Brandon Paasch grew up around motorcycles and has been riding since he was three years old. I met Brandon two years ago, at a track day tagging along with his mentor, best big friend and coach Andrew Reiss. Brandon was not yet old enough to ride the Shenandoah Circuit at Summit Point Raceway, but rode around the pits on a 50cc bike itching to help me with my bike. At the age of nine, he was already anticipating his 11th birthday when he could ride with us! Through the next two years, I watched him grow up! He even let me ride his NSR50 around. Though Brandon wasn’t yet able to ride the larger tracks, he was racing with NJ MiniGP.
MiniGP gives kids as young as five years old the chance to race on smaller displacement motorcycles. I warn you though, don’t under-estimate these kids! They may be small and on smaller bikes, but they can and will race you into a turn any day and probably come out faster! Back in those days, they were happy to race for jumbo sugar sticks!
Two years later, I found myself back at Summit Point Raceway again with Brandon. He had just turned 11 last month and was now old enough and allowed to race WERA. With a pit crew consisting of Andy, Team Paasch lined up Brandon’s brand new unpainted Moriwaki MD 250, Kawasaki Ninja 250 and Aprilla RS 50 side-by-side ready for tech and his races the next day.
Brandon woke up early to get all of his bikes tech inspected and waited for his practice sessions. Since this was the first time he had raced here, the practice sessions were essential to him to learn the track. Andy who has been there for most of his races, pulled his warmers and dropped the bike off the stands. Brandon still not tall enough put both feet on the ground while sitting on his Ninja 250, teeters off to pit out. Andy heads off to watch from various turns during the practice sessions, being aware of when Brandon pits back in so he can help him get his bikes back on stands and warmers back on his tires. Throughout the day Andy gives Brandon tips, pointers and last minute pep talks.
If Brandon was nervous, you couldn’t tell. I think I was more nervous for him! He was a pro and kept his composure. Two E Superstock Races and two Formula 3 races later, I’m proud to report that Brandon took first in all of his races! It was definitely a good weekend!