By Rich Vleck
Travelling from Connecticut each weekend to run the ASCS Patriot tour means plenty of hours on the road. Occasionally, the races the Broderick Racing team has on the schedule a stand-alone event that can test their determination. Upon reflection, it can define it.
Two weeks ago, the team traveled to Niagara Falls on Thursday Night in anticipation for a Friday Night event at Ohsweken Speedway in Southern Ontario. Before even traveling across the border, the event was called off due to wet grounds. Not wanting to head home empty handed, they quickly scurried down to Central Pennsylvania for a major race at Historic Williams Grove Speedway. Once again though, Mother Nature intervened and wiped out racing action. The team headed home until another attempt at a Canadian race the following week.
“That was a very, very long drive,” noted Bubba. “Once Ohsweken rained out, we knew we had come this far and didn’t want to go home without racing.”
“To have the opportunity to run Williams Grove was something I really wanted to try. We paid the membership, bought the tire, setup the car and drew the pill, and then it downpours. It really sucked; I wanted to drive that track. It looked crazy.”
“That was a lot of driving and we spent a lot of money for nothing. Nobody was talking on the way home. It was trip from hell.”
Another treacherous forecast for a Saturday race at Brockville put racing in doubt for Bubba. But as the headed north on I-81, things began to look better, that was, until they hit the border.
The team was pulled into customs and interrogated, as were a handful of other teams. After more than two hours, they were finally set free and arrived at the track after the rest of the competitors had already run hot laps.
“My heart was pumping more than it ever has. I really didn’t think we were going to get in to Canada. I knew we had done nothing wrong but it was very nerve-racking because I knew that it would throw away the championship if I couldn’t make it.”
“Once they let us through, it was like winning a race. We had to load the trailer back up before we could leave, and I put my driver’s suit on right away.”
Behind the 8-ball, they scrambled to get heat in the motor and get ready to run a hot lap session of their own. The No. 5 was off in hot laps, forcing the team to thrash for their heat.
“I was still angry over the border incident but I just had to calm down and the crew helped me realize that after hot laps. The car was too soft and I knew we had to make some adjustments.”
Moving from fourth to third in his heat assured Bubba a redraw position. Drawing the No. 7 ball though would make going back-to-back a near impossibility on the narrow ¼-mile, something the maturing Broderick realized.
“I thought the track might slick off in the middle and that would be my only hope for a win. If it came to me, then it came to me, but I couldn’t go too hard at the start because I had to be smart getting through the pack. I just went one car at a time.”
Never finishing outside of the top-10 in three starts at “The BOS”, Bubba quickly jumped into the top-five, taking control of third by lap 10. The rest of the way, Bubba would hang with second-place Don Adamczyk, but could not find a way by and would settle for another solid podium showing.
“(Race Winner Jared) Zimbardi was totally gone, but I thought maybe I could get Don on a restart, but the car was just a little bit too tight for it. It was still a great run.”
The 20-year-old from Brookfield, CT now sits just 64 points out of the series lead. Under a new point format, that is the difference from first to last in a single race; with 2/3 of the season still left, he realizes that his early-season bad luck has not crushed their ultimate goal.
“I know I can not screw up at this point. There is more weight on my shoulders to do well, but we are heading to another good track for me this weekend in Stateline, and should do well there.”
Ransomville will be the Friday Night portion of the two-race weekend for the No. 5 team. With only one start at “The Big R”, Bubba still is getting the feel for this tricky track. He has been noting what it takes to get to win their though and is ready to try it out.
Bubba was arguably the strongest competitor at Stateline in 2009. Despite not winning, he led more laps than any other driver and was a force to be reckoned with.
“If we can just keep plugging away with top-five finishes that is what we need. The key for me though is to not worry about that at the track and just drive the car.”
Broderick Racing is supported by Northeast Carpet, Brownie’s Towing, Pink Money Water, Eagle Motorsports, Mike Emhof Motorsports, Fyne Line Construction, Campbell’s Painting, Jim’s Welding Supply.
For more information, be sure to visit www.BroderickRacing.com.