DETROIT (WWJ) – Brian Olatunji has a need for speed — racing is in his blood.

“My grandfather, John Broaden, was the first African American manager in drag racing history back in 1971,” says Ryan.

‘Brian O’ as he’s also known professionally in the drag racing field [VIDEO] says he’s been behind the wheel for more than half of his young life.

“I was 15 years old, that’s when I really started driving and I’ve been driving over half my life – it’s been my 17th season – although this will be my 6th season as a professional,” said Brian.

What’s a man without a dream?

“Racing is not just about going down that drag strip racing at over 300 miles per hour, in less than 5 seconds in a quarter-mile, it’s also about the other elements that are required,” Brian.

He says education is the cornerstone to his success.

“I’m proud to be a mechanical engineer by trade, I’m a Kettering University graduate, or GMI, which is the same university that Mary Barra hails from — the current CEO of General Motors.”

Drag racing is not cheap, it’s an investment of both time and money.

“One season costs between $3-5 million, so it’s quite expensive, so you have to have solid backing if you plan to compete at the top, and definitely to compete for a championship,” he says.

Winning the NHRA Top Fuel Funny Car Championship is on the top of his short list of things to do.

 

WWJ Newsradio 950 celebrates Black History Month by recognizing our local young African-American professionals and their heroes – you can hear these reports throughout the day: 6:20 a.m., 10:40 a.m., 3:40 p.m. and 7:40 p.m.

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