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Of Rugby and Race Cars: Landon Britt’s Road to the National Tour

Emily Schwanke Photo

For most Sprint Car drivers, their path to stardom starts in go-karts before advancing through the likes of Micro Sprints, Midgets and anything else with four wheels and an engine they can get their hands on.

But for Landon Britt, his trajectory toward the American Sprint Car Series National Tour took a bit of a detour in his teens.

“Got out of racing for a little bit, about three years, and got into rugby really heavy,” Britt said. “I grew up in more of a country area, and rugby was kind of a big thing out there. I had multiple friends that played, and they kept talking to me, ‘Try to come, try to come,’ and eventually I went, and from there on I just played.

“The summer before my junior year [of high school], I started playing, and then played my junior and senior years, and then played about a year after high school where I played on a men’s team.”

Perhaps there’s an alternate timeline in which Britt is preparing to head to Paris to represent the United States on the Olympic rugby pitch. However, the urge to get back behind the wheel of a race car was too much to resist.

“Me and my dad had always talked about getting back into racing,” said Britt, who raced go-karts as a child before his rugby hiatus. “I told him I wanted to get out of the go-kart world, I wanted to move up.”

While many drivers have had their heart set on Sprint Cars as the ultimate goal since day one, Britt was always one who explored his options.

“We had talked about doing autocross, and getting into something like that,” Britt said. “We just really didn’t want to race against the clock the entire time.”

From there, Britt went looking for a form of racing where you could slide cars through the corners at extreme speeds, inches away from other competitors doing the same thing. His calling soon became clear.

“I had mentioned something about doing Formula Drift, and then he had mentioned Sprint Cars, and we just kind of sat down and talked about it,” Britt said. “Honestly, Sprint Cars have just been the answer the whole time. When we both talked about it, everything just led back to Sprint Cars. I’m not really sure what drew the attention to it, it’s just what we chose, and we fell in love with it after we chose it.”

Once Britt settled on Sprint Cars as his chariot of choice, he became a regular at dirt tracks around his Memphis home before slowly expanding his schedule. After a few seasons of regional competition, 2022 marked Britt’s first full season on the ASCS National Tour, which he said was always the destination for his team.

“In the 360 world, there’s not a more elite series,” Britt said. “The level of competition, everything that ASCS brings has been on a broader and more elite level.”

After a rookie season that included three top fives and a seventh-place points finish, Britt became a National Tour winner for the first time in 2023, taking the checkers at Arrowhead Speedway in September. For the inexperienced and undermanned LB Motorsports team, the win proved that they could go toe-to-toe with the best in the business.

“Being a smaller, father-son, two-man team, first-generation driver trying to run against these guys that have been doing it 10, 15, 20 years, it’s very tough,” Britt said. “They already have the knowledge, and we don’t.”

When he isn’t chasing the National Tour across the country, Britt can be found back home working at his father’s HVAC business, something that has been part of his life for nearly as long as racing.

“I started doing it when I was 12 years old. Summers, weekend deals, and then at 18 years old was when I went full time,” Britt said. “Our weekly schedule is wake up, get to the [HVAC] shop at eight (in the morning), work however late it may take to get what work needs to be done, and I’m at the [race] shop after the fact.

“It’s not ‘walk in every morning and go straight to car stuff’ like some of these guys have time to do. Versus us, the business has to come first, because it’s what’s pushing this car around.”

Ten races into his third season on the National Tour, Britt sits eighth in the standings, just seven points out of the familiar seventh spot he has finished in his previous two years. He said the No. 10 team remains focused on continually making strides until they become frequent visitors to Victory Lane.

“This year we’ve grabbed some other ideas and some things that we’re trying,” Britt said. “At some points, it’s a little bit more of a struggle, but every place we go to we figure out a little bit more and more of what really needs to be done in these certain situations.”

Britt will be joined by the rest of the National Tour stars when the season resumes in Kansas at Lakeside Speedway on Friday, July 19, and 81 Speedway on Saturday, July 20. Tickets to both events will be available at the gate on race day, and if you can’t make it, catch every lap live on DIRTVision.