, Brinks is already off to a great start. On Saturday night (June 4th) he had a clean sweep picking up Fast time of the night, the 4-car dash win, a charge from the back got him the heat race win, and he made quick work of moving up through the field to pick up the feature.
There’s no denying that Brinks’ No.22 machine is fast, and the fact that it handles so well is something that Adam is really proud and excited about, “When it comes to racing you’re only going to get out of it what you put in, and we put a lot of time and effort into making our cars good. This car Duane Schram and I put together, we built it from scratch, so to have something we built be this fast is quite an accomplishment for me. I have been really fortunate to have a lot of people who have allowed me to pick up some of their knowledge and have helped me out and now we have a pretty fast car”.
Adam has made many great memories in the sport; racing against his dad and also his brother Chris were definite highlights, but one of the best was capturing the 2009 Woodtic 100 at Merritt Raceway, “We kept getting rained out so they ended up running everything as a Sunday show. I had to start last on a track that was dry, dusty, and we were racing in the middle of the day. I ended up coming up through the field and won it…I was pretty happy about that”.
That Woodtic win also moved Brinks one step closer to his 2009 Pro-Truck Points Championship, a title which proved to be a sentimental one for Adam, “We had a good friend of ours and crew member; Craig Schilling, who passed away during the winter of 2008-2009. He was a young guy who got killed snowmobiling…so winning that championship for him was really important to us!”
Racing is only made possible when there is strong network of support behind a driver, and Adam is very grateful for those who make his racing career possible and successful; “Hewett Motorsports builds great engines for us, Lane Automotive hooks us up with great parts, Henry Tompkins puts lubricants in this thing, Mahnke Machine does a lot for us, Holton’s LP Gas helps with tires, and Cadillac Truck Service NAPA is a great help with all sorts of parts” Adam also has the great support of his family; his wife of 5-years Erin, his mom Sue, dad Greg, and his brothers and sister are never too far from the shop or track.
Adam who spends his days working at the family owned Grahek’s Greenery of Cadillac as a Landscaper and Mechanic said when it comes to goals, “I’m never going to make it into the Camping World Truck series, although I would love it. Realistically it’s just not going to happen, but I will definitely ride it out as long as I can just having fun and racing cars”.