HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – In the first week of December, 26-year-old Travis Braden raced against current NASCAR Cup Series Champion Chase Elliott and last year’s champion Kyle Busch at the 2020 Snowball Derby in Pensacola, Florida.
Braden says this race was a step forward in his racing career.
The Snowball Derby is definitely the biggest short-track race, so when I say short track race, that’s really anything outside of NASCAR.Travis Braden, asphalt stock car driver
Originally from Wheeling, West Virginia, Braden now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina near one of the largest race tracks in the U.S., the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Last year, he won the Snowball Derby, but finished 13th this year.
When traveling home for the holidays, he made a quick stop to visit with his team and sponsor at Keaton’s Collision Center in Huntington.
Braden was previously sponsored by a Florida-based company but made the switch to stay in his home state while competing nationwide. Keaton’s Collision Center owner Rick Keaton and his son Jake say they are happy to be a part of his journey.
Braden says having the opportunity to work with a team from West Virginia has been a great experience.
This year, going to the snowball derby with a team from West Virginia… a big part of my career, getting to today, was because of all the people from the state of West Virginia having supported me with my fan base here.Travis Braden, asphalt stock car driver
Keaton’s son Jake works at the collision center and also has a history in racing at Ona Speedway, where Braden has competed in the past as well, making their relationship more personal.
As of right now, Braden is currently only racing short-tracks which vary in distance from a 1/4 mile to a 3/4 mile, but is aiming to race with Elliott and Busch in the NASCAR championship in the near future.