Brian Olatunji ‘05’s journey from the east side of Detroit to the professional drag racing circuit, is one that defies all odds.
“Racing is literally in my blood,” he said. “My mother worked at a racetrack while I was still in her belly. I was helping drivers push their cars to the starting line when I could barely walk.”
Olatunji put himself in challenging environments that fostered his growth as a drag racer and engineer.
“Chasing a dream is a gift and a curse, a constant sacrifice sometimes with little more gratification than the shimmer of a distant light at the end of the tunnel of success” said Olatunji about his drive to be on the professional tour.
Racing truly runs in the family. Olatunji’s grandfather, John Broaden, managed what were once the famous Detroit and Motor City Dragways. In 1971 Broaden became the first African-American to oversee a major National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) venue. Olatunji describes the ‘Detroit Dragway’ as an oasis.
”It was my heaven on earth, Saturday nights under the bright lights felt like the first day of school and there I was in the middle of it all,” Olatunji said.
Olatunji began attending Kettering in 2000. He enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering program in search of a marquee education that would complement his passion for drag racing.