Bubba Broderick Racing Report

By Rich Vleck

Edition 12- Frantic Fall Finish

Heading into the Labor Day Weekend Doubleheader at Sharon and Eriez, Bubba Broderick said he would “Go 110%”, and try to sweep the weekend because he knew he was good enough. True to his word, he nearly pulled that off.

In a 15-day stretch that had seven major events scheduled, the Broderick Racing team got off to a hot start at Sharon Speedway in Ohio. The Brookfield, CT-based team has always been strong there and caught a major break in the feature.

Bubba was solid in his heat race, scoring the win on a very slick surface. After drawing the outside pole he knew he had a chance, but a persistent shower just before the A-Main played right into his hands.

“The car was great in the heat, but when it rained I knew it would be locked-down fast,” Bubba said. “When it kept raining though I was afraid we would never get it in, which was the most important thing. Once we got going though I knew we had the perfect setup for it.”

Broderick was prolific around the top of the traffic and amongst the multiple lapped cars and made sure that Kyle Moffit and the rest of the pack would never get a crack at him.

“I never lifted. The car was unbelievable.”

It would be his third win of the year and perhaps his most satisfying.

“It brought the morale of the entire team up after the tough summer we had. We finally had a race where when we hit the setup we could finish the job. It brought the whole team together and proved to us that we hadn’t fallen off late in the year.”

On Sunday, the team travelled north to Eriez Speedway, where Bubba had won earlier in the season.

After drawing poorly for the heats, Bubba knew he had to move up quick to finish third and earn a spot in the redraw. He would get up to third but could only summon the fifth starting spot for the feature. The track had been slick throughout, but Bubba, his Dad and Bones, his crew chief, found something just before the feature.

“The track was so dry and I was frustrated because when there is a top there I knew it was my kind of track. After the E-Mod Feature, we saw there might be a berm so we made some last-minute changes to take out some side bite.”

After staying on the inside lane for the opening lap, Bubba put his Northeast Carpet/Brownie’s Towing/ Pink Monkey No. 5 to the top of the track and began picking off quality cars.

“I tried to stay cool on the inside at the start but I lost two spots so I went to the top and felt if I was going to pass cars, it had to be up there.”

Tim Kelly had control of the event but Bubba was on the move as he got up to third and was going after Blake Breen for second with five laps remaining when the bad luck bug returned.

“I could drive really hard into turn three and I was flying. I got around Bryan (Howland) and I was looking to do the same thing on (Blake) Breen and all of the sudden my right rear goes flying off the car.”

The wheel hub broke off the right rear, sending the wheel flying over the turn four fence and forcing Bubba to slam on the brakes to avoid causing further damage to his Eagle. Thankfully, he got it stopped in time and could go back to the work area to get a new wheel and tire on.

In the final five laps, Bubba would pick up a few spots to finish 15th, but gone was the opportunity to sweep the weekend, finish third in points and claim the King of OH/PA.

“I had a feeling it would be a special night. I’m not sure I would have won but we definitely didn’t get the finish we deserved. There was no blame, just bad luck. It really stunk.”

With the point battles now behind him for the season, the No. 5 team took on their first of many challenge races in the “Postseason” at the Black Rock Speedway for the Fall Nationals.

On Friday Night, the preliminary event gave teams an opportunity to feel out the track while getting paid and perhaps pick up an important spot for Saturday if they could win.

In the double-heat format, Bubba was stout as he placed third and first in his respective qualifiers. With an average finish of two, he earned a third place starting spot in the first 16-lap feature. When the pole-sitter jumped the initial start though, Bubba moved to the pole.

Broderick would settle into second after Bobby Breen assumed the lead. Knowing that only the win was important on this night, Bubba tried something on a locked-down track to reel in Breen.

“He definitely had the preferred line heading into turn two on the opening lap and jumped out way in front of me early on. I closed in marginally after my tires heated up but I knew the race was only 16 laps and without a caution I wouldn’t catch him. I kept trying new lines and after halfway I ran the bottom and the car lifted up and pushed up over the berm and pointed me straight at the wall. Once (Josh Weller) got by for second, I just settled in and made sure to bring it home in one piece.”

Bubba would finish fourth in the caution-free event, setting him up appropriately for Saturday’s event.

Things got started fast on Saturday with the heat races being lined up based on their only hot lap session. Bubba was up to the task though as he was the quickest in his group and earned the maximum amount of bonus points.

In his heat race, all Bubba had to do was move up one spot from where he started to accumulate enough points to qualify for a pole dash. He did just that and had a chance to fight for the pole in the A-Main.

Unfortunately, Bubba drew the No. 6 ball, the worst possible. With top teams in front of him, he would only be able to gain track time and had to start the feature in 12th. After the first lap of the feature it was clear it didn’t affect him much.

Bubba made up for his poor starting spot in a hurry, though, as he sliced through the middle to take ninth by the time he hit the backstretch and then dove underneath two top cars to take seventh coming out of turn four.

“The top row went right to the top and I drove right through the middle and right by them. The car was so good, but down the backstretch I heard a ping and the motor started sounding like garbage.”

Despite having the motor issues, Bubba pressed on and was running sixth when Bobby Breen spun in front of him on lap five and the two made contact.

When Bubba went to the work area, the team quickly had the car ready to get back on the track, but the 20-year-old knew there were larger issues emanating from the engine. The verdict was that they had dropped a cylinder in their stout motor, putting the rest of the season in peril.

“It was actually fortunate that Bobby spun in front of us because the way the car was, I wasn’t ready to give up until I knew what was wrong. It was just another bad break where we couldn’t show our stuff.”

Never willing to give up, the team has taken possession of a potent Kistler Engine from Scott Bonnell for this weekend’s Canadian Sprint Car Nationals, the biggest show of the year for the Broderick Racing Team.

“I can’t thank Scott enough for lending us this engine. Otherwise we’d be sitting home this weekend. We ran great at Ohsweken last month and we’ve been decent in the Nationals the last two years so I got a good feeling about this year.”

Bubba has qualified for the Village Pizza Ohsweken Shootout on Friday, a dash featuring the top finishers in designated races by each participating sanctioning body. This 10-lap race at the beginning of the night will get a chance to make sure everything is lined up correct with the new power plant between the rails.

“Hopefully we can be that “sleeper” that ends up surprising everyone on Saturday.”

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.