Bubby Kerrick ends Four Year Winless Streak with an Emotional Empire Super Sprint Triumph at Merrittville. THOROLD, ON -- August 15, 2003, that was the date when Stanley, N.Y.'s Bubby Kerrick collected his one and only Empire Super...
Bubby Kerrick ends Four Year Winless Streak with an Emotional Empire Super Sprint Triumph at Merrittville.
THOROLD, ON -- August 15, 2003, that was the date when Stanley, N.Y.'s Bubby Kerrick collected his one and only Empire Super Sprint (ESS) A-Main victory. The long dry spell was finally put to rest this past Saturday night when he won the Lucas Oil Canadian Invasion Series event at the Merrittville Speedway in front of a standing room only crowd.
For Kerrick, not only did it end a winless streak that is mind boggling if you look at his number of top five and top ten finishes over the years, it gave him a chance to dedicate his efforts to his father who passed away a year and a half ago. The Kerrick team is sponsored by the same company that also backs the entire ESS tour, Jacobs Motorsports, which made the victory just that much more special.
"This just feels good, I really can't put much if it in words. I got to dedicate the win to my dad, my wife and kids made the trip out for this race and there's just so many people that have supported me over the past few years which has been very tough." said Kerrick who tried his best to hold back the tears. "I shouldn't be out here racing but with people like Ryan (Jacobs), Dave (Thompson), Sylvain (Mercier), they all have a piece of this team and keep the car on the track. There is just no way I can show how to thank them, but they don't want thanks, they just want to see the team do well."
The victory came a week after one of Kerrick's biggest heart break losses of his career which was at Autodrome Drummond. With just three laps to go and a restart ready to start, Kerrick's #4U Maxim was pacing the field. When the green lights came on, the fuel tank ran dry.
A simple seven days later, another lap 22 restart but this time there was nothing standing in the way to collect the second career win on the widely successful 360 sprint car tour. What makes this win full of irony? It came in the very same Maxim that he won back on that memorable August night.
"This is the same car I won my first race with. We destroyed our new car at the opener in Utica but I always had this frame. It's a good car and I always felt comfortable in it." Kerrick noted on the history of the machine. "Tonight I was good either high or low, it didn't matter where I was on the track it just seemed fast."
While it was a wire to wire triumph, Kerrick had the very best in the business trying to snatch the victory away. Take note of these names...defending champion Alain Bergeron, three-time winner in 2007 so far Jeff VanDusen and two-time champion Lance Yonge all he their sites on Kerrick's mount in the closing stages and through lapped traffic.
While Bergeron did get under Kerrick once and the rest was a mere few car lengths away, there was no mistake made, no misfortune thrown his way, this Saturday night belonged to the quiet many from Central, N.Y. When the checkered flag was thrown, it Kerrick ahead of all his foes and shortly after it was his foes driving next to him to give him a well earned congratulations.
At the finish Kerrick leading Bergeron, the red hot VanDusen, who came from ninth, Yonge came from eighth to fourth with Justin Barger rounding out the top five. The next five was made up of the FM Industries mount of Steve Poirier, Jeff Cook, Blake Breen, who earned the Lane's Yamaha Hard Charger bonus after starting in 15th, local favorite Fred Cade and Tommy Wickham.
Four cautions, all minor in nature slowed the pace on the multi-grooved surface: On lap one, Cory Sparks stopped with a flat tire, Mike Stelter looped around in turn four on lap five with Tim Kelly stopping in turn four on lap 19. The final caution setting up the drama at the end was out for Jared Zimbardi who also spun around in the tricky turn four.
Taking the Car Mate Custom Built Trailers were Michael Parent, Barger and Cook with the Best Western Cairn Croft Hotel/Walt's Hobby Dash won by Zimbardi. Joel Lehman took the KSE Racing Products B-Main.
MERRITTVILLE/ESS NOTES: A field of 23 sprints played host to a speedway where there wasn't a seat to be had...Making first ESS starts of '07 were the Breen Bros., Blake and Bobby, Joel Lehman, Tim Zack and Jay Pietz...The win gave Kerrick a guaranteed starting spot in the Pro-Syn Oil Genesee Scramble which will be held during the Western N.Y. 360 Shootout August 25th at the Genesee Speedway...Going into next weekend's Central N.Y. swing, it's VanDusen leading Yonge and Poirier in the overall points with VanDusen also leading the Lucas Oil Canadian Invasion Series points...On Saturday the stars and cars of ESS will make a trip up to Caprara's Can-Am Motorsports Park for the only sprint show of 2007 followed by the second of three visits to the Utica-Rome Speedway.
Heat 1 -- Michael Parent, Jared Zimbardi, Jeff VanDusen, Tommy Wickham, Blake Breen, Cory Sparks.
Heat 2 -- Justin Barger, Alain Bergeron, Steve Poirier, Bubby Kerrick, Tim Kelly, Tom Huppunen.
Heat 3 -- Jeff Cook, Mike Stelter, Lance Yonge, Rob Pietz, Fred Cade, Bobby Breen.
Best Western Cairn Croft Hotel/Walt's Hobby Dash -- Zimbardi.
B-Main -- Joel Lehman, Brad Malloy, Derek Jonathan, Tim Zack.
Did Not Qualify -- Jay Pietz.
A-MAIN -- BUBBY KERRICK, Alain Bergeron, Jeff VanDusen, Lance Yonge, Justin Barger, Steve Poirier, Jeff Cook, Blake Breen, Fred Cade, Tommy Wickham, Mike Stelter, Rob Pietz, Michael Parent, Tim Kelly, Tom Huppunen, Bobby Breen, Jared Zimbardi, Joel Lehman, Tim Zack, Derek Jonathan, Brad Malloy, Cory Sparks.