Brenden Queen was unfortunate not to win a CARS Tour championship last year. Despite being one of the top contenders for the Late Model Stock Car division title, he couldn’t finish the season with an icing on the cake. However, that has yet to drag the 26-year-old’s motives down for the upcoming CARS Tour season. Fondly known as Butterbean, Queen has also sealed his place with a full-time role in the Touring 12.

Brenden Queen’s aspirations have remained strong after losing the championship to Carson Kvapil. Speaking with motorsports journalist Matt Weaver, Butterbean admitted that the competition is more intense than ever, but the recent announcement of Toyota Racing Development’s backing will be something to bank on.

2024 is a championship-or-bust season for Brenden Queen


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Last year, the Kvapil duo of Carson and Caden were the headliners. Elder brother Carson was the one up against the likes of Brenden Queen and Kaden Honeycutt. But when Queen’s team suffered from a rear axle failure in the practice session at the North-South Shootout, Lee Pulliam Performance was sent into panic mode. However, title rival Carson Kvapil’s crew members helped Butterbean’s team recover from the failure and deliver a pole-winning performance.

When asked if Queen will have an all-or-nothing mentality going into the upcoming season, he said, “Absolutely. Obviously, after last year, I got a second go at the championship, which was last year, too. But to realize how close we were and know that we can go and compete at every track and be fast, have shots to win. It’s not getting easier by any means, but I’m with the best group.

Having started from P1, Queen was the favorite to win at the Caraway Speedway. However, Kvapil had other plans to defend his lead in the points standings. The JR Motorsports Late Model Program driver finished 11th to snatch a small lead over Brenden Queen in the final standings and claim the LMSC Tour championship. Queen expressed his anticipation and optimism for the 2024 season by brushing aside his dejection.

He said, “It’s exciting like I said. We’re excited about it. We are going to make sure it does not happen again. We’ll have fuel but I look at it as there were other nights we couldn’t capitalize.”

“We are a team and we’re in it together, but after last year, knowing the tracks that now I have laps at is going to be big, that’s going to be a game-changer. And I think we’ll be able to put the whole season together and not just parts of it. Hopefully, we can repeat Thanksgiving all over again,” the driver further added.

Brenden Queen’s victory at the Thanksgiving Classic exemplified his growth as a short-track driver. Competing against the likes of Late Model legend Josh Berry and Kaden Honeycutt, it was among Queen’s best memories from 2023. Further in the conversation, he emphasized Toyota’s role in the team in 2024.

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Toyota Racing Development adds Butterbean to its CARS Tour arsenal

Last month, Lee Pulliam Performance announced that Toyota Racing Development will partner with the team owner. 4-time NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series winner Lee Pulliam’s operations in the Late Model Stock division have also benefitted from the advantages of this deal. Being an essential part of Lee Pulliam’s goals for the team, Brenden Queen has already felt the effects of the partnership.

I think honestly it’s so much of a confidence boost because not only was I able to go to track I’ve never been to and win, but also know that we can compete for the CARS Tour championship. Being with Lee Pulliam Performance and now a part of the Toyota Racing Development family is huge. I can’t wait to represent them on the track, and I’m excited to be a part of it,” said Queen.


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TRD has also added prospect Isabella Robusto to drive in the #55 Toyota car. This makes Lee Pulliam Performance a significant contender for the 2024 edition of the Dale Earnhardt Jr-owned CARS Tour’s LMSC division. The only thing to be added to the partnership is a championship victory, a big possibility in 2024.

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