MONTROSE, N.Y. -- In the time and age where teenage stars strive to become a fulltime race car drivers; the 2003 season for the 19 year old Justin Barger will be busy from May to October doing double duty with his winged 360 sprint car and Asphalt...
MONTROSE, N.Y. -- In the time and age where teenage stars strive to become a fulltime race car drivers; the 2003 season for the 19 year old Justin Barger will be busy from May to October doing double duty with his winged 360 sprint car and Asphalt midget. A full slate of action on the dirt with the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) and then on the asphalt with the Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) as well as other selected events will find the sharp Cortland Auto Body #32's on the track for more than 50 events.
Barger is a second generation chauffeur with father Chris having a long history behind the wheel of a big block dirt modified at the Orange County Fair Speedway and the Nazareth Raceways in the 70's and 80's. Young Justin has been behind the wheel of a race car just about his entire life and now the year of 2003 will find him hitting the tracks full bore.
"As of right now we plan on running the full ESS schedule and have about 13 events with NEMA planned as well." said the young and energetic driver. "But, I will be traveling to some NASCAR events and some Silver Crown races in hopes of making some contacts. If that finds another avenue for me then I might have to skip a race or two."
The immediate future for Barger is getting his first ever ESS A-Main win to back up his other 360 sprint wins over the fast couple of seasons. The ESS championship is the ultimate goal for the Montrose, N.Y. pilot. The pursuit of getting more asphalt experience has found Barger behind the wheel of an ultra-quick asphalt midget and running many races with the successful midget association celebrating its 51st year.
"While I want to concentrate on ESS for one full year, I think the midget will give me valuable experience on the asphalt for me to move on." noted Barger. "I've tested both the midget in New Hampshire and a Silver Crown car in Florida. Hopefully I'll be able to continue to learn which will help me to move on in the next few years."
The first weekend of competition in both his ESS sprinter and NEMA midget turned into a long 48 hours for the race team. While qualifying easily during the ESS show on April 12th at the Black Rock Speedway in Dundee, N.Y., a combination of a missing motor and ill handling car forced Barger to pull pit side. A long eight hour tow over night to the Thompson Speedway in Connecticut ended with another competitor spinning in front of Barger's midget knocking out the front end during the feature event.
None the less, the full assault on the 2003 season will continue. Three maxim sprinters along with two RPM built 360 engines are at the ready along with his Hawk built midget powered by an Autocraft engine. It's an arsenal of equipment backed by the entire Barger family and their bustling Cortland Auto Body business that will be key for him to propel his future in motorsports. The future for Justin Barger is ready to be tackled with the next few months promising to be fun and exciting.