After a top-10 season last year, Rick Burbridge is among the group of drivers excited for the upcoming APC Auto Parts United Late Models of Ontario Tour season.
“I’m excited for it,” he told Short Track Musings. “I think there’s a lot of new competitors coming into the APC Series, so that’s going to make everybody up their game. If you want to run 10th when you were running 10th last year, you’re going to have to beat a couple more guys in good equipment. J.R. (Fitzpatrick) is one of those guys, Jason Hathaway is another.”
While Burbridge isn’t entering the year with any expectations, he says the goal is to finish each of the events in the top-10 for 2017.
“I think if you can get those solid finishes in all the races, the points and everything else will figure themselves out,” he said. “I think if you can eliminate one or two wrecks that have jumped out the last couple years for us, that’ll help. When we go to Sunset, that’s the track that I am going to hoping to capitalize and get a win there.”
Beyond Sunset Speedway, he’s also looking forward to the event at Flamboro Speedway with it being his home track.
“It’s not been a place that I’ve run as well as I wanted in the APC Series, so I’m hoping because it’s close to home we can get out there and test a couple times that’ll hopefully find some more speed there,” he commented.
As the same as his competitors, the inaugural event at Jukasa Speedway in August was also a topic of discussion, especially with the history the track has being on the same grounds as Cayuga Speedway.
“I like that somebody is making good investments into a race track, and are going to come out with first class facility which is good,” he said. “As for the racing, it’ll be faster than what most of the guys have ever seen up here before so I just hope that everybody can keep their brains together, keep the cars under them, and not go there and tear up a whole lot of cars.”
Last year, Burbridge posted four top-10 finishes, including a pair of top-fives at Sunset Speedway, en route to finishing 10th in points.
“The past season, for the series, sort of leveled off from the first year, which I think is good because a lot of people were worried that it was going to be big in the first year, and then drop off the second year. But it stayed constant,” he said. “For us personally, we showed a little bit of improvement. Some of the tracks we weren’t as strong as I would’ve hoped, but we went to Sauble for the first time last year and were strong both times we were there. We picked up our game at Sunset, even though we were already really strong there. Showed some speed in qualifying at Delaware, even though it didn’t translate into the race. We’re starting to pick up something at most of these tracks, so that’s good for us.”