Briar Lapradd

Name
Briar LaPradd
Birth Date
Aug. 27, 2002
Hometown
Manchester, Tenn.

Briar LaPradd joins JR Motorsports as driver of the team’s No. 88 Ledford Billiards/Maconi Speed Shop Chevrolet in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series for 2022, and the rookie driver is eager for the challenge at one of the top teams in the top series for sim racers around the world.

The 19-year-old comes to JRM after a solid performance in the ladder series leading up to the eNCCiRS, just a few seasons from starting his career as a sim racer. His father, Bob, played a big role in getting his son in the game.

“My dad is a big race fan,” LaPradd said. “The first race I ever watched, Dad sat me down in a chair, propped me up and tried to get me to watch the 2003 Daytona 500. I guess he was trying to raise a young race fan, and he did it right. I’ve been into NASCAR all my life. I expanded my love of the sport and motorsports in general by watching Formula One, IMSA...any type of racing.”

When the young LaPradd was starting out in virtual racing, it was on a console. The move to the iRacing simulation came, again, after a question from his father.

“In 2016, I was playing the console games at the time (NASCAR 14 and 15 on the PlayStation 3) and some of my buddies I was racing with made the switch over to iRacing,” LaPradd said. “I would see them racing in some broadcasted races. My dad asked me, ‘why aren’t you doing this?’ I said it was a little pricy to get into and it depends on what kind of equipment you get. We ended up going a little bit on the cheaper side to start with and moved over to iRacing. Dad helped me out with that, being a kid still in school, and I ended up racing with friends.”

From there, it was a mission to climb the ladder.

“About the start of 2019, I started taking it seriously and people around me were telling me I could do it and I just needed to take the time,” LaPradd said. “I started working on my sim racing career and making it to the top level where we are now.”

On the Road to Pro Series in 2020, LaPradd had speed, but not the race craft to create his own luck. “I had the speed to make it, but I didn’t have the right mentality. I kept trying to go out and be flashy when I didn’t need to be. I finally calmed down and got my head in the right place. I just had to go earn some points. I was able to stream all the races and kept all the videos. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned.”

It was during this time frame when LaPradd hooked up with Cameron Ledford of Ledford Billiard Supply and Jeff Maconi of Maconi Setup Shop, the sponsors for his first season at the top level of sim racing. Ledford had an eye on the young driver and eventually came up with a program for him in the Road to Pro series. Maconi came in soon after and made it so LaPradd could advance to the Coca-Cola iRacing Series through its Contender series.

“Honestly, I was shocked,” LaPradd said upon getting the offer to fill the seat in the No. 88 for JRM. “I didn’t expect it at all. I figured this would a seat that was hard to get during the free-agency period. I am honestly honored. It’s a big role, an important seat to fill in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series. I’m honored to drive the No. 88 for JR Motorsports this year in my rookie season. I look forward to staying in the series for a long time, in the No. 88.”

He’ll have Ledford Billiard Supply and Maconi Setup Shop on his car during his first season at the top level. Ledford Billiard Supply will be on the car for 15 of the 18 races, with Maconi Setup Shop colors for the other three.

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