Brian Barhart is a staple in the day-to-day operations of the Monster Energy Kawasaki race team. Barhart, a former mechanic turned truck driver, has driven for many teams in the pit area, including Jeremy McGrath during his racing career. “Big B” has caught some time in the camera during numerous Pit Pass videos, and is easily one of the funnier people on the paddock, making him an easy choice for this “Over The Road.”
Brain “Big B” Barnhart
Driver For Monster Energy Kawasaki
17th Season Driving
How did you become a driver?
I was a mechanic for a bit, and then I started doing this.
What is a rundown of your weekly duties?
First, I will drive to the event, then take everything out of the truck, clean it, and then reload it. I will go grocery shopping and supply shopping, then we will go to the track to do truck and tent set-up. I cook all of the lunches and dinners for the team, too.
How long does it take to clean the truck from front to back?
A solid two days. You have to wash everything inside, wash the outside, then get everything buffed out and put back. Just to wax is a solid two days itself.
What is the hardest trip of the year?
It is actually Steel City back home to California, because it is so far.
What do you think of the current schedule?
I think the outdoor schedule has come a long way from years past, and so has Supercross. One year round one was in Tampa, and then Anaheim was the following week. It has come quite a ways.
Has that happened due to the economy?
That, and has the promoters get bigger and they start having semis and trucks, it is cheaper for them to do somewhat of a loop.
What is the craziest thing that has happened to you while on the road?
The worst weather was last year going to Toronto. I had a guy while driving on the ice, which was like six or seven inches and going 25 miles per hour, going hauling ass past me trying to take a picture of the truck. He lost it in front of me, spun sideways, hit the car that had just passed me and spun that car out. They were bouncing off both lanes of the bridges, and I had nowhere to go, so I timed it just right and skimmed past both of them. The driver behind me locked them up and stopped at the guy’s door on the highway.
What is the worst breakdown you have had while driving?
Probably when I drove for (Jeremy) McGrath. We were at a race and I went to pull out, and the truck broke right there in the middle of the pit area. I was stuck at the stadium for two days until we got someone to fix it.
How do you stay alert while driving for so long?
If I am driving with someone, we will talk. But, if it is a group of drivers, we will do karaoke. Someone will pick a song, we will all get on that channel, and someone will sing (Laughs).
It’s like a second family for you all, isn’t it?
Yeah, we all help each other. At Millville, we had that storm come through here, and everyone from the KTM team came to help get my tent straightened out. We’ve done the same for them, and everyone else out here.