Sideways with Bubba

By Rich Vleck

Edition 1- Roller Coaster Opening

Entering his third full season in full-sized sprint cars, Bubba Broderick expects big results as he tours throughout the Northeast. Unfortunately, two races into the season, things have already been challenging the Brookfield, CT hot shoe. But that doesn’t mean he is ready to quit.

Bubba spent Monday, May 17, travelling to Central Pennsylvania along with “Bones”, his crew chief, picking up new pieces to get his new Eagle Chassis prepared for this Saturday’s ASCS Patriot event at Woodhull, one of Broderick’s best tracks. This run down the road was necessary after a series of bad luck severely broke his primary mount in just the second feature of the year.

April 30, Black Rock, ASCS Patriots-

The Broderick Racing team rolled into the Finger Lakes early on a beautiful Friday Afternoon to start the 2010 season, but there were plenty of unknowns. Using an Eagle Chassis, something new to the team, they were hoping for practice before Black Rock and thus knew the first race of the season might have some learning curves.

“We went through a shakedown to in practice, because we basically put the car together two days before,” said Bubba. “I was really excited to use the Eagle,” “It was all about dialing the car in, because we had no practice on the car.”

After qualifying for the A-Main through his heat race, Bubba got some much-needed track time in his Northeast Carpet No. 5 in the dash to set him up for the feature. The problem would be that it would be his final chance to learn about characteristics the car that night.

On the first lap of the A-Main, Gary Kriess flipped wildly in front of much of the pack, sending about 15 drivers scurrying, Broderick included.

“It was like a Daytona wreck. Cars were everywhere,” recalled Bubba. “I was already on the inside and I had nowhere to go but the infield.”

“Me and Lance (Yonge) got together, and bent the radius rod, and the shock.” He would visit the work area but did not have the parts there to make necessary replacements. “I said ‘screw it, I need the points’ and went back out there and ran the rest of the race. So I never got a really good practice about it.”

“It actually came out to be a good day because we went to the back and brought it back up to 12th. I’m never happy being out of the top-10 but that car was really hard to handle.”

May 15, Canandaigua, ASCS Patriots-

The team was more composed after surviving Black Rock and having a week off to have the car relettered and touched up heading to Canandaigua, but would not end on as solid of footing.

“The night was like being a roller coaster,” he noted. “The night started off so great.” “I drew the No. 2 pill, the practice was great, and everything was going well.”

Bubba jumped out in front of the pack in his heat race and had a comfortable lead, when his car jumped out of gear, slowing him on the frontstretch. An alert Broderick somehow managed to pop it back into gear and would stay in third. It would happen again two laps later, and again Broderick would salvage a decent finish to come across in third.

“I don’t know how I managed to pop back into gear,” he admitted. “In my Mustang, I shift the car without using the clutch so I knew how to get it back in. You have to mash the gas at the exact time.”

Despite finishing in third, slipping two spots would give Bubba negative passing points and relegate his No. 5 to the B-Main. He would qualify with ease and get valuable information heading to the A-Main.

“We were having trouble with a few bumps in turn 1 that I just could not get around. Bones made a few adjustments and the car really was comfortable in the feature, because the car was going to tighten up if the race went long enough.”

He had moved from 20th to 13th by lap 13 when a wreck involving Dylan Swiernik and Scott Bonnell occurred just ahead of Broderick. Bubba looked to scoot by but that is when things went terribly wrong.

“I was racing hard with Tim Kelly, and I saw Bonnell spun out in the corner of my eye. I was planning to go underneath and I went to hit the breaks and it went all the way to the floor. The breaks weren’t totally lost but there was no time to pump. I got up into the loose stuff and spun the car to get it away from the wall, but it ended up backing right into the wall. It was a really hard hit, I started seeing blurred vision.”

In the end, the entire rear end of the Eagle Chassis was a mangeled mess. There was also a host of other pieces damaged on the car, including the rear end and shocks. Despite the trials and tribulations, Bubba had a realistic view on the night.

“It’s racing, that’s all I can say. We went from being in the redraw to starting in 20th and that just got us in the way of trouble.”

Broderick is optimistic about turning his season around in the near future though as he has top-five finishes at Woodhull, Sharon and Eriez, the next three stops on the ASCS Patriot Tour.

Bubba Broderick is a 20-year-old from Brookfield, CT in his third year of full-time 360 sprint car racing. He was the 2008 Insinger Race Fuels Rookie of the Year for the ASCS Patriots and scored his first career win at Arcade International Raceway last June. The Broderick Racing Team was named “Patriots of the Year” in 2009.

Broderick Racing is supported by, Northeast Carpet, Brownie’s Towing, Ciao Water, Eagle Motorsports, Mike Emhof Motorsports, Fyne Line Construction, Campbell’s Painting, Jim’s Welding Supply.

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