BRADFORD, Pa. — If there was one track on the schedule that Jared Zimbardi wanted to win at more than any other this year, it was undoubtedly Bradford Speedway, the oval located in the town he now resides in. His desire shined throughout the night and his drive allowed him to accomplish his goal in style.
Zimbardi led all 25 laps of Patriot Sprint Tour A-Main at Bradford Speedway to pocket $2,000 and celebrate in front of a throng of his supporters. It was his 10th career Patriot Sprint Tour A-Main win.
“Riding the rim around Bradford for 25 laps is a mental game and I just kept thinking the car is real good, it will work out and it did,” said Zimbardi, 25, in Victory Lane. It’s a tight race track things are going to happen but thankfully my crew gave me an awesome car tonight.”
Zimbardi, who was just one of four drivers in competition Saturday Night that ran the only other Patriot event at Bradford back in 2006 when it was known as the Hill, used his prior knowledge on the track, plus his numerous other visits to watch racing there to dominate heat race one. “The Juice” drew the outside pole for the feature, arguably the preferred spot for the initial start on the high-banked quarter-mile oval.
The 2011 Champion moved around polesitter Geoff Quackenbush on the original start and pulled out to a healthy advantage until the first caution flag of the race occurred on lap seven. After the next caution, second place Robbie Stillwaggon made a bid for the lead and had the top spot coming out of turn four when the caution flag waved for a multi-car incident in turn two that negated the pass. On the ensuing restart, Stillwaggon went to the top side coming out of turn two, but the two made contact, damaging Stillwaggon’s No. 89 and in effect ending his chance at the win.
With Stillwaggon’s car damaged, Dave Ely would inherit second place and on each successive restart took a bid to the inside Zimbardi’s No. 35 in turn two, Zimbardi would alter his line coming to later restarts and while Ely would still edge forward for a split second, Zimbardi would still have the drive off the corner and down the short backstretch.
“I was hoping that Dave Ely wasn’t just going to park it out of two because I would have piled right in the back of him but he raced me clean,” noted Zimbardi.
On the race’s final restart on lap 23, Ely had perhaps his best opportunity to clear Zimbardi coming off the second corner, but with the prior restarts in his mind, he once again left room for Zimbardi to use his momentum to get back in front. Like the other restarts, once he was clear off of turn two, the No. 35 would set sail on the field for his first win on American soil since 2011.
Dave Ely was please with his second-place effort, wishing only that there were more consecutive green flag laps to see how lapped traffic might have mixed up the equation.
George Suprick made it an all-Pennsylvania podium, placing third.
Jared Zimbardi, Dave Ely, George Suprick, Bryan Howland, Scott Kreutter, Tommy Wickham, Justin Barger, Kyle Drum, Scott Just, Clint Ide, Tyler Graves, Steven Hutchinson Jr., Geoff Quackenbush, Steve Collins, Brad Knab, Robbie Stillwaggon, Derek Jonathan, Brandan Warner, Kevin Ward Jr., Jamie Bodo, Jason Barney, Adam Anderson.