Brad Loyet hasn’t driven since his injury but for the Gateway Dirt Nationals he would ‘Make it work’
St. Louis, Missouri racer Brad Loyet has spent his whole life chasing race tracks. In February 2018, Loyet was seating the bead on a race tire. To do that, tires are inflated until the tire is flush against the edge of the rim.
In the blink of an eye, a racers worst nightmare happened. The tire exploded.
Loyet suffered a broken wrist. In addition, the impact generated enough force to imprint a bruise on his leg in the clearly defined shape of a bead-lock rim.
The 30-year-old driver hasn’t been in a car since the incident at the race shop earlier this year. For 2018, the Gateway Dirt Nationals has added a class of dirt racing midgets. The race sits just a few miles from where Loyet grew up and where he’s still based. That’s a tough race for him to sit back and watch.
This weekend, he’s on site in the convention center of the Gateway Dirt Nationals event in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. The Loyet Motorsports team has prepared a dirt midget for Kevin Thomas Jr and Brad Loyet is turning the wrenches as quickly as he’s allowed.
Beyond wrenches, Loyet told me that if he had an invite to the Gateway Dirt Nationals, he would have jumped in the car and grabbed the steering wheel.
Related: See photos from Brad Loyet’s injury
Brad Loyet talks the Gateway Dirt Nationals
It struck me when you said you wish you had an invite to this race. Not to be too blunt, but I was under the impression you wouldn’t drive again?
“Well, I mean, it’s in my backyard so coming here… I would make it happen,” Brad Loyet told RacingNews.co.
“I don’t know if I would have been super competitive or not. I obviously haven’t strapped in a car since the Chili Bowl. It’s just something. A big race like this. I’m the closest midget racer to the event. It would have been cool to be a part of.”
The midget division of the Gateway Dirt Nationals is invitation only. There are no free range entries for the newest class under The Dome.
You haven’t driven since right? So, if you would have gotten an invite would you have made it work with one hand?
“I would have forced myself to. Ya, no problem. I don’t know if I would have been any good. But, I would have came.”
Is there a plan to get back in the car?
“Right now, I’m just focusing on trying to get as much mobility back. I’ve had two surgeries now. I still lack range of motion in my wrist, grip in my hand. I’m just trying to get myself better before I push it.”
“My surgeon said, ‘Yeah, you can race but just don’t crash.’ So, that’s kinda where I’m at right now.”
“I have plates holding my bones together. They’ve healed somewhat but I’m still not out of the woods yet.”
Doctors are thinking that after a couple more surgeries you’d improve significantly or something else?
“Right now, I’m kind of on a ticking time clock from my last surgery in July. I basically have a year to gain as much mobility as I can. After that, that’s pretty much where I’m at.”
“As much rehab as you can get in a year. Then, that’s pretty much where you’re going to be. Right now, I’m trying to get more motion in my wrists. I’m trying to get more grip in my hand. Im kinda topped out on both.”
“Their thinking that when I go back in February we’ll see what type of progress there’s been. Then, there might be a third surgery to try and fix something else.”
Have you tested at all? Just turned laps for the heck of it somewhere?
“No. I just know from at work… Like using a hammer, it hurts. I don’t think driving a race car would work too good.”
Loyet Motorsports in 2018 and beyond…
What is your involvement with the team now?
“Well, this year we rented a car out for the full season. It was kinda something that fell in our lap. I don’t know if it was the best situation to get involved with. Financially, it was a good decision for me.”
“This year, Kevin Thomas Jr needed a ride at the Gateway Dirt Nationals about a week ago. My car’s been sitting all year long. It’s a nice piece. I kinda offered it up to him if he could bring a little bit of money to the table and he was able to. That’s where we’re at now.”
“Our full-time job is the fabrication business that I own. We build front end bumpers, nerfs, front axles and Jacob’s ladder. We have a CNC machine so we’re making steering arms, pitman arms and a lot of race car components.”
It’s just that you have a car so you might as well rent it out?
“Pretty much. It’s all financial decisions I guess you could say.”
When it comes time to update the equipment, do you plan to?
“What we have right now is super competitive. If we have a deal in place where it’s a full rental for a full-year their not going to be in something that’s not competitive. If anybody ever signs on with us it’s going to be in competitive equipment.”
The name of the company is BP Fab. The company was founded in 2015 with the goal of bringing affordable performance to the dirt track racing world.