Each season, there seems to be drivers that keep emerging as ones to watch in Super Stock competition. Rick Verberne put himself into the conversation with some strong runs last year, and will look to do the same in his first trip to Flamboro Speedway on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “I went and tested last Saturday and that was the first laps that I’ve ever done there. So we had a pretty quick car and everything went really well.”
Based on the practice laps his team was able to put down, Verberne feels good about his chances.
“I think we’ll be fairly strong,” he said. “I think we just need to qualify really well so we start near the front, even with the inversion, you qualify the best you can so you can start up front. Our lap times were fairly good compared to everybody else that’s been out testing.”
Of course, the driver of the No. 21 Spark Power, Rack Hunter Camo, Apx Racewear, DJK Racing, Wight Motorsports Inc., R.A. Watters Graphics, Elgin Chrystler Dodge Jeep Ram, Oxford Civil Group, No Schedule Man, Oxford Pallet,APC , Castrol Edge, Blake Painting, Dennis & Wanda Walter, AIr liquide, Cabral Racing Promotions won’t have it easy this weekend with several strong runners in the full field.
“It’s going to be the best of the best for sure,” he commented. “Guys like Brad Collison and Steve Cashmore have a lot more laps around that place than I do, guys that are always fast there. For sure it’s not going to be easy.”
One of the good things, though, is the fact it is a 50 lap affair, and Verberne personally feels the longer races fall into his wheel house.
“I get a better rhythm going if we get a long run going; chances of getting a long run there are going to be slim,” he noted. “I like the longer runs better, so we’ll be pretty good.”
Last year, Verberne started off the year a little rocky, but a couple top-five’s at Jukasa Motor Speedway and a big win at Delaware Speedway made for a memorable year.
“It was a lot of fun,” he reflected. “We had some mechanical issues that took us out of the championship hunt early, but end of the day, we won the Great Canadian and had two strong outings at Jukasa so I felt we were on the right track. Working with D.J. Kennington this winter, we’ve definitely made huge gains on the car.”
Through the quarantine, he has also managed to keep busy, whether spending time with family, or time in the DJK Racing NASCAR Pinty’s Series shop.
“I’ve actually spent a fair amount of time at DJK Racing preparing their Pinty’s Series cars, getting ready for that – kind of waiting on something to happen there,” he said. “But evidentially I’m going to crew chief for D.J. this year. We’ve been preparing those cars, getting ready for that, so a lot of time spent there as well.“
For Verberne, his interest in racing started as a fan watching at the young age of seven, before getting behind the wheel at the age of 16. Since then, he has been able to write quite the resume for himself, including a couple V8 Truck Championships at Delaware Speedway. In looking back at memorable moments, he says those two titles from 2016 and 2017 stand out in his mind.
“I won the truck series those years, and 2017, I won 15 out of 19 races so evidentially that was a strong year,” he commented. “The Super Stock, it’s a whole lot more competitive, but when you go to Jukasa and run with 36 of the best Super Stocks in Ontario and run in the top-five all day, that’s a pretty big accomplishment.”