Unconfigured Ad Widget



No announcement yet.

Highlighting usts families--brinkman part 1

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Highlighting usts families--brinkman part 1

    As we continue our series of the stalwart families of the USTS, we come to the noted family of the Brinkman’s from Springfield Illinois, with Grandfather Fred, his son Todd Sr. and then to Sr’s sons Todd Jr. and Tom. From there it went on to Todd Jr’s Son Tim, and Tim’s son Cam and Tom’s Son Brady….. Got that????
    Fred had a shop in Springfield called South Town Electric, TV, and Radio, a retail shop as the forerunner to the famous name of B&B Electric started by Fred’s son Todd Sr in 1962. Todd liked the electric contracting business, but not the retail side of it. Fred was doing some contracting of electrical service in homes, but Todd wanted to branch out into the commercial electrical contracting side of the opportunities and became successful with Todd Jr. now running a larger operation with brother Tom and son Tim in the mix as well. They went from 10-12 employees to over 100 in a robust electrical contracting firm doing business all over the central part of the state of Illinois.
    Fred started off the family in boat racing by becoming an owner of a C-racing and C-Service equipment. Fred did not drive but enjoyed putting great people behind the wheel of his equipment and they won World and National Championships with it. One of those drivers who won a CRR world Championship in 1956, where other World Championships have been contested, Lake Alfred Florida, won by a fellow named Tom Small Sr. of Florida. The Brinkman Small friendships are long and deep. Now a little fun fact, the late great Tim Small, Tom’s son won what would have been known as the CRR in its day, now the 500R class, was won at Depue by Tim driving Todd Brinkman Jr’s. equipment. Tim drove the beautifully prepared Krier Runabout with the Rossi 440 two cylinder to a convincing victory. Tim was emotional after this win, realizing his father Tom had scored the victory in the Worlds.
    Todd Sr. began driving some of the equipment in the early 50’s and in 59 reeled off 3 straight years of winning the NOA World Championships. This was at the beginning of the golden age of boat racing with Rocky Stone, Henry Shakeshaft, Bud Cowdrey, Hall Tolford, Henry Wagner, Bob Ziemer, Mauel Canarkis, Bob Rake, and others in the C classes. To win 3 in a row was unheard of. In 1964 a break was needed and the equipment was sold to Bob Murphy, also from Springfield as well, but with a caveat, the Brinkman’s had first right of refusal to buy the equipment back when Bob was ready to retire from racing, and in 1974 he sold it back to the Fred and then purchased a brand new trailer and 2 new engines and the race was on and the first inkling of who and what Todd Jr. was to begin unfolding.
    Todd Jr. and his Dad raced against one another for a couple of years, until the accident at Alexandria happened in 1976 as Todd Sr. was involved in the famous first corner accident there. Todd came into the pit area with a huge chunk out of his helmet as he took one in the head while in the water. Todd hung up the life jacket, but Todd Jr. carried on with the Brinkman name and tradition of winning at all levels. In 1976 Todd kind of graduated into the 700R, going from the C-service to the 700R with a difference of about 40mph in speed. Yee Haw get a deep seat and a short rein and go for a rocket ride. Todd raced on into the 80’s and in 87 at Lakeland he got bit pretty hard in an accident that ended his driving career. Todd was very successful while racing, he won Nationals driving against the likes of Billy Seebold, Tom Kirts Sr. and his archrival, one tough customer in Bruce Nicholson. Todd said his goal was to always beat Bruce, but he knew he had to be on the inside of Bruce at the start and get that good inside water to have a shot at beating him. Todd said his goal was to always beat Bruce, but he knew he had to be on the inside of Bruce at the start and get that good inside water to have a shot at beating him. Todd not only won National Championships with over 40 between he and his Dad, but set numerous competition and kilo speed records as well.
    I asked Todd to give me some quick hit answers to favorite and least favorite things he has done and participated in.
    Favorite class, 350R, had 3 or 4 competition records in that class. Favorite racecourse, Alexandria, La, 1-1/4 racecourse, big sweeping turns, water with a ripple, and claimed to be the fastest water in racing. Least favorite racecourse was Lacrosse, Wisconsin on the Mississippi River backwater. The rains came and came, and the winds blew and blew and the racing was never able to get a good run. Best feeling in racing, was watching his Son Tim win the World Title at Lakeland, Fl in 125H, and the day at Depue his team won 4 titles at the Nationals. BTW, Todd’s favorite city to race in has been for years, coming to Depue. The camaraderie of our sponsor, the knowledgeable race fans, and just a super friendly atmosphere, make Depue one of a kind. Notice his best feelings, was not one of his championships, but his pride in others accomplishing their goals. That is the mark of a champion. Although I have to feel that his first championship in 76 or the day he won 3 Nationals at Alex, were up there as well, but the pride he shows in his team efforts give you the knowledge of who he is. You also now you know the reason for favorite racecourse, when he won the 3 championships and barely missed out on the 4th Nationals in the 1100R by .18 of a second on overall time. Wow, what a weekend that must have been. His worst case as you could imagine is Lakeland, Fl where he suffered his career ending injury.
    That did not end this driven young man’s thirst for boat racing, however. Todd went on to become one of the most successful owners of equipment with a myriad of drivers winning championships as Todd did while driving. That is the mark of a championship family, but it gets even better. As I indicated, Todd had been hurt in 87 and from then on, Todd put drivers into his equipment and they added another 20 National Titles to the mix to give the Brinkman family over 60 titles of both World and National Titles. Names like Tom Brinkman, Tim Brinkman, JJ Walls, Denny Henderson, JP Jedwabny, Brian Payn, and our great departed friend, Tim Small whom I referenced earlier. In fact, between Tom’s son Brady, JJ, and Tim Small gave the B&B Electric team, 4 championships at Depue on the same weekend. Quite a feat indeed for a great team and owner.