Bruce Brantley: “A Complete Racer”

The Married Life

Dub Smith joins daughter Sue and grandkids Lee, Brett and Selena in victory lane after a victory.

In 1961 Bruce married Sue Smith, who probably had more racing octane in her blood than any of those drums of fuel.  Bruce was working at the Cone Street Garage in downtown Atlanta and started thinking about round tracks.  Sue’s dad was Dub Smith, a contractor who had been in the racing business for years with drivers such as Jack Smith, Johnny Suddeth, Charlie Mincey and Mike Head.

“I grew up at the Peach Bowl,” Sue told us.  “My dad loved racing and it just rubbed off.  In my school days Bruce lived behind us.  I dated his best friend, who made the mistake of telling Bruce to pick me up, and then pick him up.  After a while we just quit picking up my boyfriend.  But I still tell everybody that Bruce married me for my daddy’s racecars.”

“He even traded my car for an engine block,” she added with a laugh.

“It wasn’t much of a car,” Bruce retorted.  “An old fluid drive that I had to weld the torque converter to the flywheel just to make it pull.”

“But it was STILL my car,” Sue laughed.

Dub Smith would give Brantley carte blanche on all of his old parts and cars.  Harvey Jones, the master engine builder who worked with Smith, was always around to help him.

“I guess Harvey was one of the biggest reasons I quit drag racing,” Brantley said.  “Just the simple fact of hanging around him, Dub and the rest of those guys made me try my hand at the round track.”

Brantley’s longtime friend and partner Richard Davis told us a little about Smith.

“Dub was not only Bruce’s father-in-law and long time sponsor, but someone who had the utmost respect of all of us who helped Bruce through the years,” Davis said.  “His presence in racing circles for so many drivers and the sport itself was invaluable.”

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