By Rich Vleck
The final single-race weekend of the 2010 season for the ASCS Patriots was held this past Saturday at Stateline Speedway. Committed to the tour, that meant that the Broderick Racing Team would make the long trip from Connecticut to the Western Edge of New York. Thankfully for them, the weather was perfect.
It would be hard to believe that Bubba would miss a race at Stateline though, where he has arguably been the best driver at the quirky 1/3-mile there over the last two seasons.
“Every time we went to Stateline, we have been fast,” noted Bubba. “Even the first time we went there we were good.”
Bubba got a feel for the track on this cloudless day early in hot laps, as he would blast the cushion and put on a performance for the fans before things turned competitive.
“We had a different setup in Saturday that we had been using the last few weeks. The car worked everywhere in hot laps, even in the middle. I felt like we were the fastest car. The thing about Stateline though is that hot laps are not a very good indicator for what it will look like in the feature.”
In his heat, the 20-year-old would start fourth and quickly move into third, which would assure him a spot in the redraw. For the balance of the event, Bubba picked up second place and pressured the leader, while testing out some new lines on the track, as well as being cautious.”
“The car was comfortable to drive; I was having a lot of fun. The only thing that wasn’t fun was the sun going down the backstretch. You literally couldn’t see down the straightaway and the only thing I could do was turn as soon as I hit the shade.
“I didn’t even try the high side and when I caught up to the leader, I was thinking about going by him but figured I didn’t have to do that to make the redraw.”
And then came the redraw, in which Bubba was the first to draw after gaining the most passing points. He pulled the No. 8 ball, the worst one in the bag.
“I hate going first on the redraw,” he declared. “We’ve been having good redraws this year, so eventually our luck had to give up. It just stunk because we knew it was going to be tough to get by people in the feature.”
Broderick was fast in the feature, but it was tough sledding behind seven top cars. The cushion was not as supreme as it had been on prior visits, with the berm extremely high off turn four.
“Before our race, the track was getting slick but we could feel the moisture coming back in. It really forced us to change our setup. I figured I could just go right to the top, but the line didn’t go as I had expected and we lost a few spots.
“The berm was really thick in turns three and four. You had to snap the car sideways to not get stuck on it and that was tough because there were some really good cars running on the bottom.
“Once I was by myself, I could run so much quicker, but having to deal with other guys slowed me up so much.”
The No. 5 Eagle was up to third by the time the 25-lap feature was half-way complete, but he would have Jared Zimbardi to get by for third, and that wasn’t easy either.
“He was in the exact line I needed to be in, but he was fast too. My only choice was to start diving to the bottom, but I didn’t have enough to get by. I tried a few partial slide jobs to get him to get off the top; it worked and I was setting up a run on the top when the caution came out.”
In the closing laps, Bubba found himself rim-riding again to try to get by not only Zimbardi, but Tim Kelly, as the trio battled for second. When the checkered flag flew, Broderick was fourth for his second-straight top-five finish.
“I got into Jared towards the end and that was my last-ditch effort to get those spots. I felt we were at least the second-quickest car on the night but there was a lot of traffic and really nowhere to go. I’m really happy, but then again it was really disappointing because I knew it was an event I could win.”
Like last week, the team will make another long trip west, this time for two events at Sharon and Eriez. Bubba won at Eriez in May and finished third at Sharon last season, and is excited to return to these two very different tracks.
“My goal is now to finish third in points,” noted Bubba, who trails Tim Kelly by 21 points. “Tim has been running really strong and I don’t have time to screw up. We’d love to sweep the weekend and I’m that confident because I know we are really strong at both places. I’m going 110% this weekend.”
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.