Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009 | midnight
By the final race of the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts 2008 season, Silverado junior Derek Bradley was already thinking about his acceptance speech.
Bradley and his sister co-driver, Silverado senior Briana Bradley, had already tallied enough points to clinch the sportsmen buggy limited series before the Nov. 16 finale in Ridgecrest, Calif.
The two wanted to thank everybody but discovered at the Jan. 3 SNORE banquet they had more of a knack for racing buggies than public speaking.
"I had a speech in my head, but when I got up in front of everybody it didn't come out the way I planned it," Derek Bradley said. "If I ever win one again I'll make sure I write it down."
The Bradleys took first in their division in two of the series' six races en route to winning their second points championship in three years.
The biggest win came on March 29, when they won the Mint 400 — a 10-hour race — by less than a minute.
After clinching the points championship, the siblings also won the Kartek Western Desert Championship on Nov. 16.
"Since we knew we were going to win that day we just took it easy," Derek Bradley said. "We went slow and didn't try to push anything that might break a part on the buggy."
As co-drivers, the Bradleys split racing duties at each competition
Midway through each race, one sibling waits at a pit stop ready to drive the rest of the course.
Derek Bradley has garnered a reputation for driving fast and aggressive, while Briana Bradley tends to drive more conservatively.
The balance between their strengths and weaknesses has only made them better, Briana Bradley said.
"For me, the best part of winning was just being able to race with my brother," she said. "I don't think it would have meant as much had I done it on my own."
The Bradleys are third generation off-road racers and are the children of Tommy Bradley, a five-time Championship Off Road Racing world champion.
"I'm very proud of them," Tommy Bradley said. "When I was their age I never accomplished anything like what they did."
The Bradleys will move up to the more advanced professional level SNORE series starting with the Battle at Primm on Feb. 13.
Previously, the siblings had not been racing for money.
"I'm really excited just to see how well I can compete with the older guys," Derek Bradley said. "The pace is going to be a lot faster now."
Sean Ammerman can be reached at 990-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org.