Brian Olatunji Finalist to Co-Host LIVE! With Kelly

July 9th, 2012 in News by

UPDATE: Brian O made the Top 10! The Top 5 get on the show next week! YOU can vote him in by clicking here!

Up and coming NHRA Funny Car driver Brian Olatunji has been selected as a finalist to co-host LIVE! with Kelly. After a nationwide search only 10 finalists remain and fan votes will help decide who the winner will be. Brian Olatunji a 15 year drag racing veteran has competed in a variety of NHRA categories from Super Gas to Top Alcohol Funny Car. 2012 will mark the year Brian Olatunji will look to make his mark in the Pro Modified division with Harold Martin Motorsports.

The Detroit native is looking forward to sitting next to Emmy award winning superstar, Kelly Ripa for a day; however he needs your help. Fans can vote for Brian Olatunji by going to The Live! Website! Voting ends at 3:00PM ET on Wednesday, July 11th.

“Co-hosting — LIVE! With Kelly is a phenomenal opportunity and would be great exposure for myself and the sport! My team put together a cool video which showcases some of my personality and your votes will be the driving force to make this dream possible. I need you to vote for my video and be sure to vote early and often!” said an energetic Olatunji! The Top 5 finalists will be on LIVE! next week.

Olatunji is also in the process of filming for a new television series in which he will be starring on SPEED. The new TV show is set to debut this fall. The reality series will highlight what it takes to make it as a professional race car driver and his quest from, relatively unknown to competing with the best in the world. During filming Olatunji hopes to secure his NHRA Nitro Funny Car license with ambitions to join the NHRA Full Throttle Series during the 2013 season.

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Brian Olatunji Featured in Crain’s Detroit Business

April 4th, 2012 in Published Ink by

Original article by Dustin Walsh, Crain’s Detroit Business

BRAIN OLATUNJI – Vehicle integration attribute engineer, Ford Motor Co.; race car driver

Why he lives in metro Detroit: “I view Detroit as the epicenter of opportunity in our country. Young people not only can but do make an impact in our city.”

Claim to fame: Olatunji will star in a new reality show on Speed Network, following the careers of minorities trying to break into auto racing.

Next step: To be a champion in the National Hot Rod Association circuit. Brian Olatunji spent weeks last winter in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula breaking test models of the Ford Focus Electric. He’s a validation engineer for the automaker. But that’s just his day job.

This summer, the Speed Network will follow Olatunji on his quest to become a professional race car driver. Olatunji and his agent pitched the show to the auto enthusiast television network before inking a contract for a 13-episode pilot season.

The show, “Dreams To Champions,” follows minorities trying to break into the sport of racing. The first season will follow Olatunji and an 18-year-old driver from Mexico.

“Racing all revolves around television, and I’m looking at building a brand for myself,” he said. “It’s going to be a lifestyle show centered on my drive to become a champion in racing.”

Speed’s crew is filming now, and episodes will begin airing in July.

Olatunji has been drag racing for 16 years across the heads-up doorslammer and funny car series. Olatunji’s sponsors include Pepsi Co., the U.S. Army and Lucas Oil Products Inc. Between his engineering job and his passion for driving, Olatunji also helps youths in Detroit.

He’s vice president of 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit. He created and led a Saturday college prep program at Henry Ford Health System for the organization.

He also led the organization’s Project Success program, which sought to increase graduation rates of male students from Southeastern
High School
by 10 percent. The graduation rate of black males at the school was 38 percent before the program.

Randy Walker, vice president and chief diversity officer at Henry Ford, said Olatunji’s age and drive helps him relate to and push the youths he mentors.

“He’s the only person even close to the age of the people we work with, and every one of our young people look up to Brian,” he said. “He’s been present for every one of our Saturday programs, and he’s really helping these young people graduate and get ready for college. Brian is definitely a major catalyst.”

Olatunji also has his own nonprofit, the Leadfoot Foundation, which has provided scholarships and school supplies to area students for the past seven years. This year,
Olatunji will provide two $500 scholarships — one college scholarship to a student at King High School and one a student at his alma mater, Kettering University in Flint.

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20 In Their 20′s: Brian Olatunji

April 3rd, 2012 in News by

Brian O has been named one of Crain’s Detroit Business’ 20 In Their 20′s. In its seventh year, Crain’s 20s program highlights the brainpower and entrepreneurial talent of the region’s young professionals and creatives. Crain’s editors and reporters selected the honorees from among more than 300 nominees.

The Brian Olatunji feature article, by Dustin Walsh, includes a sneak peak of things to come this summer from the Motor City Leadfoot.


Brian Olatunji – Becoming A Champion Trailer (2012)

February 23rd, 2012 in Updates by

Video Editing & Special Effects by Ian Lewis Moore.

Watch it on YouTube:

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Brian Olatunji Featured in Rides Magazine

November 21st, 2011 in Published Ink by

View Rides Brian Olatunji Article in PDF Format

Heart of a Lion – Detroit drag racer Brian Olatunji is gunning for the top spot and has the courage to prove it.

Original Article by Marcus Amick

After seeing his lifelong dream of becoming a professional drag racer come true two years ago, 28-year-old Brian Olatunji now has his eyes set on snagging an NHRA U.S. National Championship. RIDES recently caught up with Olatunji in between one of his 175 mph track runs to learn what drives a kid—who grew up in the inner city of Detroit—to chase one of motorsport’s most coveted titles.

What inspired you to become a drag racer? My grandfather, John Broaden, was the first African- American manager of a major NHRA drag strip. I decided to take the road less traveled: racing. When did you first start racing? When I was 15. My folks knew the people who ran Milan Dragway in Michigan. I had an ’89 Chevy Beretta and would take it out on the racetrack.

What was the biggest challenge you faced turning pro? Balancing the demands of the business, working with corporate sponsors like Pepsi, Lucas Oil and the U.S. Army, while staying competitive on the track.

So what does a typical practice day consist of? Wake up, hit the gym and work out. At the track, it’s typically testing different parts to make sure everything is working in perfect harmony.

How do you mentally prepare for a race? Focusing on the perfect run—you have to have a mental picture of it.

You think it’ll be tough to win an NHRA national title? It’s the most prestigious race in drag racing, so the stakes are high. But it’s something that I do expect to win in my career.

View Rides Article in PDF Format

New Pittsburg Courier Brian Olatunji Feature

November 10th, 2011 in Published Ink by

BRIAN OLATUNJI says racing legends like William Durant, founder of the Chevrolet, have been an inspiration for him in the sport.

Detroit Drag Racer Talks Passion for Racing (VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE)

(REAL TIMES NEWS SERVICE) — Detroiter Brian Olatunji has a connection to Chevrolet that’s probably a lot different than most.

Since the age of 15, the 29- year-old Olatunji has been racing Chevys and now spends most of his time running an 1100 horsepower ’78 Chevrolet Monte Carlo as a professional dragster at speeds up to 175 mph.

Some of Olatunji’s first runs on the racetrack were in a ’89 Chevy Beretta at Milan Dragway.

“I’ve always raced Chevys,” said Olatunji, whose grandfather, John Broaden, was the first African-American manager of a major NHRA drags strip. ”There’s a legacy with racing that’s always attracted me to the brand that goes back to the foundation of Chevrolet with Billy Durant proving himself on the racetrack as a winner.”

Olatunji, who graduated from Kettering University (previously General Motors Institute) before turning professional three years ago as a NHRA drag racer, said Chevy has aided in his development as a racer on a number of fronts.

“The technical background that I have is a direct result of Chevy,” he said. “Since I was a kid I’ve always had a fascination with the products and ingenuity of the brand. I think it’s helped to make me a strong competitor on and off the racetrack. And given the fact that I’m from Detroit, I’ve always got a chance to see all of the new products first.

“The availability and knowledge of parts and technical expertise you get with Chevrolet are second to none.”

No surprise that some of Olatunji’s all-time favorite Chevrolets are representative of the brand’s legacy with high performance including the ’70 Chevelle SS, ‚68 Camaro Rally Sport, the current Camaro SS, a 70.5 Split Bumper Camaro and the first and most recent generation Corvette C6.

The dragster’s ties to Chevy also extends in the area of sponsorship with the support of Metro Detroit dealership Rodgers Chevrolet in Woodhaven along with Olatunji’s national sponsors that include Pepsi, the U.S. Army, Drive Train Specialists and Lucas Oil.

“Our association with Rodgers Chevrolet further cements what the brand has meant to our team and their commitment to help propel us to winning,” said Olatunji. “Chevy is synonymous with winners and it lets folks know that I have been affiliated with a winning brand.”

Olatunji’s success racing Chevrolets has inspired a lot of his efforts to give back off the track as well as be a board member for the 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit and an ambassador to the Urban Youth Racing School.

Brian Olatunji Given Kettering University Entrepreneurial Achievement Award

September 9th, 2011 in Published Ink by

Brian Olatunji ’05, president and CEO of Leadfoot Motorsports LLC, and Leadfoot Media, will receive the Entrepreneurial Achievement Award recognizing a specific contribution in organizing, managing and assuming the risk of business or enterprise.

Olatunji is pursuing his dream of becoming a world-class championship contending professional race car driver in the NHRA Nitro Funny Car Division through Leadfoot Motorsports, LLC, that he founded at the age of 19. He has since established Leadfoot Media as a marketing firm and subsidiary of Leadfoot Motorsports, LLC. The Leadfoot Media team have procured notable global powerhouse partners; Pepsi, U.S. Army and Lucas Oil.

Prior to Leadfoot Motoersports LLC, Olatunji worked for General Motors, and Faurecia Automotive, Inc.

He is currently vice president of the 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit and also the chairman of the Leadfoot Foundation, Inc, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to empower youth through mentorship and education initiatives. In 2011 the Leadfoot Foundation will host its sixth annual school supplies drive, which provides back to school essentials for Detroit area youth.

Previously Olatunji has been recognized by the Michigan Front Page as one of its top thirty professionals under the age of 40.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University in 1999. A native of Detroit, Olatunji enjoys adrenaline induced activities, traveling, reading, enjoying a great bottle of red wine and is currently learning the bass guitar.


Giving! Youth! Impact! Leadfoot Foundation’s 6th Annual Driving Excellence Charity Event

September 2nd, 2011 in News by

For the sixth consecutive year, The Leadfoot Foundation, Inc (501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization) will host the “Driving Excellence” charity event. “Driving Excellence” is the marquee event for the Leadfoot Foundation. During the event school supplies are collected then distributed to youth K-12th grade. “Our goal is to give back to the very community from which I came. After all, it takes a village to raise a child,” stated Brian Olatunji (Olatunji is Chairman and President of the Leadfoot Foundation, Inc). Detroit is prime territory to not only give back but focus on school supplies for youth. Although, Detroit has recently been well documented for trouble with public schools, the Leadfoot Foundation has been making an impact by providing back-to-school essentials for the past five years.

The Leadfoot Foundation enjoys strong partners with Pepsi and the U.S. Army; however it relies on the community to assist in their efforts. “The Driving Excellence charity event is the platform we use to ensure youth have the necessities to perform in the classroom. It is essential for everyone in a position to give, to bring $10 or more in unopened school supplies to the event to assist those in need,” said an emphatic Olatunji.

This year’s event will take place from noon until 5 pm on Saturday, September 17th at the Lighthouse on Belle Isle Park.

The Leadfoot Foundation has assembled a team of volunteers who are enthusiastic about serving each and every young person with school supplies to begin their school year. Olatunji continued, “We have our sights on continuing to grow this event. Ultimately, we want this event to be known as THE SCHOOLS SUPPLIES DRIVE of the City of Detroit. I am adamant about giving back especially given I am a proud Detroiter and a product of Detroit Public Schools!”

In addition to the collection and distribution of school supplies there will be a live DJ, hot rods on display, exotic motorcycles, face painting as well as five new 2012 Chrysler vehicles. Gleaners Community Food Bank has also been gracious to provide snacks for the young people to enjoy. The event provides an opportunity for the community to interact with each other through activities such as a kids station while benefiting with essential back-to-school supplies.

For more details as well as a place to donate, please visit The Leadfoot Foundation’s website at:

Download a PDF of this news article here.

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New Brian O Racing Press Packet

September 1st, 2011 in Updates by

Brian Olatuji’s Press Packet PDF download has been completally revamped. Updated information including a new racing history time line, brand new graphics on every page and tons of high quality never before seen pictures. Download it now at the link below!

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